Acrobatiq is born out of Carnegie Mellon University’s long history of excellence in cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and software engineering. We are privileged to build upon the success of CMU’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI), a pioneer in online learning, and the broader CMU community of researchers, educators, and scientists.  OLI’s work in the science of learning and proven results have laid the foundation for our work.

At Acrobatiq, with the backing of Carnegie Mellon, we will continue to focus on evidence-based course design and strong collaborations with university researchers – which we believe are fundamental to developing learner-centric products and services that are aligned with the needs of higher education. (Information drawn from the Acrobatiq About Us Webpage.)

To learn more about Acrobatiq, please visit their website and view the recorded demo.

Brightspace LeaP is an adaptive learning engine that personalizes the learning experience by providing the right content and the right questions at the right time. By checking what learners already know and automatically recommending new content to fill knowledge gaps, Brightspace LeaP creates individualized learning paths to help each learner succeed in their own way. (Information provided by Brightspace LeaP.)

For more information, please visit the LeaP website and view the recorded demo.

We’ve invited Dale Johnson, Adaptive Program Manager at Arizona State University to offer a three-hour workshop on Adaptive and Personalized Learning at Oregon State on June 2nd at 8:30am in the Journey Room of the Memorial Union.

Dale will reprise a workshop session he developed for this year’s Educause Learning Initiative (ELI.) We asked Dale to bring the workshop to Oregon State specifically for our faculty and staff.

This interactive presentation will explore challenges and opportunities to consider when evaluating and implementing adaptive learning systems. He will outline the issues and share practical examples from the implementation experience with flipped classes at ASU. OSU participants will evaluate possible opportunities to use adaptive learning systems at Oregon State. Dale will share models of implementation, implementation costs, and other resource implications.

Learning Objectives for the APL workshop:

  • Understand adaptive systems & terminology
  • Identify challenges and opportunities with adaptive learning systems
  • Analyze the costs and benefits of adaptive learning systems
  • Create a plan for implementing and evaluating an adaptive learning system in our organization

About Dale Johnson

Dale Johnson, Adaptive Program Manager, enjoys constantly innovating as he works with faculty and vendors to develop new courses and educational technologies. Dale studied architecture at ASU and public policy at Harvard, a learning path that combined his interests in design, engineering, art and history. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and building: he’s traveled to over 30 countries, lived in Barcelona for a year, and built his own solar home in Phoenix.

Registration for this event is full. To be added to the wait list, please email Kaylyn Hymes. You will be notified if more spaces become available.

Adaptive and Personalized Learning Workshop
June 2nd at 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
MU Journey Room

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Adaptive Learning Luncheon Panel Discussion

The two-day Adaptive Learning Open House on May 9 and 10 will conclude with a luncheon panel discussion on Tuesday, from noon-1:45 in the MU Horizon Room. Please register to ensure a lunch will be available for you.

The panel will feature Phil Hill, co-publisher of the e-Literate blog, co-producer of e-Literate TV, and Partner in Mindwires Consulting, as well as Dr. Kathy Becker-Blease from OSU’s School of Psychological Sciences.

About Phil Hill

Phil is Co-Publisher of the e-Literate blog, Co-Producer of e-Literate TV, and Partner at MindWires Consulting. As a market analyst, Phil has analyzed the growth of technology-enabled change for educational institutions, uncovering and describing the major trends and implications for the broader market. His unique graphics and visual presentations have been widely used in the industry. As an independent consultant, Phil helps educational institutions, technology and content vendors, and policy makers as they consider and implement new initiatives.

Phil’s collegiate clients have included Western Governors University, California Community College System, Iowa State University, Bournemouth University, Pearson Education, Coursera, and others. His corporate clients have included Pearson, Lumen Learning, Authess, Acrobatiq, Coursera, and Cisco.
Previously Phil was an independent consultant through HBO Systems and Delta Initiative. In addition to e-Literate, Phil has also written for EDUCAUSE Review, Inside Higher Ed, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, and the LA Times. He has been interviewed and quoted at National Public Radio, Inside Higher Ed, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Buzzfeed Education, the New York Times, and Washington Business Journal.

Read Phil’s Educause article, co-written with Michael Feldstien, Personalized Learning: What it Reall Is and Why It Really Matters.

About Kathy Becker-Blease

Kathy Becker-Blease is an assistant professor in the School of Psychological Science at OSU.  Dr. Becker-Blease developed and evaluated a hybrid version of Introductory Psychology using an adaptive learning tool, and regularly teaches traditional Introductory Psychology sections with the same adaptive learning tool. Along with the graduate and undergraduate members of her research lab, she has conducted research on rural student success, scientific literacy for health information, a low-cost mindset intervention for large classes, and an analysis of how students use adaptive quizzing in Introductory Psychology (Becker-Blease & Bostwick, 2016). She is Co-PI of a multi-site, NSF-funded study of ways to improve scientific literacy in Introductory Psychology classes, and an OSU Ecampus Research Fellow working on a similar version for Ecampus sections.

