American Public University System (APUS) is one of the largest providers of online higher education worldwide since being founded in 1991. Under the direction of Dr. Karen Srba, VP Academic & Instructional Technology, the school has taken a student-first technology approach to how they retain their students and make them successful in their education journey. Srba and her team have adopted a rigorous adaptive technology platform featuring machine learning to create a student-centered experience.
The platform allows APUS to scaffold the student and their learning. This means that the learning is very personalized, using the evaluation of a student’s performance to assess their strengths and weaknesses. The platform offers students just-in-time learning by triggering them to learn or recall a skill or piece of knowledge to complete the lesson.
“In an online class there's no faculty member saying ‘Hey, you didn't turn in your homework.’ To overcome that, one of the things that we're doing is trying to make the courses more active and engaging.” Dr. Karen Srba, VP Academic & Instructional Technology, APUS
The impetus behind the move to an AI-driven platform was student retention. An online classroom lacks the structure and accountability inherent in a traditional classroom setting. So far students have found the new platform to be more engaging which typically leads to greater student success.
In addition to overcoming declining retention, Srba and her team also had to engage and rally faculty who would ultimately be using the new platform to teach their courses. They started with the most innovative faculty who would champion the technology and demonstrate just how beneficial the platform could be. Overall, the launch of this platform has been a success for both students and faculty. Very few schools have yet to employ this approach in their online learning programs. APUS is definitely a pioneer leading the charge by incorporating AI into everyday learning.
Read the full article at https://www.gigabitmagazine.com/company/american-public-university-system-adaptive-and-immersive-technological-transformation#.
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