How an LMS can support adaptive learning

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Adaptive learning is a rapidly growing non-traditional form of learning which is making significant strides in the learning and development (L&D) space. It’s a means of delivering personalised learning content to each individual, and there are some excellent ways a learning management system (LMS) can support its success.

What is adaptive learning?

Adaptive learning is a strategy used to provide personalised learning, and aims to offer efficient, effective and customised learning paths to engage all leaners. It’s a learning technique which can be heavily supported by a learning management system (LMS), as it uses a data-driven approach to adjust the content and pace of learning for each individual.

Why is it important?

“Understanding the Shifting Adult Learner Mindset”, the latest survey from EAB, identified that learners expect to be able to find relevant information and complete tasks quickly and conveniently using digital resources. What’s more, Education Technology highlight how learning and development (L&D) can use adaptive learning techniques to transform traditional, broad-based learning into precision learning. This is because adaptive learning works by merging the 3 key learning styles (audio, visual and kinaesthetic), with cognitive styles (how a person thinks, remembers information or problem solves) and data analytics.

Embracing adaptive learning allows L&D to assign content which is specifically tailored for the individual, considering their strengths and weaknesses or areas of opportunity, their learning style, attention and retention attributes.

Is adaptive learning becoming a growing trend in L&D?

Absolutely. The technique has been embraced so widely that eLearning News predict adaptive learning to be a trend which will revolutionise the L&D space. This is further supported by Emergen Research, who recently published their report which studies the adaptive learning market and highlights that the adaptive learning market is expected to grow at a rate of 22.2% between now and 2028.

What are the benefits?

As outlined in a recent Forbes article, this model ensures that leaners have equal opportunities to succeed despite any differences in learning style, pace and preferences.

With adaptive learning in place, a learners’ performance and reactions to digital content can be analysed in real time, and content can be assigned or modified based on that data. For example, if an employee is struggling to develop a certain skill outlined in their development plan, the technology will recognise this and adjust the learning experience to meet the employees’ individual needs.

In many ways, adaptive learning can work to solve many of the problems associated with traditional one-size-fits-all approaches to training. It is after all, well known that different people often respond better to different forms of learning, so allocating everyone in a business the same step-by-step learning materials is unlikely to get the best out of everybody.

Instead, adaptive learning offers learners the benefits of personalised content based on their own learning styles and pace, without a business having to spend time, funds or resources if delivered one-on-one.

Adaptive learning means every employee will be able to develop a full understanding of the material in as few or as many steps as they personally need, therefore boosting their performance and giving them a greater sense that their employer is responsive to their needs.

How can an LMS support adaptive learning?

Incorporating it into the workplace means reacting to each learners’ needs in real time. Here, leveraging an LMS with content search capabilities is the perfect support, as its machine learning capabilities can more effectively put the right information in front of your learners.

This means that as each learner searches for terms or content, the LMS algorithm learns from what they select to present better results for them and other users. For example, if learners are searching for specific content and most often click on the third result listed, that result will move up the ranking, making it easier for others to discover the content they were looking for. This data is also available in analytics reports, which can help you identify content gaps and improve search result relevancy.

It also helps to quantify the return on investment a business is achieving as the data can be viewed at any time from any device, offering L&D teams an at-a-glance insight into employee engagement levels.

Ultimately, adaptive learning is about bringing down admin time, stress and costs, while delivering better training outcomes. By combing this approach with the complementary benefits of an LMS, L&D can make sure their organisation is able to retain its competitive edge.

Exploring this way of learning in your business

When done right, adaptive learning has been known to significantly increase employee engagement as the training will always be relevant. It treats learners as individuals and reduces the chance they will spend valuable training time covering material they already know or that won’t advance their career goals and that they therefore won’t retain or use. In essence, adaptive learning is a powerful strategy which helps empower your learners to better adapt to change.

At BuildEmpire, we’re the platform provider to help support that learning. We’re here to become an intuitive extension of your business, and as your technical partner, we will work with you to build an engaging learning environment that fits the needs of your learners’ both today and in the future.

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