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Adaptive Courseware

Progress Reports

Each participating institution is required to report on its implementation progress in a formal report two times each year.  These reports, plus regular check-ins with grant Program Managers, site visits by PLC staff, and other meetings, provide a lens into the challenges and best practices from across the eight grantee institutions as their adaptive courseware implementations advance.
This page will be updated regularly to provide a snapshot of the status of implementation at each participating institution as well as a summary of aggregate takeaways from the grant program to-date. 
Summary Takeaways
During the Spring 2019 term, PLC staff visited 4 campuses for meetings with faculty, department and institutional leadership, students and program managers to better understand the progress and challenges of each institution.  As of Spring 2019, five of the eight universities have reached scale (defined as at least 15% of annual general education enrollments). Of the remaining three institutions, 15% is within reach before the end of the (now extended) grant term. For those already at scale, a stretch goal of 20% of gen ed enrollments is attainable during that period.. Based on enrollments to date, we expect that the institutions will reach over 100,000 enrollments by the end of the grant period, exceeding the 85,000 enrollment goal.
Important takeways from the adaptive courseware implementations to date include:

  • Consistent and strong program management is instrumental in effecting a smooth adaptive courseware implementation. During the first year of the grant (July 2016 - June 2017) many Program Managers invested a significant amount of time with faculty and department chairs at their institutions answering the questions “what is adaptive courseware?” and “where’s the research that proves it works?” to help build awareness of adaptive courseware on campus before planning and implementation work could begin.  At institutions where adaptive courseware is more familiar, the Program Manager focus shifted toward analyses and evaluation of implementations and connecting the adaptive courseware initiatives to other student success initiatives at institutions.
  • Direct engagement of senior academic affairs and departmental leaders is critical to scaling adaptive courseware use at a large public university.  These leaders have the authority and credibility needed to engage and sustain faculty and department chair participation in implementations.
  • Community support and collaboration are essential to faculty success as they commit to adaptive courseware use and begin using a new product.  The community can be within an institution or across institutions, and interactions may be substantive (teaming to co-develop instructional materials and review products) or relational (sharing aspirations and experiences).  In the grant program, discipline-specific communities are being hosted and facilitated in an online forum. Participants also seek advice from colleagues at institutions that they consider “aspirational peers,” which may be further along in their implementations of adaptive or digital learning.
  • The challenges that administrators, faculty and support staff experienced with past teaching and learning technology implementations have created a perception hurdle that adaptive courseware must overcome.  For example, with traditional tools, faculty lack the necessary data to course correct in their teaching in the classroom and intervene to assist struggling students. Adaptive courseware provides this data and requires the proper encouragement and training to act on this data, but institutional stakeholders do not always understand how adaptive courseware is different initially. Awareness building of adaptive courseware, how it is different from other solutions and how it can be effective in the classroom with practice change is essential to expanding adoption.
  • Faculty and staff turnover can be a barrier to the sustainability of an implementation. Program managers have found some best practices to ward against the negative effects of turnover, including the use of a vourse coordinator to help maintain instructional consistency or asking active courseware users to write how-to manuals for new faculty.
  • Faculty incentives can be helpful in resolving some of the issues listed above including encouraging faculty to try courseware products out or to use the data dashboards. These incentives range broadly and can be as simple as offering priority for scheduling and classroom selection.

University Progress Reports

Arizona State University Update, Spring 2019
Colorado State University Update, Spring 2019
Georgia State University Update, Spring 2019
Northern Arizona University Update, Spring 2019
Oregon State University Update, Spring 2019
Portland State University Update, Spring 2019
University of Louisville Update, Spring 2019
University of Mississippi Update, Spring 2019