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Teaching & Learning

Three Florida colleges integrate adaptive courseware into course redesign efforts

News & Updates
September 27, 2021

On Monday, ATD released three new case studies in our series focused on the work of seven ATD “lighthouse” institutions involved in an Every Learner Everywhere initiative exploring the use of adaptive courseware to provide personalized support to students in particular disciplines. Based on extensive interviews with administrators, faculty, staff, and students, the case studies focus on the unique efforts of each institution and provide insights that leaders at other colleges can use as they consider implementing adaptive courseware at their own colleges. The three new case studies focus on the efforts at three Florida colleges:  Broward College, Indian River State College, and Miami Dade College.

“These case studies provide important insights into how we can leverage technologies to close equity gaps we know still exist in many gateway courses,” noted ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout. “They demonstrate how important intentional course design, integrated student supports, and institutional support for faculty willing to take on new challenges are when implementing new student success initiatives.”

Integrating adaptive courseware for gateway courses

The Broward College case study, “Supporting Greater Integration of Adaptive Courseware in Gateway Courses,” looks at how faculty at Broward College led efforts to more fully implement and integrate adaptive courseware in introductory course design and activities.

“The adoption and integration of adaptive courseware in our course design process enable us to meet students exactly where they are and then to automatically develop an individualized learning plan for that student within that course,” said Broward College Provost Dr. Jeffrey Nasse. Students were supported by tutors in the college’s Academic Success Centers who were familiar with the adaptive courseware and often used it to work with students.

The institution also developed structured supports for faculty including the Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning, which provided professional development and curriculum expertise. Broward College is now moving to integrate this technology into broader efforts to improve gateway instruction.

A powerful tool to improve online teaching and learning

The Indian River State College (IRSC) case study, “Integrating Adaptive Courseware into Broader Efforts to Improve Teaching and Learning,” looks at how the college tapped into existing efforts to improve online instruction and overall engagement and outcomes for students in math, physical sciences, and English. Faculty who led the adaptive courseware implementation in these three disciplines reported potentially significant improvements in engagement and student performance.

“The Every Learner endeavor has been transformative for students and faculty alike,” said Dr. Timothy Moore, IRSC president. “It has provided us with another set of tools and approaches that we can integrate into our efforts to improve teaching and learning at the college.”

To provide additional supports to students, peer tutoring and other supports were coordinated with the use of adaptive courseware, including providing courseware shells and training for tutors. The work also supported broader efforts to address state reforms in developmental education and a shift to a flipped classroom model, providing students with corequisite practice and preparation in advance of in-class instruction and support.

Redesigning a gateway math course

The Miami Dade College (MDC) case study, “Integrating Adaptive Courseware as Part of a Comprehensive Redesign of a Gateway Math Course,” takes an in-depth look at how math faculty at the college integrated adaptive courseware into an intentional redesign of a gateway college algebra course. This effort was part of a broader rethinking of learning objectives, syllabi, daily lecture notes, and homework with the goal of ensuring a focus on core competencies and providing greater consistency and support for students.

“Faculty-led efforts to incorporate adaptive courseware into a redesign of college algebra reflect MDC’s commitment to creating accessible, high-quality teaching and learning experiences for our diverse global community,” said MDC president Madeline Pumariega.

Student work in the courseware was balanced between developing prerequisite skills and completing college-level course objectives and was supported with one-on-one tutoring and a lab course.  Efforts to scale the course redesign were strengthened by support for adjunct faculty members and a platform-neutral approach that simplified adoption across multiple campuses using different learning management systems and courseware.

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