Adaptive Learning: Emerging Technologies in Teaching and Training

In exploring topics for an EdTech assignment to examine an emerging or future technology and its potential applications in teaching and training, Group 2 selected a technology that has evolved from the dream of a 1950s psychologist into a leading contender for the most important ‘disruptor’ in education of the future. Adaptive Learning – an educational method that uses computers and hand held devices to orchestrate resources according to the unique needs of each learner – is explored, demonstrated, and analyzed in the following presentation by examining its origins, evolution, current landscape, and future trends.

A number of technologies were utilized to discuss, conceive, build and present the presentation, which served to deepen the learning experience of the participants.


Atkinson, S.P. (2015). Adaptive Learning and Learning Analytics: a new learning design paradigm. Retrieved from—a-new-learning-design-paradigm.pdf

Arnett, T. (2014). Why disruptive innovation matters to education. Christensen Institute. Retrieved from

Arroway, P. (2016). Learning Analytics in Higher Education. EDUCAUSE Library. Retrieved from

Bates, T. (2015). EDUCAUSE looks beyond the (current) LMS environment: is it a future we want?. Retrieved from

Bates, T. (2014). Learning theories and online learning. Retrieved from

Bates, A.W.(T.) (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age. Retrieved from

Beresini, E. (2016, February 1). How Apps Are Replacing Coaches With Personalized Training Plans. Outside Magazine. Retrieved from

EdSurge (2016). What’s Happening Inside the Adaptive Learning Black Box? Retrieved from

EdSurge Inc. (2016). Decoding Adaptive. Pearson. Retrieved from

EduTech Update (2015). Adaptive Learning Technology. Retrieved from

Fenn, Holland, Jackson, Johnson. (2014). Adaptive Learning: A Distinctive Innovation in Higher Education. Emaze. Retrieved from

Ferguson, R., Brasher, A., Clow, D., Griffiths, D. & Drachsler, H. (2016). Learning Analytics: Visions of the Future. Retrieved from

Haythornthwaite, C., Andrews, R., Fransman, J. & Meyers, E.M. (2016). The Sage Handbook of E-learning Research, 2e

New Media Consortium (NMC). (2017) NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition. Retrieved from

Hudson, T. (2012).  “Adaptive” Learning Technologies: Pedagogy Should Drive Platform, EdTech Digest. Retrieved from

Kara, N., & Sevim, N. (2013). Adaptive learning systems: Beyond teaching machines. Contemporary Educational Technology 4(2), 108-120.

Min, W., Ha E.Y., Rowe, J., Mott, B., & Lester, J. (2014). Deep Learning-Based Goal Recognition in Open-Ended Digital Games. Retrieved from

Moskal, P., Carter, D., & Johnson, D. (2017). 7 Things You Should Know About Adaptive Learning. Retrieved from

Murray, M.C. & Perez, J. (2015). Informing and Performing: A Study Comparing Adaptive Learning to Traditional Learning. Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline. Vol. 18, p111-125.

Posner, Z. (2017). What is Adaptive Learning Anyway? McGraw Hill Education. Retrieved from

Tyton Partners (2013). Learning to adapt: A case for accelerating adaptive learning in higher education. Retrieved from


Case Study: Technologies used for our Collaborative Group Project

Technologies Used

Our group used the following technologies to conceive, build and present our project:

  • Brightspace (D2L)
  • Doodle
  • Trello
  • Google Drive
  • Skype
  • Email
  • Twitter
  • mysimpleshow
  • PowerPoint
  • YouTube
  • WordPress

Brightspace (D2L)

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Group discussion in Brightspace.

Brightspace (D2L) is UofM’s enterprise LMS which hosts our online course. We used a discussion forum created by the course instructor to:

  • Initiate the group project
  • Facilitate asynchronous group discussions and communication
  • Send email via UM accounts

Communication and discussion within Brightspace was replaced by Trello due to some of Brightspace’s limitations:

  • Requires login authentication
  • Push notifications limited to in-system and email
  • Access via web browser with no app support
  • Limited mobile support and a non responsive design


Using a Doodle poll to pick our top three options for presentation topic.

Doodle was used to:

  • Select our team (set up by our course instructor)
  • Schedule our first meeting
  • Poll our group for a presentation topic from the nine options that were posed


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Managing the project in Trello.

