Every student is unique. Individual difference among students can result in diverse ways of communication, interaction, and learning. In the Convention of Association of Educational Communication, & Technology (AECT) in Las Vegas this October, I presented a study evaluating teacher profession development, support, satisfaction with and use of an adaptive learning system. Here is the short description of study (http://tinyurl.com/zvwyhtj).
This study was funded by a federal grant to build an adaptive learning system in a K-12 school district. The adaptive learning system includes the regular (e.g., content browser, dropbox, gradebook, quiz) and adaptive (e.g., recommendation engine) functionalities. In consideration of students’ learning style, learning preference, or learning outcomes, the recommendation engine in the adaptive learning system can recommend appropriate learning solutions (e.g., content materials, quiz, assignment, etc.) to students to remediate or enrich individual learning.
In this study, we specifically measured the relationship among teacher professional development and support provided by school district and middle/high schools, teacher satisfaction with and the use of the adaptive learning system in the first year of implementation. Teacher professional development mainly covered training aligning with a theoretical framework, TPACK (see Figure 1), including the knowledge of technology, pedagogy, and content. Support provided with teachers included three aspects: 1) technical infrastructure support, 2) staff support, and 3) leadership and ongoing funding support.
The study findings indicated teacher satisfaction with the system can highly correlate with teacher professional development and support in terms of availability and quality. Although teachers were satisfied with the entire system, this did not reflect on their actual buy-in: the adoption of adaptive system into courses. Our findings showed that there was a low usage in recommendation engine or shared resources used in the adaptive system. Why do teachers have the low adoption of adaptive learning system even they complete training and receive ongoing support provided by school and district? This question may reflect some critical issues and prompt us to reconsider the role of innovative technology and its impact to us. Does the training meet teachers’ needs in adopting an innovative technology? Are instructors aware of the training and support they need when they are exposed to an innovative technology? Does learning solution provided by an innovative technology include high quality? As instructional designers, how can we help instructors make a smooth transition to a new innovative technology and adopt it? What is our strategic and long-term plan to sustain the adoption of innovative technology?