Leveling the Playing Field with Adaptive Learning

  • 1 Min Read

How the University of Texas at Austin ensured that students with varying experience started on an equal footing.

Modern learners come from different walks of life with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some may have little to no prior study, and others may have one or more degrees. If we look at students entering a common post-graduate program, such as a first-year Master of Business Administration (MBA), not all of them will have a background in business. Many may come from programs such as engineering, sciences, or humanities. At universities like McMaster in Canada, for example, 70% of MBA students come from academic backgrounds other than business.

So how do you get first-year students on a level playing field?

One option is to implement an adaptive learning solution to help fill in the knowledge gaps.

Getting up to par with adaptive learning

Adaptive learning can be used to build fundamental knowledge required for a program and to remediate knowledge gaps on an individual basis. The University of Texas at Austin (UT), for example, found itself in a situation where the students entering the Doctor of Pharmacy program were all at different levels of experience and credentials. This post-graduate program by UT is recognized as one of the top programs of pharmacy education in the US, and includes an internship that offers 40 to 50 hours per week of on-site experience. However, one of the major challenges this program has had is how to address the diverse needs of the incoming pre-pharmacy students.

In an effort to make sure all of these new students had the same level of foundational knowledge, UT decided to pilot an adaptive learning program within their existing LMS.

Check out this video to see how it went: