Adaptive courseware can provide a wealth of opportunities for students, educators, and institutions.
Dale P. Johnson is the director of adaptive learning initiatives at Arizona State University. He works with faculty, staff and technology partners to develop and implement adaptive courseware to help enable student success. Those efforts have earned him the 2016 Sally M. Johnstone Award from WCET recognizing thought leadership, excellence in practice, and demonstrated leadership capabilities. In 2018, he was honored by the IMS Global Learning Consortium with an outstanding service award for his leadership of the adaptive courseware community of practice.
Mr. Johnson has spoken on adaptive courseware at more than 20 conferences in the USA, Rwanda, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, Mexico, Russia and Vietnam, and led workshops on the subject at numerous universities. He has a bachelor of science in design degree from ASU and a master in public policy degree from Harvard University, a learning path that combined his interests in design, engineering, history and public policy. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and building things. He’s traveled to more than 40 countries, studied in Barcelona for a year as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, and built his own solar home in Phoenix.
The mystique surrounding adaptive learning systems is a double-edged sword: it has catapulted them into the center of many debates about the future of higher education. Yet neither hype nor hysteria are helpful during this critical phase of development in this nascent industry.
Adaptive learning is one technique for providing personalized learning, which aims to provide efficient, effective, and customized learning paths to engage each student. Adaptive learning systems use a data-driven approach to adjust the path and pace of learning, enabling the delivery of personalized learning at scale. Adaptive systems can support changes in the role of faculty, enable innovative teaching practices, and incorporate a variety of content formats to support students according to their learning needs.