New national education network to share adaptive learning resources

Twelve educational groups aim to reduce student fail rates by collaborating on adaptive learning tools and sharing resources.
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A root cause of college dropouts is the high failure rate in foundational courses, prompting a new initiative, announced Wednesday, aimed at creating a national network for education groups to collaborate on adaptive learning solutions.

Every Learner Everywhere, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is supported by 12 higher education and digital learning groups, which have collaborated to offer high-quality support to colleges and universities seeking to leverage data-driven algorithms for the personalized learning of its students.

The 12 groups:


“Adaptive learning is an important tool in a toolbox,” Demarée Michelau, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a partner in the initiative, said in a press release.

However, not every college or university has access to adaptive learning software or the means to implement it.

“While most colleges and universities are aware of the benefits that adaptive learning can offer students and instructors, many institutions are unsure of the process for effectively implementing adaptive courseware on their campus,” said Karen Vignare, director of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities and a partner in the initiative.

By forming a network of educational groups, colleges and universities are able to collaborate with each other and benefit from each others’ experience and knowledge of adaptive learning resources.

According to the initiative’s description, the network will provide an array of supportive resources ranging from webinars and implementation guidebooks to technical assistance and extended site visits, so that more students can improve their learning outcomes.


Across all foundational courses, completion rates stand at 63 percent for community colleges and 75 percent for public four-year colleges, according to the announcement. Additionally, these rates are 6 percent lower for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students, putting them at an increased risk to leave school with student debt but no degree.

Barbara Means, executive director at the partner organization Digital Promise, data-driven, adaptive learning is the best way to improve student outcomes.

“Experience tells us that closing equity gaps in course outcomes requires thoughtful use of data on student learning processes and outcomes,” she said.

The group claims that if colleges and universities use the network’s resources and implement adaptive learning tools, retention and graduation levels will rise.

“This project will help provide needed support missing on many campuses and scale an important innovation,” said Adrianna Kezar, a University of Southern California professor.

Betsy Foresman

Written by Betsy Foresman

Betsy Foresman was an education reporter for EdScoop from 2018 through early 2021, where she wrote about the virtues and challenges of innovative technology solutions used in higher education and K-12 spaces. Foresman also covered local government IT for StateScoop, on occasion. Foresman graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018 — go Frogs! — with a BA in journalism and psychology. During her senior year, she worked as an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and moved back to the capital after completing her degree because, like Shrek, she feels most at home in the swamp. Foresman previously worked at Scoop News Group as an editorial fellow.

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