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Abstract

This paper presents the results of student reactions to adaptive learning at two universities with considerably different contexts: a large public institution and a for-profit, professional university. A student response protocol developed by and administered at the University of Central Florida (UCF) was also distributed to students at Colorado Technical University (CTU). Demographic comparisons of the two responding sample groups indicated considerable differences in student characteristics, especially with respect to age and work status. However, a factor invariance comparison revealed that students at both universities evaluated the adaptive climate similarly though the lens of learning environment, guidance path and progression. When the factor scores for the institutions were compared, CTU students responded more favorably to the guidance component of adaptive learning while UCF students perceived that the adaptive learning system provided a more effective learning environment. Students who were clustered by whether or not they would reengage with adaptive courses, showed a positive and somewhat more ambivalent group. The authors concluded that adaptive learning with its flexibility and variable time component is a possible solution to the scarcity problem in our educational system, addressing students with too many needs and too few resources. The authors contend that adaptive learning could help to level the educational and economic playing fields in our society.

Keywords

Adaptive Learning, Factor Invariance, Learning Environment, Student Attitudes

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