Student, Know Thyself
Unfortunately, when it comes to understanding ones own learning style, "most people get it wrong," says Bonanno.
Before students begin an online course, therefore, they take BUCECs pre-assessment, which determines a students current knowledge and preferred learning styles. (The quiz below is a part of that questionnaire.) After the course begins, BUCECs adaptive technology builds a learning profile based on the students performance. The software paces the content and adjusts the presentation for each individual.
Does this kind of "mass customization" really work? It certainly reduces drop-out rates, says Dr. Nishikant Sonwalkar, founder of Cambridge, Mass.-based iDL Systems, the company that built BUCECs e-learning system. Sonwalkar says the average rate of completion for adaptive learning courses is 90% to 95%, compared with 40% for standard online courses.