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Skill-based Adaptive Learning

Do you teach a subject with a lot of skills that build on each other? If so, then some of your students may be struggling—not because they aren’t good at your subject, but because they just didn’t master one particular skill.

That missing skill prevented them from learning all the skills that came afterward. In this kind of situation, skill-based adaptive learning products can help.

Take a simple example. Imagine that you’re teaching students to add fractions with different denominators. First the students need to learn how to add fractions with the same denominator. Then they need to learn how to find the least common denominator. They can’t add fractions with different denominators until they’ve learned both of these skills.

A whole world of math is built on top of these two basic skills. If one is missing, the student will never be able to master more complex mathematics. Not because she’s bad at math, but because, without realizing it, every skill the student tries to learn depends on that one skill she didn’t learn. And her teacher may not be aware that the problem is the one missing skill. It may seem to them both that she isn’t good at math.

Skill-based adaptive learning software helps with this problem by testing the student to figure out which skills they have mastered and which ones are still missing. They help the students pinpoint the place where they went wrong and gives them enough practice to master it. In many cases, a student who learns the skill she missed will suddenly find that everything after comes more easily. A good skill-based adaptive learning program will show her all the skills she has mastered in addition to the one that she missed. As a result, she has a better chance to get better at the subject and feel better about her ability. (see more blogs about education technology)

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