Trello offers a shared, overall perspective for managing projects using the Kanban paradigm allowing for the sharing of content on boards using lists composed of cards organized in user defined categories. Trello is accessible online via a web browser and provides native apps for iOS and Android mobile devices and syncs across all of a user’s devices.

Trello was used for managing the project to track:

  • Assign and track tasks: To Do, Doing, Done
  • Schedule Meetings
  • Host discussions
  • Post our email addresses

Trello sends out email notifications to recipients when they are mentioned on a Trello card with the option to respond via email.

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Email notification from Trello.

Google Drive

Google Drive is accessible via web browser and mobile app. Google Drive was used to:

  • Build and review the presentation outline
  • Post, manage, track, review and edit text documents (outlines, content, scripts, references)
  • Post and track slide decks for versioning control, review and editing
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Document tracking, review and editing in Google Drive.
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Slide deck tracking and review in Google Drive.



Skype was used to host synchronous group meetings. We initially used Google Hangouts but we experienced issues with audio feedback. Skype is accessible via web browser and mobile apps.

Skype was used for:

  • Idea sharing and project conceptualization
  • Discussions and feedback
  • Providing updates on the status of the project


Twitter’s Direct Messaging (DM) was used for additional communication between individual group members since it pushes notifications to mobile devices.

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Side chats using Twitter DM.


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Default images in mysimpleshow: Platforms!? Not at all what I was expecting.

We initially chose Moovly to create animated shorts, but the free Moovly account has a two minute restriction on length of video. mysimpleshow has a ten minute restriction and proved to be easier to for group members to use. However, we encountered two issues with mysimpleshow:

  • mysimpleshow moved from a free model to a subscription model mid project. The new free model removed the option to download videos directly, limiting us to sharing videos on YouTube or via social media. Online YouTube download services could be used to download videos from YouTube in MP4 format.
  • The narrator read period (.) as “dot”
  • The free version has a limited number of image options and only one narrative voice


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The final build of our presentation in PowerPoint.

We built our slide deck in PowerPoint with the slide deck exported as MP4 video.

We ran into a few issues. Neither PowerPoint 2016 on the Mac and on Office 365 offer export to video. An online converter was used, but it stripped out the audio channel. PowerPoint Office 365 allows for sharing embedded presentations using iframes. Unfortunately, doesn’t support iframe tags due to security issues. PowerPoint on Window’s was used to export to MP4 video.


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Our presentation posted to YouTube. does not support direct video embedding, so the MP4 video was uploaded to a YouTube channel and the URL copied directly to WordPress. This also allows us to share the video on both YouTube and WordPress.


Editing this blog post with WordPress app on an iPhone.

This site is hosted on and built in both web browser and WordPress mobile app. (I literally typed this while at Starbuck’s.)

Assignment 6 Assessment

This is the assessment document and rubric for Assignment 6 for our online class: EDTC 0560: Using Technology for Teaching and Training.

Assignment 6 Assessment: Group Presentation on Future Trends in Educational Technology

Type: YouTube video or Podcast


Students will work in groups of 3-4 to prepare a 10 minute YouTube video or Podcast demonstrating an emerging / future educational technology trend, and providing an appropriate critical analysis. The purpose of this assignment is to examine emerging or future technologies and their potential applications in teaching and training. This assignment will also provide students with the opportunity to use digital video production and online broadcasting tools as a means of sharing teaching and training resources and expertise. The Crystal Ball eBadge is available for members of the group that submits the most forward-thinking and best-produced presentation (and will be awarded based on anonymous voting by EDTC 0560 students).

How to Proceed

  • Join a small group of students (3-4).
  • Select an emerging or future educational technology trend.
  • Work with your group to prepare a YouTube video or podcast that provides:
    • A demonstration of the tool or technology trend.
    • A critical analysis of the tool or trend, and its potential applications in a teaching and training context.
  • Share your video in an open format using an online video hosting service (such as YouTube).
  • Add your video (embed it) to your ePortfolio.
  • Post a link to your video in the Module 6 discussion forum (only one post is required per group).
  • Your completed video presentation should be posted to your ePortfolio and the Module 6 discussion forum no later than 11:59 pm Central Time on the last day of Unit 11.

Assessment Rubric

Max Value

Emerging or Future “trend” selection


Demonstration of the tool or technology trend


Critical Analysis of the tool or trend


Use of online tools or apps to create and share presentation


Shared in an Open Access format


Overall quality of presentation (viewability)


Appropriate length of presentation


Presentation added (embedded) to ePortfolio