HUGE Addition to Khan Academy: Adaptive Technology

One of the biggest complaints about The Khan Academy is that learners don’t know which lessons to select.  There are too many choices.  In response, Sal Khan has adopted adaptive learning technologies to solve this pain.  First, a pre-test tool identifies a learner’s current position on a comprehensive knowledge map.  Second, the new learning flow gives users agency to go where they want, but offers personalized suggestions of where they ought to go next to build upon their current level of knowledge.

What Updates are Included in Sal’s New Learning Flow?

  • The new learning flow offers adaptive pre-testing places users at a starting lesson.  (So far, Math is the only knowledge map with adaptive learning capabilities.)
  • Once you have completed a module, the new learning flow will recommend the next lesson you should learn based on the learner’s previous responses.
  • The new learning flow offers automated coaching—mid-problem—for learners who are stuck.
  • There are a bevy of tools for “coaches” who are assisting/supporting learners as they go.  e.g. tracking and feedback tools, among others.
  • The new learning flow utilizes Mastery Challenges to fill out the learner’s knowledge map with darker shades of blue.  Each square represents  a concept in that domain.  The successful completion of one mastery challenge could darken multiple concepts.

Sal released this HUGE update less than 40 days ago.  He wants your feedback.  How would you improve upon this model?


About bryantanner

I'm obsessed with learning via the appropriate technology. My professional mission is to effectively deliver instruction to learners in a way that yields the greatest results for all stakeholders involved.
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2 Responses to HUGE Addition to Khan Academy: Adaptive Technology

  1. Prajakta says:

    What is the adaptive learning platform/tool used by Khan academy? eg knewton etc… Also are they planning use adaptive learning for tech courses going forward? what are their plans?

    • bryantanner says:

      I don’t know the answer to your question, Prajakta. However, all of the adaptive learning platforms I am aware of are proprietary. And yes, I do believe Khan Academy will be continuing to use theirs going forward (with other course materials). The biggest challenge all these groups are facing is generating a question bank. It’s extremely expensive to create by hand.

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