★ Tutorial: How do I create a course that adapts to the learner?
In an adaptive learning journey learners are offered lessons about learning objectives they master the least. The goal is to let the learners learn as efficiently as possible. Less attention is required for the goals that are already mastered.
The essential keys for making a good adaptive learning journey in aNewSpring:
Key 1) Take all the time you can to create the learning journey.
Really take the time for making an adaptive learning journey. Especially invest time in contemplating and completing the concept, the creation of learning objectives and questions.
Key 2) Carefully consider the learning objectives.
There is a lot of useful information to be found online about how to create good learning objectives. To make adaptivity work well in aNewSpring, it is important to formulate learning objectives very specifically. Only then, you can create questions that are interchangeable for each other; you formulate a different question to test the same.
For example a language course. An objective called 'Spelling' is not specific enough, because spelling consists of many elements. You could split this into smaller learning objectives: Interpunction, plurals, compositions, etc.
To check if the learning objective is specific enough, you could see how much text you would need to describe the learning objective. Describing 'Spelling' will take a lot of pages, while describing 'Interpunction' would take maybe one or two paragraphs.
Key 3) Make plenty of questions per learning objective.
By creating a lot of questions per learning objective, you will make it possible to constantly give new questions when needed.
Key 4) Create enough extra activities per learning objective.
This key is closely related to key 3. If you have many questions, it is possible to create more activities related to the learning objective. The purpose of an adaptive learning journey is that new lessons are constantly available until the target for that learning objective has been reached.
Now we can start creating the adaptive learning journey. In this tutorial we will use a language training as an example.
1) Create a template
You need a template to create your adaptive learning journey.
Go to the Templates tab and click + Template.
- Which template type should I choose?
- Which functionalities should I activate in the template?
2) Create a folder structure for your content based on your objectives.
Preparation is everything! If you contemplate learning objectives before creating them in aNewSpring, it will be a lot easier to create an adaptive learning journey. Check key 2 about formulating learning objectives.
First create a new template under the 'Templates' tab and create a folder structure based on the objectives.
If you create a clear folder structure, you can then use this to create the objectives structure.
- How do I create content for my learning journey?
See step 1 and 2 about creating a folder structure.
3) Create questions and content parts per learning objectives
Create content and questions per learning objective. This is another preparation in order to link questions to the learning objectives with a single click. The learning objective will be named after the folder in which the questions are located.
Articles that can help you with this step:
- Hoow do I create content for my learning journey?
See step 3 and 4 about creating questions and content parts.
4) Add learning objectives and make groups
If you have correctly gone through step 2 this will be a breeze.
Go to the tab Learning objectives when editing the template and click on the little rocket: Use the names of the folders that contain questions as learning objectives.
The folders in the content library which contains the questions, will be used as learning objectives.
When this is done, you can go to Group and order and again click on the little rocket Use the structure of the folders from the linked content libraries as groups to create groups based on the folder structure under 'Content'.
5) Create a pretest with learning objectives as baseline measurement
By creating a pretest, you can give the learner the chance to already (partially) reach the learning objective targets and prevent them from finishing unnecessary lessons if they already master certain learning objectives. If the questions are being used in the MemoTrainer, the objectives that have been met can be practised and secured in the long-term memory. More about it will be told in the next step. Creating a pretest is not obligatory.
The question you should ask yourself is: how many questions should a learner answer correctly in order to reach the target of a learning objective and not receive any more lessons about it?
Set that number of questions per learning objective in the pretest. The goal here is to not give more lessons about a particular learning objective if the learner has already correctly answered all the questions of the learning objective. The pretest has determined that the learner already masters this objective. Also check step 9 to understand the scoring.
A) Create the assessment
Add an assessment under Blocks and activities by clicking + Activity. Select 'Assessment' and click Edit.
- How do I create a learning journey?
B) Select the questions
Choose Fixed questions under the Content tab and you can select content.
