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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

Adaptive Learning in Blended, Flipped and Online Environments

Meg Benke (Empire State College, USA)
Dale Johnson (Arizona State University, USA)
Shannon McCarty (Rio Salado University, USA)
Rahim Rajan (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 8:30am
Blended Models & Course Design
Areas of Special Interest: 
None of the above
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Innovation and Experimentation
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Interactive Workshop - 210 minutes
Governor's Square 10
Session Duration: 
210 Minutes
Workshop Session 1 & 2 (combined)

This workshop will explore the application of adaptive learning indifferent learning environments. We will explore the various reasons for considering adaptive technologies, review research, and share practical examples from three different institutions that have been part of a Gates funded grant for personalized learning.


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Extended Abstract

This workshop will explore the application of adaptive learning indifferent learning environments. We will explore the various reasons for considering adaptive technologies, review research, and share practical examples from three different institutions that have been part of a Gates funded grant for personalized learning. Participants will work in small groups to consider possible rationales for adaptive in their own institutions and modes. We will also facilitate considerations of the various approaches to adaptive (open courseware, publishers and private software solutions.) Facilitators will share models of implementation, costs to implement and other resource implications. We will also discuss a recent administrators/faculty survey on challenges for digital courseware adoption and work in groups to consider the implications for participant institutions.

Lead Presenter

Meg Benke, Ph.D., is a professor in Empire State College's School of Graduate Studies, and coordinator of programs in adult learning and emerging technologies. Dr. Benke has had an extensive administrative career at Empire State College, serving as dean of the Center for Distance Learning, vice provost, provost and acting president. In 2013, Dr. Benke was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame http://www.halloffame.outreach.ou.edu/ for her contributions to adult and online learning. Dr. Benke was recognized for the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual, by the Online Learning Consortium in 2007. In Oct. 2010, Benke was honored by the board of directors of the OLC, by being named to its inaugural class of OLC Fellows, for her extraordinary qualifications, significant experience, distinguished service and leadership in the field of online learning. She was named president of the board of directors of the Online Learning Consortium, and continues as past board president. Dr. Benke also serves as a commissioner for the Middle States Association for Higher Education, and participated as a commissioner for the National Commission on Inter-state Regulation of Distance Education. See also serves as a member of New York State's Regents Advisory Council. Dr. Benke presentations and publications focus on adult learning, online learning, prior learning assessment and progressive education. Recent book chapters include in an edited volume, "Leading Change in Distance Education," “Optimizing Student Success,” “Leading Beyond the Institution,” “Visualizing and Actionable Future," and "Game Changers: Education and Information Technology," edited by Diane Oblinger. “SUNY Empire State College: A Game Changer in Open Learning,” Educause Digital Book.


Dale P. Johnson is a program manager with EdPlus @ Arizona State University who has been working in higher ed for over 20 years in a variety of roles. He currently works collaboratively with faculty and instructional designers to develop new general education courses. Dale earned his BS in design at ASU and a Master’s in public policy from Harvard University.


Shannon McCarty serves as Rio’s Dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs. In this role, Dr. McCarty supervises Academic Affairs Departments, specifically, Curriculum, Grants, Institutional Integrity, Institutional Research and Resource Development as well as collaborates with faculty on new initiatives and projects related to Academic Affairs and Instruction. Key College initiatives include serving as a project director for a Next Generations Learning Challenge Grant Wave IIIB as well as the Gates Courseware Challenge partnership with Acrobatiq learning. Dr. McCarty also a predictive analytics initiative titled RioPACE and the College’s Civitas partnership.


Rahim S. Rajan is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working within the Next Generation Models portfolio on the Postsecondary Success strategy (US Programs). Rahim leads investments in high quality instructional technologies such as interactive courseware, e-learning, personalized learning, and MOOCs.

Prior to joining the foundation, Rahim spent the past decade working at the intersection of digital technologies, scholarly communication, and academic research. Upon completing his postsecondary education at the University of Chicago and the University of Cambridge, Rahim spent 18 months working in post-genocide Rwanda - where he was born - assisting his family in the repatriation of assets seized by a previous regime. In 2000, he joined a fledgling NYC based not-for-profit start-up JSTOR, and strengthened their international outreach and business development strategy by leading efforts to reach new audiences of students, faculty, and researchers in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. JSTOR is a leading digital archive of scholarly content and remains one of the largest and most heavily accessed online resources in the globe, serving millions of students and faculty at over 8,000 institutions in over 150 countries around the world.

In 2005, Rahim joined the executive team at Aluka, a not-for-profit digital enterprise created with support from ITHAKA, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Arcadia. Aluka’s mission was to help level the scholarly playing field by helping 100+ cultural and research institutions from around the world (many based in Africa) to build a shared platform of high quality digitized research, data, and scholarly materials about Africa for teaching and learning. At Aluka, Rahim led the development of new online collections, nurtured and developed partnerships with more than 50 leading museums and cultural organizations around the world, and led other grant funded training and adoption initiatives across Africa. In 2008, Aluka was acquired by JSTOR.