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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Adapting to Personalized Learning in Undergraduate Pathophysiology

Julie Hinkle (UCF, USA)
Session Information
October 16, 2015 - 10:45am
Technology and Emerging Learning Environments
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Oceanic 1
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 10

This session presents lessons learned from redesigning and administering an undergraduate nursing course, Pathophysiology, using an adaptive learning platform.

Extended Abstract

Sometimes referred to as "personalized learning," adaptive learning presents students with an individual learning experience by allowing them to progress on individual learning paths through a course. In fall 2014, the University of Central Florida began a pilot study incorporating adaptive learning technology into online courses using the RealizeIT adaptive courseware platform. The system assesses a student's prior knowledge, constructing and continually refining the appropriate learning pathway based on the students' demonstrated competence in an effort to optimize student learning.

Pathophysiology, a required undergraduate course in the School of Nursing, utilized adaptive learning for a portion of course content in fall 2014, with the full course being converted to the RealizeIT adaptive learning system for spring 2015. This online Pathophysiology course was offered to RN to BSN students. These students have already obtained their RN license with (usually) their ASN degree or less commonly a diploma in nursing. Historically these students have been experienced nurses seeking to increase their education but more recently, a large portion of these students are recent graduates of ASN programs who are seeking to obtain their BSN immediately due to employer preference for BSN nurses.

Meeting the needs of very diverse students online is always challenging. The diversity of practical experience in these students amplifies the problem. Nurses have long valued the concept of "tailoring" our patient education, i.e., adapting or personalizing our teaching to meet our patient's needs. Bringing this idea to the online environment for student education makes sense. The challenge has been how to successfully do this. The RealizeIT adaptive platform has provided tools to personalize the learning experience for these diverse students. This presentation will cover the use of this platform, challenges related to piloting a new platform, practical considerations regarding course content organization and the connectivity among concepts and opportunities for richer student assessment. Preliminary data from our surveys suggest overall student satisfaction and increased engagement with the content.