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Choose Your Own Adventure: How Adaptive Learning Creates Effective Training

ABLE Online safety training

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Think back to when you were a child. You likely read at least one “choose your own adventure” book where you were able to select what happened next at certain points in the story. Based on your choices, you could end up with a different story each time.

This type of interactivity used branch logic, a form of adaptive learning that creates a custom path with varied content based on the answers selected, and helped children everywhere discover a new appreciation for reading. Just as the name suggests, adaptive learning also has useful applications in educational settings.

Worker using ipad for online training

Adaptive learning makes the user an active participant, increasing the likelihood the information will be retained once the lesson is complete. Within the educational community, adopters are seeing program success and improved technology that makes implementation easier.

In 2018, researchers at West Virginia University published the results of a four-year study looking at the use and effects of an adaptive online homework system compared to a traditional online system. The study found increased odds that average, below average and failing students receive a higher final letter grade and 69% of students in fact reported changes in study habits.

What is adaptive learning?

While there is not a set definition that everyone agrees upon, perhaps the one most commonly referenced defines adaptive learning as an educational experience that adjusts to a user’s interactions in real-time to provide individual support.

Based on the answer or option the user selects, the content shown next may differ from that of someone else taking the course. This helps create a certain level of personalized learning, increasing engagement and retention.

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While learner success continues to be proven, each of the “big three” educational publishers — Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — have implemented various forms of adaptive learning.

If this type of learning technique works well in educational settings, it makes sense that it could be applied to safety training. As one of the leading online safety training companies, SafetySkills has been pleased to incorporate adaptive learning into a variety of courses to give users a unique experience.

How does SafetySkills utilize adaptive learning?

Woman taking online corporate training

Included within our extensive course library, you will find more than 70 courses labeled with the term ABLE, which stands for Adaptive Branching Learning Engagement. These denote our “choose your own adventure” courses that automatically adjust the content based on certain options the user selects.

For instance in the “Personal Protective Equipment: Types of Gloves” course, the user is presented with choosing the right glove for certain situations. If they choose incorrectly, the content that appears next will walk the learner through what is wrong with that option. If they choose correctly, the course will continue moving forward.

Instead of the usual quiz style where you are simply shown the correct answer on a missed question, these ABLE courses explain the correct answer. In the context of occupational health and safety, it is often just as important to understand the “why” as it is to understand the “what.”

How to make adaptive learning work for you

All SafetySkills courses follow the concept of competency-based training, meaning the user must successfully answer all questions of one section before moving onto the next. Integrating this type of learning solution into your safety training provides assurance that your employees fully understood the material presented to them.

Combining this standard with the large selection of adaptive learning courses available from SafetySkills provides a personalized feel to your safety training, which can make the information more easily retained and therefore much more effective.

Learn more about how utilizing adaptive learning through our ABLE courses can help you and your employees.

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