Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Richard Jones

Second Advisor

Jennifer Lesh

Third Advisor

Kathleen Weigel

Abstract

Adaptive learning is an emerging technology in education that teachers use to instruct, reinforce, and assess student performance (Smith, 2016). Adaptive technology is powerful because it gives teachers an opportunity to differentiate based on individual needs (Bilous, 2019). It is efficient, allows students to get instant feedback, and can improve the learning experience for students (Matherson & Windle, 2017). Like many other technologies, it is constantly evolving; this makes it difficult to research and update curriculum because programs are constantly changing (Parsons, 2014).

With these changes, teachers are also required to update how they manage their classroom and how they deliver instruction. Students are no longer expected to “sit and get”, a term used for when teachers lecture to uninterested or disengaged pupils (McLeskey & Waldron, 2002). Lecture-based learning is no longer seen as an effective method for teaching children (McLeskey & Waldron, 2002). Instead, students are given more autonomy and teachers are expected to deliver lessons that are interactive, engaging, and impactful (Matherson & Windle, 2017).

EdTechXGlobal estimated that $252 billion would be spent on education technology by 2020 (EdTechXGlobal, 2016). School leaders believe in investing in technology; however, research suggests that simply investing in software and smart devices is not enough (Zhu, Yu, & Riezebos, 2016). Teachers must also know how to use the tools effectively. Students must buy into the concept of computer-based curriculum. Based on the results of this study, there is plenty of room for growth in this educational technology and adaptive learning.

Prior to this study, there was little empirical research to address adaptive technology, specifically. Without that research, there are simply too many questions that have not been answered about how adaptive technology impacts the classroom. This dissertation sought to provide a current snapshot into adaptive technology, the benefits of using it, and the challenges teachers and students currently face in using it.

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