by John Mullin, Enlearn CEO

A recent report in Education Week focused on how the Common Core State Standards are changing instruction in mathematics.

After reading the articles in the report, I came away feeling that this is a perfect example that illustrates the potential power of adaptive learning.

Students are clearly struggling in Math, but the source of the struggle is often language – either specific academic language for math and / or broader general language challenges.

An effective adaptive platform can point out that a student is struggling because he or she is getting a problem or type of problem wrong; but it can also explain why the student is getting it wrong.

So, the effective adaptive platform can tell us if it’s a computational issue, or a language issue.

Unfortunately, current adaptive offerings aren’t teasing this out; instead, they just throw more problems into the mix and, likely, add to the learning frustration, rather than helping the student move through the barriers.

The key here – what we absolutely need to understand – is why.

And if language challenges are contributing factors that are getting in the way of learning, then we need to adapt the content by providing students with resources and / or offering teachers suggestions in real-time that can help remediate the language issues hindering student progress.

In essence, an effective adaptive platform helps you bounce out of math into an ELA or similar resource targeted at the individual student’s language challenge, then get back to the math problem – and you can do all this seamlessly in real-time.

The main take-away here is that learning doesn’t have to occur in subject silos, and content doesn’t have to be adapted within those same silos.

This is an important part of effective adaptivity’s real promise of personalization.