May 2018
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Giving Learners the Knowledge They Need—and No More

Tuesday, May 1, 2018



Adaptive learning taps data to target content and outcomes.

The technology involved in adaptive learning is simply that: a delivery tool, writes James Bennett in "Personalizing Training With Adaptive Learning Systems." Adaptive learning is itself an approach "that works to tailor the learning experience to an individual's specific needs."

As you use an adaptive learning approach for your talent development solution, you're going to be dealing with familiar terms and ideas: target knowledge, content, and the learning path, to name a few. Similarly, to analyze effectiveness in an adaptive learning system, a training professional will draw on familiar concepts.

"The best way to ensure the training program is successful," writes Bennett, "is to make certain during the design process that all training elements align. Begin by determining exactly what knowledge or skill the learner needs to come away with."

Use this process to do so:

  • Develop learning objectives aligned with the proper level of Bloom's Taxonomy.
  • Identify the assessments that will determine whether the Bloom's level has been attained.
  • Confirm that the instructional content directly supports what will be assessed.
  • Ensure that feedback or remediation given to the learner through the adaptive learning system is aligned with the other elements.

Although the technological aspects of adaptive learning may have received much attention in the past, designers now are focusing on the most important component: the learner.

These tips were adapted from the May 2018 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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