Insights

Education News

Relating Personalized Learning, Adaptive Learning and Teaching Techniques to CBE

January 31, 2017

This article was written by Sagence Learning, Inc.

Millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of conference presentations have been invested into how adaptive learning technologies create personalized learning experiences and help persistence, retention, and graduation.  Much of this effort has focused around programs targeted at adult learners seeking career focused education.  In this provocative piece When Personalized Learning Is a Logical Fallacy, the author Michael Feldstein proposes that you cannot measure the value of an adaptive educational technology product to students outside of the teaching context, in other words apart from the teaching intervention the product supports. 

The author begins by pointing out that both education practitioners and education technology companies are confusing tools and teaching.

"The distinction between adaptive learning and personalized learning, between a tool and a teaching technique, is necessary to the basic logic that enables us to understand how the various parts of any teaching intervention work together to make a difference."

Later in the article the author argues that it is critical that we get this right.

"When we conflate product talk with learning-intervention talk, we lose our ability to distinguish the factors that are critical to achieving the learning outcomes we want.

Until we make this distinction clearly and consistently, we can throw unlimited amounts of money at researching, developing, and promoting the spread of educational technology and still fail to make a difference in students’ lives."


As more colleges move to competency-based learning models, focused on mastery not seat time, we must be especially cognizant of how technology supports the teacher,  the learner, and the process they use together.  At Sagence Learning we do not "provide" adaptive learning, personalized learning, or competency based education. Our platform supports teaching techniques for personalized learning strategies within a competency-based learning model in a CBE Certificate Program, CBE Degree Program, or CBE hybrid model.  Our product has value within CBL strategies and it works to support and enable  those strategies.

The author cites leading researchers in the field who offer their thoughts on the effectiveness of technology. 

“A product cannot be evaluated outside of its educational context. The contextual factors are huge. So a product just can’t be efficacious or not. It always has to be contextualized.”


The author argues its not the technology, its the teaching. Technology itself does not insure success. 

"Distinguishing between talk about a product and talk about a teaching intervention matters because we care about understanding how well what we try will work with an actual set of students in an actual classroom. To evaluate the efficacy of a product independently of the actions taken by students and teachers in the context in which the product is used is to commit a logical fallacy."


Sagence Learning's technology exists for one reason: to give colleges and universities the tools and a blueprint for delivering robust CBE programs. Our product was created to support our partners' programs and teaching techniques that provide adult learners with the flexible but focused learning experiences they need to achieve their academic goals leading to real-world jobs and career achievement.

Webinar Sign Up

Sign up for the Webinar by providing your name and email below.
Thank you. You have successfully been signed up for the Webinar. To access please visit the below link on the date and time provided:
Webinar Link
Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please refresh and try submitting again.

Resources

CBE Network.org

A National Consortium for Designing, Developing and Scaling New Models for Student Learning

CBE Info.org

Discover the impact of Competency-Based Education on higher learning and how to implement CBE programs at your institution

HLC Commission.org

Common Framework for Defining and Approving Competency-Based Education Programs

US Dept of Education.gov

Competency Based Learning or Personalized Learning; Transitioning away from seat time.

Case Study

Evaluating Empire's First Competency-Based Learning Pilot

SUNY Empire State College piloted their first CBL courses. These findings and recommendations are based on the experiences of Empire State’s coach, faculty, technical staff, and student participants.

Read more

Connect With us

How can Sagence Learning partner
with you?

Complete the form and a
Sagence Learning representative will contact you.

By selecting "Submit" I understand that I will be contacted by a member of the Sagence Learning team via email.

Thank you. Your submission has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form