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Title: Adaptive learning and assessment : from the teachers' perspective
Authors: Pfeiffer, Alexander
Bezzina, Stephen
Dingli, Alexiei
Wernbacher, Thomas
Denk, Natalie
Fleischhacker, Michael
Keywords: Learning models (Stochastic processes)
Educational technology
Artificial intelligence
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: IATED
Citation: Pfeiffer, A., Bezzina, S., Dingli, A., Wernbacher, T., Denk, N., & Fleischhacker, M. (2021). Adaptive learning and assessment : from the teachers' perspective. 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference. 0375-0379.
Abstract: Digital technologies have changed and continue to shape the way students interact with learning material, both in traditional and informal education. Adaptive learning methodologies offer an interesting avenue for personalized learning, whereas every individual student is presented with tailormade content, specifically based on the distinct strengths, weaknesses, goals and engagement patterns of the learner. This is intended to consolidate knowledge and ensure that learning progresses at the right time and pace. Underpinning such computer-mediated interventions, one might find simple logic, allowing the content to be adapted after short intermediate tests, up to more complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods, which for example, in the realm of serious games, take on the role of the teacher whom facilitates the appropriate learning experience. Such an approach is an interesting and well-meaning methodology that requires additional research and consequently should be developed further, both in terms of the supporting technology and pedagogy. For instance, with regard to the latter, the role of the teachers (and educators in general), in self-directed learning of students whilst utilizing adaptive educational applications is to be investigated. This will allow teachers to take on the role of learning companions and subsequently better estimate the student's progress and facilitate the overall learning experience. In this paper, the authors critically analyse the role of adaptive learning methodologies from the teacher’s perspective and extend this notion not only to support the learning experience itself, but also to assess it, particularly in formative and embedded ways. Furthermore, the authors take a glimpse at the future, where in a few years' time, the assessment of a teacher (through standardized testing or otherwise), will no longer be the decisive factor affecting and/or shaping the career path of a child or young adult. As such, this paper takes an explorative approach to identify the current state of play amongst educators, their expectations and fears regarding adaptive learning and assessment, through a mixed methods approach involving an online survey, followed by a focus group discussion with experts in the field.
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