Is there evidence that adaptive learning works?

Paper from 07-24-2023

Development of pediatric acute care education (PACE): An adaptive electronic learning (e-learning) environment for healthcare providers (HCP) in Tanzania

Abstract / Summary:

Inadequate healthcare provider proficiency with evidence-based guidelines globally leads to significant child morbidity and mortality. Conventional in-person education has limitations. Adaptive e-learning environments (AEEs) using AI technology can personalize learning. This paper provides an overview of the development of AEE HCP in-service education, Pediatric Acute Care Education (PACE) focusing on newborn, infant, and child care guidelines. PACE innovates by incorporating clinical data and refreshers. Its integration into a Tanzanian network is discussed, with phased implementation for effectiveness evaluation. 

Follow the latest research from RQI Partners on adaptive learning and simulation:
Research paper presented December 2021
Blended and Adaptive Learning in Ground School Instruction for Aviators.
Abstract / Summary:
This paper presents a study investigating adaptive e-learning software as part of a blended learning approach in the Aerodynamics segment of a military flight training ground school. Thirty-four trainees participated in this investigation where existing educational materials were converted to an adaptive e-learning platform with the goal of keeping the instructional content equivalent. New questions, or probes, were developed for each learning objective, and responses to these probes served as input to an adaptive engine which personalized the learning. Students were exposed to the instructional content multiple times in seemingly randomized fashion until demonstrating both accuracy and confidence in each learning objective. An instructor then delivered an abbreviated lecture meant to expand on the foundational knowledge delivered via e-learning. The historical performance of approximately 200 students who were taught using only lectures was used as a control group. All students received a multi-hour exam following completion of the topic. Additionally, 21 instructor-led and 24 blended-learning students also received a surprise exam about 10 weeks after the initial exam in order to measure how the two instructional methods influence the rate of knowledge decay.
Initial exam performance was similar for both groups. However, when knowledge was measured 10 weeks later the blended learning group experienced only a 14.5% drop compared with the instructor-led group who experienced a 27.3% drop, which was a significant difference. Despite almost all students in both groups passing the initial exam, the practical impact was only 29% of students in the instructor-led group would have achieved a passing score at 10 weeks compared with 63% in the blended learning group. If any of the lost knowledge is important to later skill development, then these results suggest that blended learning may offer a path for improved knowledge retention that could benefit future aviators in subsequent training.

Page 80. Paper presented December 2021 at Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC):

For full study paper, contact Dr. Patrick L. Craven, Ph.D., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Orlando, FL,

Research article from 06-21-2021
Internal medicine residents who used NEJM Knowledge+ see improvements in scores in their In-Training Exam and survey feedback was favorable.
Research article from 09-15-2020
Physicians who used NEJM Knowledge+ had significantly better performance on their ABIM Internal Medicine exams than well-matched controls.
Research article from 06-08-2018
This study anonymously surveyed 4,400 NEJM Knowledge+ users between 2015 and 2017 to determine their level of satisfaction with NEJM Knowledge+ and their board-exam passage rate:
Research article from 11-11-2019
This study examined a large ~160 internal medicine residents training program that previously had poor In-Training Exam results, significantly improved results; the data was collected over 8 years:

NEJM editorial from 04-24-2014

Clinical Chemistry editorial from 12-01-2018
NEJM editorial from 04-18-2019
McGraw-Hill Education Study Shows Significant Improvement in Student Outcomes through Adaptive Technology
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