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ATD Blog

Make Adaptive Learning Work for You

Thursday, February 22, 2018

According to industry reports, over a third of L&D teams say measuring learning impact is their top priority. Given business pressures and technology that advances the transparency of business initiatives, learning teams need to articulate a next-generation vision of training that is both human-centric in design and delivery, and directly tied to business outcomes.
In recent years, adaptive learning platforms have been heralded as the future of corporate training, and the reason is simple: Today's fast-paced and often disruptive work environment means it's more difficult than ever for talent development professionals to upskill an existing workforce. They face the constant challenge of training a multigenerational team with diverse skills, abilities, and backgrounds, often geographically dispersed.

Advanced artificial intelligence technology rises to the challenge and enables adaptive platforms to find incredible success where other methods fail. By personalizing instructional content, these platforms dramatically cut wasted time, giving talent development professionals a learning tool so adaptive and intelligent that it's like having a one-on-one instructor for every single learner.

The benefits of adaptive learning are clear. But how do you conceptualize and implement an adaptive course? How do you author in an adaptive environment? What does it mean for content and assessments? Ultimately, what kind of business considerations are at stake and how do you benchmark different adaptive technologies?

In the ATD course Instructional Design for Adaptive Learning, students will walk away with a working, pragmatic knowledge of adaptive learning, a technology that applies artificial intelligence to learning to optimize every learning moment and unlock individual as well as organizational performance.


Beginning with an overview of adaptive learning today, contextualized by various consumer media technologies, the course will provide hands-on experience with adaptive learning from an instructional design perspective. Students will analyze their own content and learning goals and design elements of their own adaptive module. Students will get hands-on practice in creating learning objectives, assessments, and other course components. Each student will walk away with experience designing their own adaptive course and an understanding of best practices and common pitfalls.


The course will explore these learning objectives:

  • Define and contextualize adaptive learning.
  • Define the organizational needs addressed by adaptive learning.
  • Understand and apply the principles of learning science that can be employed in adaptive learning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the three primary components used to design and author an adaptive learning experience.
  • Develop a familiarity with the kinds of issues that surround the operation and implementation of adaptive learning.

Interested? Sign up here!

About the Author

Christina is a marketing executive focused on transformational learning technologies that unlock workforce potential and productivity. She previously built the brand identity and growth strategy from the ground up at Mursion, a virtual reality company for human skills at work. Prior to Mursion, Christina was on the founding team of a new PaaS business unit at McGraw-Hill at the forefront of the company’s transformation from publisher to software and services provider. She began her technology career at Knewton, a pioneer in adaptive learning, and held multiple product and business roles there. Before her career in business, Christina taught English literature and composition at Kean University and Southern Connecticut State University. Christina holds an A.B in English and Creative Writing from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.

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