C) Change the assessment settings
Set up the assessment as you wish under the Properties tab, but make sure that Activity can be reassessed is disabled. It's not possible to combine this option with learning objectives.
- Set up the assessment activity
D) Set up the objectives
Link questions to objectives under the Objectives tab.
Adding learning objectives is quite easy when you have already gone through step 2 and 4. Only then you can use the rocket Use the names of the folders that contain questions as learning objectives to easily link the learning objectives to the right questions. Click Update to save your changes.
E) Add questions to the MemoTrainer
Because it is possible that the learners can't do any activities linked to certain learning objectives because the target has already been met, it might be good if they they keep practising those learning objectives in the MemoTrainer. This way the information can be obtained in the long-term memory. Go to the tab Extra MemoTrainable questions and select all the questions that are related to the subject of the assessment. In this example all questions in 'Spelling' have been selected.
Intermezzo: What does the MemoTrainer do?
In the MemoTrainer the questions are repeated in order to secure knowledge in the long-term memory. The questions that have been answered incorrectly will be asked more frequently than those that have been answered correctly. The progress is visible in the knowledge retention.
In an adaptive learning journey it is a good idea to let the MemoTrainer work based on learning objectives. Questions for the same learning objectives should be exchangeable. The knowledge retention is then being build-up based on the learning objectives.
For example: It is possible that learners have answered a single question wrong from a list of ten of the same learning objective. This one error will be filled up by another question from that learning objective in the next MemoTraining.
In order to continue the flow of this tutorial, we will configure the MemoTraining in step 11.
6) Create adaptive blocks
Now the time has come to create adaptive blocks. In an adaptive block only one activity is available at a time. This will be the activity that can contribute the most to the progress on the objective with the lowest score. When the target of a learning objective has been met, there will be no suggested activity in which only that learning objective is present.
When keeping in mind that only one activity is available at a time per adaptive block, it might be a good idea to create multiple adaptive blocks.
Create a new adaptive block under the Blocks & activities tab:
By adding a condition to adaptive blocks you can make sure that learners first have to take the pretest (the learning objective target profile will be partially filled) before they can continue with the activities linked to the learning objectives.
To add this condition click on Edit next to the block title. Via the tab Conditions you can add the condition: ... after activity "X" is completed. In this case the activity 'X' is the pretest.
- Adding conditions to an activity/block
7) Add learning activities to the adaptive blocks
Create multiple activities per learning objective. The easiest way is to create lessons which will make it possible to also add content parts to give extra information about the learning objective. If they haven't completed the objective after finishing the activity, then another activity should become available in which they can try to complete the objective again.
Some more tips:
- Note that the order of the activities can be different for the learner. The activity that can contribute most to the progress of the objective with the lowest score will be offered first.
- If you add the same number of questions per learning objective per activity, then the order you have chosen will be shown.
- Add a content part with explanation to each activity. You can also show a new content part each time with an explanation that goes more in-depth with each next activity to make sure they will understand this objective.
- Create enough activities per learning objective and also add enough new questions. This is one of the keys to make a good adaptive course. In the example of the language training we have created 5 activities per learning objective, each containing 5 extra questions per activity.
- Don't add too many questions per activity. It's better to create more activities with less questions per learning objectives. To better understand this, see step 8.
- If you want, you can also add multiple learning objectives to a single activity. This can be useful when working with cases in which multiple aspects (learning objectives) will be assessed.
Do not forget to add the learning objectives to the questions in the activities, as explained in step 5.
8) Add a 'regular' block with documentation as a reference
It can occur that learners don't have to finish lessons of certain objectives. Because of this, they might not have the option to review this part of the course material.
You can solve this by adding a block with just documentation activities. This type of activity is optional and won't be suggested in the personal learner advice.
If you have added the documentation, click Edit and add content parts under Activity content.
By adding a section per content part (under the tab Activity content), learners can click on a subject and directly go to the subject they want to review.
- Create sections (table of contents)
- Setting up personal learner advice
Intermezzo: How does the design look so far?
The learning journey of the learner:
9) Set the learning profile target
This is the most difficult step, so please read carefully!
Only once you have filled all adaptive blocks with questions and linked these questions to objectives, you can set the learning profile target.
This is something you have to do afterwards, because the values automatically change if you add new questions to the objectives.
Let's go back to the Learning objectives tab.
In the overview below you can see values in the group 'Spelling'.
First a quick explanation about the different columns:
Tells you if there are questions linked to that learning objective in the MemoTrainer. In the example above this is not yet the case. We will do this in step 11.
Copied learning objective
Tells you if the name of the learning objectives is copied from the content. Because we did this in step 4, this icon is visible here.
The maximum number of points that can be achieved for this learning objective. Because a question is always worth 1 point, this number equals the number of questions linked to the learning objective.
The number of points a learner has to score to reach 100% on the learning objective. The global weight is set to 80% by default, but this is not always what you would want. Let's elaborate on this.
Click Set learning profile target. You will see the following screen:
The same as 'Max' in the previous screen. It indicated the number of questions that has been linked to the objective, because one question is worth one point.
The same as 'Target' in the previous screen. The number of points that have to be accumulated in order to complete the learning objective.
With the weight you can influence the result. First, set the global weight to 10%, this will allow to set the weight more accurately.
A bit more explanation about the scoring:
In the activities where learning objectives are linked to questions, the learner will receive one point (+1) per correctly answered question. When a question is answered incorrectly, a point will be deducted (-1). If you have determined (in step 5) that learners will need to answer 5 questions correctly to skip the learning objective, the result should be set to 5 as well.
In the example below the pretest has been taken. For the questions that are linked to "Finite verb", 5 questions (5 times 1 point) have been answered correctly. This means they have reached the target of 5 points and therefore have completed the learning objective. A total of 3 questions have been answered correctly and 2 questions incorrectly for "Past participle". This translates to a total of 3 points minus 2 points equals 1 (3-2=1). A total of 1 point has been given to the learning objective "Past participle".
The consequence of these results are that there will be no lessons available for "Finite verb", because the target of the learning objective has been met. For the learning objective "Past participle", this means that there will be lessons available in which the learners can accumulate more points to reach their goal; 1 point has been achieved, 4 points to go: (The learning objective "Finite verb" still can be trained via the MemoTrainer, see Intermezzo: What does the MemoTrainer and step 11)
The activity "Past participle 1" comes from the adaptive block we have created in step 7. In that activity 5 new questions are linked to the learning objective "Past participle". In the example above another 4 points have to be accumulated. The question is: what are the possible scenarios to achieve this?
|Number of correct questions||Number of incorrect questions||Number of points after this activity||Final score for 'Past participle'||Number of points to accumulate|
|5||0||5||5||Learning objective completed!|
Conclusion: only if all questions have been answered correctly, no lessons about this learning objective will be available. The set result of '5' in the learning objective target may seem little, but when you take a closer look at the scoring it isn't so bad because the learning objectives are created quite specifically.
When setting the learning profile target, make sure that the target isn't set to high. There need to be enough lessons to be made available for the learner to reach the target.
10) Create multiple learning profile targets
When setting the learning profile target you can save multiple profiles, so you can use these different profiles for different courses.
For example we could publish this course for different education levels, by applying the different profiles to the courses.
Set the weight and click on Save. Then set another weight and click on Save again. Continue until you have all the profiles you need.
- Course settings - Tab: Settings
In the course settings, you can select a different profile target per course.
11) Add learning objectives to MemoTrainable questions
The questions in assessments and lessons in this tutorial have been made MemoTrainable. By also linking the learning objectives to the MemoTrainable questions, the knowledge intake is also made up of these learning objectives.
If you successfully completed step 1, you can add all learning objectives at once using the rocket 'Use the names of the folders that contain questions as learning objectives'.