Open systems

Schools typically have a number of courses that fall outside the range of these “centrally controlled content” programs. For example, what is the teacher of a subject based on local Geography to do? There are many courses that are “personalized” to a particular school or district that will fall outside the range of products provided by the large developers.

The answer is to use an adaptive learning engine that integrates with their Online Learning Environment, such as LeaP from Desire2Learn. This engine will use their current resources and build personalized pathways for students. Data from quizzes, etc. will feed into the Gradebook and intelligent analytics of the central Online Learning Environment. These integrated systems will do the “heavy lifting” in the background so that the teacher can focus what is important – the student and his/her learning.


While these adaptive learning engines are still being fine-tuned, their impact will be dramatic. Just as gaming engines revolutionized the computer game industry, adaptive learning engines will revolutionize education. It will enter a new phase…a phase where individualized learning is much more easily attained by organizations of any size and where teachers can focus even more on the core of their profession.

Peter West is Director of eLearning at Saint Stephen’s College in Australia. He has over 15 years’ experience leading K12 schools in technology enhanced education, particularly blended learning using online learning environments. He can be contacted at