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HarvardX Adaptivity Bridge

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About the Project

HarvardX is a University-wide strategic initiative to create open online learning experiences, and to enable groundbreaking research in online pedagogies. Adaptivity Bridge is a part of HarvardX's adaptivity effectiveness experiment.

The Project

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HarvardX Adaptivity Project

The adaptivity evaluation project of HarvardX is an internal research initiative which aim is to measure the effectiveness of eLearning adaptivity.
More on this project on Harvard website
We helped to build "adaptivity bridge" part of the project

The Challenge

Adaptivity Implementation Limitations and Complexities

Realization of learning adaptivity and further effectiveness analysis can be highly time/effort consuming.
For example, implementation of content delivery adaptivity requires a lot of investments:
- instructional designer(s) time to prepare materials for different learning paths, different content preferences etс
- funds that are needed to resolve technical problems:
    - selection and adoption of adaptive engines
    - synchronization of adaptive engines, content and problem sources, learning management system, internal HR/student register systems etc

Raccoon Gang partnered with Harvard to simplify and optimize the process. So following tasks were set.

Simplifying Adaptivity Implementation

  • The task was to create universal interface that gives the ability to use different sources of learning content that can be used for further usage by adaptivity engine.

  • The interface needed to be able to connect to any adaptivity engine that is LTI compatible. That was intended to save a lot of resources compared to current situation where content sources cannot be connected to adaptivity engine without additional effort.

  • Current situation is that additional effort needed to connect LMS with adaptivity engine that is tied to some content source (that is single and editable only with additional effort of third-party, again). The task was to enable the new interface to connect easy-to-change content sources and adaptivity engines

  • As a result we needed to have Adaptivity Bridge - the interface that is able to connect various LMS, content sources and adaptivity engines, change/add any of them in several clicks.

The Solution

Adaptivity Bridge - The New Way to Implement Adaptivity

We've built LTI-compatible "Adaptivity Bridge" - The tool that connects LTI-compatible content sources, adaptivity engines and LMSes

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Content Source Creation

Content sources are easily gathered from existing LTI-compatible courses for further connection with adaptivity engines and LMS

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Connecting Content to Adaptivity Engine

Collections are easily gathered in groups and connected using various options to any LTI-compatible adaptivity engine

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Adding Adaptive Content to LMS

Adaptive content is easily connected to LMS via LTI. We used LTI xBlock to connect adaptive assessments with edX

The Results

HarvardX Adaptivity Experiment Results

Adaptivity Bridge helped optimize adaptivity assessment experiment and bring the project to life. More on this in HarvardX blog posts by Yigal Rosen.

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