Manchester Metropolitan University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN17 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 8496-8505
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0580
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The goal of this project was to investigate how adaptive learning can tailor the educational experience to each individual. Adaptive learning technology allows students to navigate their own personal learning path, typically not possible through traditional lecturing. This study has explored how this approach can improve inclusive/personalised teaching, by allowing learners to self-select the format of materials offered to them using CogBooks software. The aim was to improve student experience/satisfaction in the area of technology-enhanced learning and this pilot study in BSc(Hons)/FdSc chemistry teaching at MMU has shown that this student-centred teaching method can lead to significant educational gains.

This pilot project implemented adaptive learning using the CogBooks software in the delivery of two 2nd year units in the BSc(hons) and FdSc chemistry courses at MMU. These units were chosen since they contain a large cohort of students from different backgrounds and have a significant theory component bridging between disciplines. The project was launched for the BSc(hons) course in January 2016 and the influence of the adaptive learning materials upon student behaviour, satisfaction and learning outcomes was evaluated, and feedback from the students was obtained from a student survey and focus group. This analysis highlighted the impact CogBooks had on these students, which informed a review of the content, with minor modifications made for the release of the FdSc course in May 2016. For both courses, the CogBooks content provided a means of ongoing formative assessment throughout the delivery and these topics were part of the summative assessment for the end of unit exams during May and August 2016.

The results from student feedback highlighted the positive impact of adaptive learning technology upon enhancing the student learning experience and satisfaction. Where 72% of students surveyed indicated that they found it easy to explore subject materials using CogBooks and encouragingly, 82% thought the system had directed them to useful content. In addition, 87% found that it had helped them obtain a deeper understanding and 86% would have liked to have CogBooks for other units they were studying.