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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the AeLP
AeLP stands for The Adaptive eLearning Platform.
O.K. so what is the Adaptive eLearning Platform?
The Adaptive eLearning Platform (AeLP) is a complete, web based solution for authoring Adaptive Tutorials, deploying them to students or into LMS’s, monitoring student progress, and analyzing student behaviour.
How can I use the AeLP in my school of university?
To see how the AeLP can be used at your educational institution, please contact us for further information.
What is An Adaptive Tutorial
An Adaptive Tutorial is a tutorial that intelligently adapts to student interaction and knowledge level. Adaptive tutorials are based on highly interactive and visually engaging simulations called "Virtual Apparatus". Software Developers/Designers are responsible for creating these simulations, while teachers create the educational and pedagogical aspects of the tutorial. This includes writing questions, specifying adaptive feedback for anticipated student mistakes, and outlining the sequence of questions.
What is Virtual Apparatus?
Virtual Apparatuses (VA) are visually engaging interactive simulations that form the basis on which Adaptive Tutorials are authored, and can be repurposed and reused in different learning contexts. They are different from Learning Objects in the fact that they do not contain the pedagogy or educational content, but rather are simply the equivalent of real world laboratory apparatus. According to Virtual Apparatus Framework, VA’s are the presentational layer of the educational software and are constructed with special Programming Interface that enables teachers to define educational activities that will ask the students to interact with the Virtual Apparatus.
Visit our Virtual Apparatus page to see examples of Visual Apparatus that we have created across a wide range of disciplines.
What is the Virtual Apparatus Framework
Virtual Apparatus Frameworks (VAF) is an educational software development paradigm that draws inspiration from real world laboratory based educational content development. VAF is especially suited for interaction-base learning, so called ’Learning By Doing’. In order to develop educational content in a ’real’ teaching lab the teacher needs to do the following steps:
  1. Conceptual Design - what do we want the students to learn, and how we shall achieve that in the teaching lab?
  2. Technical Design - getting apparatus into the experiment table (apparatus developed by 3rd parties)
  3. Composing Notes - write up of experiment notes that guide the students during their lab session: questions, background info etc
  4. In-class Guidance and Help - during the activity, teachers or demonstrators offer guidance and feedback to student, based on their misconceptions and difficulty
  5. Reflection and Adaptation - based on student’s performance and achievements, teachers may chose to change the activity to better adapt to student’s needs

In VAF, the content development follows similar process, where the teacher and developer roles are clearly separated. Virtual Apparatus are comparable to real apparatus and are developed separately by software developers. Teachers then import the VA into the ’experiment table’ and continue by authoring questions that demands interaction from the students.

Achieving the equivalent of Live Guidance in an Adaptive Tutorial is done by the authoring intelligently adaptive feedback, tailored to learner's misconceptions. This is done using the AeLP's-Author tool.

What exactly is adaptive in Adaptive Tutorials
Many software environments are considered ’Adaptive’ which in itself a very general term. Adaptive Tutorials exhibits 3 levels of adaptation:
  1. Adaptive Feedback - when a student working on an Adaptive Tutorial makes a mistake, the Adaptive eLearning Platforms offers intelligent feedback, specific to the error made, and guides them towards a correct answer. There are two types of feedback that we consider: informative feedback, and stateful feedback.
  2. Adaptive Sequencing - if the students is still struggling with understanding a concept, the AeLP offers just in time instructional scaffolding, adapting the activity sequence to the learner’s needs.
  3. Reflection and Adaptation - teachers are provided with analysis tools that enable reflection and adaptation of their content. By analyzing students' behavior, teachers can refine and adapt their content, to better meet the needs of their students.
What do you mean with Adaptive Feedback? / What type of feedback can the system provide students with?

