The effect of adaptive versus static practicing on student learning - evidence from a randomized field experiment

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Schools and governments are increasingly investing in adaptive practice software. To date, the evidence whether adaptivity improves learning outcomes is limited and mixed. A large-scale randomized control trial is conducted in Dutch secondary schools to evaluate the effectiveness of an adaptive practice program relative to a static program. Learning theories predict that adaptive practicing is more effective, but this experimental evaluation provides a more nuanced picture. Relative to the static software environment, students working in the adaptive software environment receive more difficult exercises, practice longer and answer fewer questions correctly. Takeup and usage of the software program is, overall, modest, but varies considerably within and between classrooms. The outcome differences between both environments are more pronounced in classrooms with higher practice intensity. On average, no test score effects are found, but static practicing does improve test scores for higher ability students (0.08σ). Caution is thus warranted when adaptive practice software is implemented to address individual learning needs, as static formative test preparation can be more effective in improving test scores.

LanguageEnglish
Pages175-187
Number of pages13
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Volume58
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

Fingerprint

experiment
learning
evidence
student
classroom
learning theory
secondary school
software
Software
Student learning
Field experiment
ability
evaluation
school
Test scores
Learning outcomes
Preparation
Secondary school
Learning theory
Evaluation

Keywords

  • Adaptive practice software
  • Field experiment
  • Personalized education

Cite this

@article{d128423f1a0a4bdba047310846796d4c,
title = "The effect of adaptive versus static practicing on student learning - evidence from a randomized field experiment",
abstract = "Schools and governments are increasingly investing in adaptive practice software. To date, the evidence whether adaptivity improves learning outcomes is limited and mixed. A large-scale randomized control trial is conducted in Dutch secondary schools to evaluate the effectiveness of an adaptive practice program relative to a static program. Learning theories predict that adaptive practicing is more effective, but this experimental evaluation provides a more nuanced picture. Relative to the static software environment, students working in the adaptive software environment receive more difficult exercises, practice longer and answer fewer questions correctly. Takeup and usage of the software program is, overall, modest, but varies considerably within and between classrooms. The outcome differences between both environments are more pronounced in classrooms with higher practice intensity. On average, no test score effects are found, but static practicing does improve test scores for higher ability students (0.08σ). Caution is thus warranted when adaptive practice software is implemented to address individual learning needs, as static formative test preparation can be more effective in improving test scores.",
keywords = "Adaptive practice software, Field experiment, Personalized education",
author = "{van Klaveren}, Chris and Sebastiaan Vonk and Ilja Cornelisz",
year = "2017",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.04.003",
language = "English",
volume = "58",
pages = "175--187",
journal = "Economics of Education Review",
issn = "0272-7757",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

The effect of adaptive versus static practicing on student learning - evidence from a randomized field experiment. / van Klaveren, Chris; Vonk, Sebastiaan; Cornelisz, Ilja.

In: Economics of Education Review, Vol. 58, 01.06.2017, p. 175-187.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of adaptive versus static practicing on student learning - evidence from a randomized field experiment

AU - van Klaveren,Chris

AU - Vonk,Sebastiaan

AU - Cornelisz,Ilja

PY - 2017/6/1

Y1 - 2017/6/1

N2 - Schools and governments are increasingly investing in adaptive practice software. To date, the evidence whether adaptivity improves learning outcomes is limited and mixed. A large-scale randomized control trial is conducted in Dutch secondary schools to evaluate the effectiveness of an adaptive practice program relative to a static program. Learning theories predict that adaptive practicing is more effective, but this experimental evaluation provides a more nuanced picture. Relative to the static software environment, students working in the adaptive software environment receive more difficult exercises, practice longer and answer fewer questions correctly. Takeup and usage of the software program is, overall, modest, but varies considerably within and between classrooms. The outcome differences between both environments are more pronounced in classrooms with higher practice intensity. On average, no test score effects are found, but static practicing does improve test scores for higher ability students (0.08σ). Caution is thus warranted when adaptive practice software is implemented to address individual learning needs, as static formative test preparation can be more effective in improving test scores.

AB - Schools and governments are increasingly investing in adaptive practice software. To date, the evidence whether adaptivity improves learning outcomes is limited and mixed. A large-scale randomized control trial is conducted in Dutch secondary schools to evaluate the effectiveness of an adaptive practice program relative to a static program. Learning theories predict that adaptive practicing is more effective, but this experimental evaluation provides a more nuanced picture. Relative to the static software environment, students working in the adaptive software environment receive more difficult exercises, practice longer and answer fewer questions correctly. Takeup and usage of the software program is, overall, modest, but varies considerably within and between classrooms. The outcome differences between both environments are more pronounced in classrooms with higher practice intensity. On average, no test score effects are found, but static practicing does improve test scores for higher ability students (0.08σ). Caution is thus warranted when adaptive practice software is implemented to address individual learning needs, as static formative test preparation can be more effective in improving test scores.

KW - Adaptive practice software

KW - Field experiment

KW - Personalized education

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85018635383&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85018635383&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.04.003

DO - 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.04.003

M3 - Article

VL - 58

SP - 175

EP - 187

JO - Economics of Education Review

T2 - Economics of Education Review

JF - Economics of Education Review

SN - 0272-7757

ER -