In July 2016, Colorado State University (CSU) joined seven other land-grant institutions in the Accelerating Adoption of Adaptive Courseware grant sponsored by the Personalized Learning Consortium (PLC) of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). A primary objective of the grant was to scale the adoption of adaptive courseware in general education courses at each of the grant institutions. CSU targeted high-enrollment, general education courses and took a three-pronged, transformative approach to the integration of adaptive courseware. Specifically, CSU divided the courseware integration into three components: 1) strategic implementation of courseware, 2) backward course design, and 3) incorporation of research-based teaching practices. By May 2020, it is projected that over 40,000 students will have taken courses that were developed in this manner.

Faculty participating in the grant completed the Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI) developed by the Wieman Institute. The inventory measures the extent to which instructors use research-based teaching practices (ETP). Faculty use of research-based teaching practices in strategic alignment with active learning and adaptive courseware provided the greatest measure of success. In general, instructors with ETP scores above 24 had higher course success rates than those with lower ETP scores. However, these differences were statistically significant for instructors of STEM courses with ETP scores of 30 and higher. Data indicates that simply adding adaptive courseware is not enough to impact student success. It is the combination of: 1) strategic implementation of courseware, 2) backward course design, and 3) the incorporation of research-based teaching practices that has the most potential to impact student success.


adaptive courseware, research-based teaching, Teaching Practices Inventory, backward design, active learning, learning assistants



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.