There are 2 types of feedback we consider as Adaptive Feedback:

  1. Informative Feedback - providing learners with information that may assist them to solve their current problem. This information can be in any web-mediated form - text, images, video, audio, flash and so forth. A typical use-case is when teachers author textual feedback with images to further explain a particular topic. Furthermore, in response to students' mistakes, many teachers refer their students to the lecture notes in the form of a simple web-link, or to any web-page (e.g. - Wikipedia). It is also possible to respond to student action with video. For example - popping a video of the lecturer explaining the topic in the class. All these type of contextual adaptive remediation are informative in nature.
  2. Stateful Feedback - in this form of feedback, the system intervenes with the student's action, and help by taking a step towards the solution. Imaging a student in the lab raising their hands asking for help. The teacher will come to the experiment table, and might offer information, but might also intervene by fixing the apparatus in a step towards the solution. We call this type of feedback "Stateful Feedback" because the system changes the state of the Virtual Apparatus, for the student.
Both types of feedback can be given in an intrinsic manner - i.e. specific to the student's action, or extrinsic - more general in nature, without specific link to student's solution attempt.
So the Adaptive eLearning Platform is an Intelligent Tutoring System?
Yes and no. The AeLP is more of an environment where Intelligent Tutoring Systems can be developed. Adaptive Tutorials do fall under the definition of Intelligent Tutoring Systems, but are different mainly in the way they are constructed.
What kind of Analysis tools are teachers provided with?
Think about a teacher walking in the teaching lab while students are working on their experiments. Students will be asking the teacher different questions, some of which he prepared answers to, some of which he did not. Students will also ask for help with their experiments. When a teacher approaches the students' table, he'll notice the state of their apparatus, and will offer his help. By the end of the lab, the teacher learned a great deal about what misconceptions students have and what problems they face working with the apparatus. By the next week, the teacher will be better prepared, and adept in catering for students' help. If the teacher picks a pattern of mistakes, he might even choose to change some aspect of the lab activity. In this way the teacher Reflects and Adapts the educational activity to his learner's needs.

When developing eLearning content, this entire aspect of teachers' control over their content is lost. This is what the Adaptive Tutorial Analyzer is for. It is a comprehensive set of analysis and reporting tools that exhibits powerful data-mining and data-visualization capabilities. One such tool is the Solution Trace Graph. Using the solution trace graph teachers can gain insight into behavioral patterns their students have whilst working on Adaptive Tutorials. Teachers can then refine and adapt their Adaptive Tutorial, to meet their learners' needs.

Read more about the Solution Trace Graph.
How can Adaptive eLearning help me as a teacher?
The AeLP can help you create highly interactive and engaging content that adapts to your students’ interaction and knowledge levels. With the Adaptive Tutorials you create, you can monitor the progress of your students in real time or offline. Once your students have finished completing a Tutorial, the AeLP provides you with powerful Analysis tools that help you improve and refine your content so that continually adapts to meet the needs of your student.
What role do Developers and Teachers play when developing Adaptive Content?
We have a clear separation of the development tasks between the teacher and the software developer. Teachers have control over the educational aspects of the tutorial, while developers are free to create visually engaging interactive simulations called "Virtual Apparatus". These simulations are the basis on which Adaptive tutorials are authored and can be repurposed and reused in different learning contexts.

Developers should concentrate on creating amazing simulations. The AeLP’s open programming interface makes it easy to integrate software components written in different programming languages, freeing developers to do what they know and love most.
Is the AeLP a Learning Management System (LMS)?
The AeLP is not a Learning Management System. Although the platform does enable you to create and manage content, it is designed to be used alongside existing LMS’s such as WebCT, Moodle or Sakai. Adaptive Tutorials developed using the AeLP can be deployed from any LMS and student results are seamlessly passed between the AeLP and the LMS.
Can I use the AeLP with existing Learning Management Systems?
Yes, the AeLP can be used with any LMS such as Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle or Sakai to name a few.
Is the AeLP SCORM compatible?
Yes. Adaptive Tutorials can be deployed as SCORM Content Packages and Tutorial results are transferred using the SCORM API.
What is the "Adaptive Loop"
The idea is that students need individual feedback in their tutorials, and teachers need feedback on how well or not well their students learn (using the adaptive feedback). The term is loosely related to the concept of a Feedback Loop, and our logo is a bit of a take on that. Thanks, we think it's cool as well.
 
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