U of Phoenix: Losing hundreds of millions of dollars on adaptive-learning LMS bet

Phil Hill, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, Jul 02, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Adaptive learning is one of those ideas that sounds great in theory but is virtually impossible to make effective in practice. People familiar with the early days of video games (and especially the first video-disc games) will understand why - the best games are open-ended environments in which you attempt to achieve goals in increasingly challenging circumstances, rather than closed processes that take you through branches and loops based on specific responses and outcomes. And so the University of Phoenix, which is learning this lesson the hard way. "And after spending years and untold millions on developing its own digital course platform that it said would revolutionize online learning, Mr. Cappelli said the university would drop its proprietary learning systems in favor of commercially available products."

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