Adaptive, Differentiated, and Personalized Learning

Thanks to everyone who joined us on February 6th!

If you missed any of the workshops, or if you want to review any of the material, check out the following links for more information:

Google Drive Folder with Adaptive Learning Resources

UNCG Libraries Libguide on Open Educational Resources

Continue on below for information from OER-focused vendors and other resources


Wednesday, February 6th in the EUC Claxton and Kirkland rooms.

Imagine giving our students immediate access to resources and assessments based on their specific needs. That is adaptive learning, adjusting the path of each student based on course performance. Each student can access what they need to learn based on strengths and weaknesses. Faculty members can quickly gain insight into how students are learning through various online tools.

Join us on Wednesday, February 6 to attend one or more sessions to learn about potential adaptive learning opportunities. The day will be facilitated by Dr. Patti O’Sullivan, who manages the Personalized Learning and Adaptive Teaching Opportunities Program at the University of Mississippi. Dr. O’Sullivan also serves as faculty in Pharmacy Administration with a background in Ethics and Religious Studies.

February 6th is a full day on how to implement practical tools for adaptive, differentiated, and personalized learning in your courses. The day will have a practical focus, including sandbox experiences of existing software options and a series of one-hour workshops on using adaptive learning within any discipline. Session topics include how these learning tools help to promote equity in the classroom and how the software works with Open Educational Resources.

You can pick-and-choose sessions, or attend them all. The sessions will be recorded for faculty members for future review.

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Course Check-Up: Making your class a strong teaching and learning experience
Sandboxes: Experiencing three adaptive learning platforms
A great course doesn’t have to be expensive: Using free resources to support your redesign
Lunch break
Step-by-step course redesign
Using courseware learning analytics to improve teaching and learning
Soliciting feedback for continuous improvement


To register for one or more sessions, please use this link.


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Knewton is a technology company that offers alta which is fully integrated, adaptive learning courseware for Math, Chemistry, and Economics that utilizes OpenStax and other curated, peer reviewed open educational resources (OER) including videos for instructional content.

Effective August 1, 2019 student access will be $39.95 retail per course, per term.

List of courses available

Demonstration of Alta product


Lumen Learning

Lumen looks to offer unprecedented student learning experiences by using open educational resources (OER) to create well-designed and low-cost course materials that replace expensive textbooks. Lumen’s Waymaker software combines enriched OER with personalized learning tools that improve faculty-student connections, while OHM provides online homework and other learning resources for disciplines with a quantitative focus.

Student access to all Lumen courses costs $25 per course.

List of courses available

Video – Explore Waymaker

Video – Explore OHM



When you choose to use Realizeit’s intelligent learning system in your course, your goals and preferences shape the learning experience you create. We work with you to determine what topics you want to cover and how to best incorporate personalized learning. The learning material is your choice, too – leverage open educational resources (OER), use your own original content or preferred textbook, or license courses developed by other educators using Realizeit.

Realizeit attempts to be an affordable option for students and a customizable solution for faculty. Typically students can pay as little as $30 per coursetaker.

Watch an Instructor Demo a Course in RealizeIt

Play around in a RealizeIt Sandbox Course

Username: intmathfaculty1

Password: intmathfaculty1

Choose Intermediate Algebra as the sandbox course


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Q: What is Adaptive Learning?

A: Using adaptive learning approaches gives students flexibility to learn the course content while informing faculty members about the specific needs of each student. Adaptive learning uses online tools to assess student performance to recommend specific resources. Faculty members can use existing resources or create their own resources.

Q: I like the idea of  adaptive learning, but my course topic does not have specific resources and assessments that I can direct my students. Wouldn’t differentiated learning be a better fit for me?

A: Yes. Courses that require students to master foundational information in order to learn more complex ideas are a great fit for adaptive learning. The key is to keep students motivated and focused on their specific learning needs. A differentiated learning approach may be a better fit for your course.

Differentiated learning focuses on motivation and helping students see the connection between what they are learning and their own interests while being pushed beyond the level where they as individuals can work without assistance. Learners need a choice about what and how to learn, play an active role in setting goals and see the relevance of the subject matter.  For example, a faculty member can give students options about topics and how they demonstrate mastery either through research papers, presentations, media projects or service learning opportunities.

Read more about Differentiated Learning:

Faculty Conversation: Carol Tomlinson on Differentiation, University of Virginia

Q: What do you mean by personalized learning?

A: Every student is motivated in unique ways. By setting clear learning targets and using a flexible learning environment, a faculty member can allow students to make individual choices about how they learn the course content. For example, lessons can be designed to offer multiple paths allowing students to decide the next step. Set a goal for the course and let the students decide how to meet that goal. Let students work on real-world projects and make decisions.


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If you want some additional resources on adaptive, differentiated, and personalized learning, we recommend checking out some of the following articles: