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Teaching & Learning

Two Texas colleges integrate adaptive courseware into course redesign efforts

News & Updates
January 24, 2022

Today, January 24, 2022, Achieving the Dream (ATD) released the latest two 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 two new case studies focus on the efforts at two Texas colleges: Amarillo College and Houston Community College.

“This series of institutional case studies gives us a deep look at how adaptive courseware can strengthen our colleges’ efforts to ensure important introductory courses are, in fact, gateway and not gatekeeper courses,” noted ATD’s president and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout. “They also demonstrate how important it is to integrate focus initiatives like this into overall efforts to strengthen teaching and learning to achieve more equitable outcomes for all students, particularly first-generation students and those who are economically and racially marginalized.”

The Amarillo College case study, “Integrating Adaptive Tools into Course Redesign,” looks at faculty-led efforts to implement adaptive courseware into redesigns of introductory math, English, and chemistry courses.

“Adaptive courseware allowed us to effectively integrate and elevate technology to flip our classrooms, extend learning well beyond class times, and support students more robustly,” says Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, president of Amarillo College. Faculty-led efforts were supported by the college’s Center for Teaching and Learning, which provided instructional design support and integrated adaptive technology into faculty learning cohorts. Much of Amarillo’s work was centered within corequisite support classes paired with college-level courses as part of broader course redesigns in several disciplines. The college also worked with adaptive publishers to develop new courseware focused on adult learners and GED requirements.

The Houston Community College case study, “Focused Experiments with Adaptive Courseware,” examines faculty-led efforts to implement adaptive courseware in introductory mathematics and economics courses, as well as leverage tutoring programs to provide a model for additional support for both students and faculty.

“Our faculty members are deeply committed to improving student success and providing greater support to our traditionally underrepresented or socioeconomically disadvantaged students to address equity gaps,” says HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E. “Their involvement in evaluating and implementing adaptive courseware reflects efforts at all levels of the institution to use technology to improve teaching and learning.” HCC’s efforts included collaborative efforts to develop course shells and onboarding modules. By integrating faculty-led tutoring, the college provided additional opportunities to both support students and introduce faculty members to adaptive technology. Importantly, faculty reported that courseware implementation led them to take deeper looks at pedagogy and their use of data and other digital learning tools to promote student success.

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