About the Luncheon

The luncheon panel discussion will conclude two days of exploration and discovery about adaptive and personalized learning platforms. The discussion will be moderated by Lois Brooks, Vice Provost for Information Services and Chief Information Officer, Dave King, Associate Provost, Outreach and Engagement, and Susana Rivera-Mills, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. Please register and attend. Your feedback is needed as we consider these questions:

  • To what extent do adaptive learning platforms improve student success?
  • Can adaptive learning platforms help instructors spend less time on rote teaching tasks and more time on higher-impact interactions with students?
  • Do we want to use this kind of teaching and learning technology at OSU, and if so, what is the best way to proceed?

View the detailed schedule of the two-day Adaptive Learning Open House.

APL GraphicOverview

Please join us for the Adaptive Learning Open House on May 9 and 10 in the Memorial Union Horizon Room. Join colleagues to learn more about adaptive and personalized learning tools and to explore the possibilities for teaching and learning at OSU. Register today

Note that in-person attendance is strongly recommended. For those working remotely, the event will be live-streamed and recorded.

Schedule for Monday, May 9

8:25 am — Kickoff and welcome message to providers 

OSU leadership will welcome the adaptive learning providers who are joining us for this event.

8:30 am-10:30 am — Adaptive Learning Provider Fair

Similar to a conference vendor area, the OSU community is invited to visit individual adaptive and personalized learning providers at tables to engage in one-on-one conversations, see the adaptive learning platforms close-up, pick up business cards and literature, and ask questions.

10:30 am-11:00 am — Short break to prepare the room for individual demos 

11:00 am – 4:15 pm Individual 30 Minute Provider Demos 

  • 11:00 am — Brightspace D2L  
  • 11:45 am-12:15 pm — FlatWorld

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm Break 

  • 1:00 pm — Acrobatiq
  • 1:45 pm — Cerego
  • 2:30 pm — Cogbooks
  • 3:15 pm — McGraw Hill Learnsmart
  • 3:45 pm — McGraw Hill ALEKS

Schedule for Tuesday, May 10 

8:10 am — Day 2 Kickoff and welcome 

8:15 am – 11:45 am Individual 30 Minute Provider Demos 

  • 8:15 am– Macmillan Learning Curve
  • 9:00 am– Pearson MyLabs, Mastering, and Revel
  • 9:45 am — LoudCloud
  • 10:30 am — Lumen Learning
  • 11:15 am — SmartSparrow

Noon – 1:45 pm Luncheon and Panel Discussion

Please join us for a luncheon panel discussion. (Virtual attendance is also possible; the luncheon discussion will be streamed and comments/questions from virtual attendees will be facilitated.) Participating in the panel will be the following:

  • Lois Brooks, Vice Provost for Information Services and Chief Information Officer
  • Dave King, Associate Provost of Outreach and Engagement
  • Susana Rivera-Mills, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies
  • Kathy Becker-Blease, Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Phil Hill, Co-Publisher of the e-Literate blog, Co-Producer of e-Literate TV, and Partner at MindWires Consulting

Register today and be part of the conversation. We look forward to this exploration and discussion!

If you have ever taught a class and found that students are coming into the course with very different skill sets or gaps in their understanding, then you might want to explore Adaptive and Personalized Learning platforms (APLs).

Adaptive and Personalized Learning platforms attempt to address this issue by providing customized learning opportunities to students.  APLs can be both adaptive and personalized. The terms adaptive and personalized are often used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences.

“Adaptive Learning: The application of technological tools that provide students with a customized experience based on their progress and previous accomplishments with the materials, practice activities, and assessments. Students are presented with more, or less, challenging items as they interact with the materials and respond to questions.

Personalized Learning:  Similar to the term adaptive learning, personalized learning has been broadly used to describe a flexible approach to educational activities that can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students. This term is also used to describe learning environments that allow students to create their own paths to achieving learning outcomes. This can include choosing from among multiple types of interactions, activities, modes of delivery (e.g., online, blended, in person; video, audio, text), and even assignments.”

Source: Pendergast, A. (2015, April 13). This is how we do it: Defining personalized, adaptive learning. Acrobatiq. Retrieved from

Most APLs provide instructors and students access to analytical data so that both can see where students are making progress and identify areas where they are not. The data can help the instructor identify areas that are confusing to the student or where the student needs extra reinforcement on an individual rather than a class level.

One way APLs are being used in the classroom is to help students catch up in areas where they are behind or don’t have the basic knowledge needed to succeed in the course. For example, a student coming into a biology course may not have all the science background they need, or maybe you have a returning student who hasn’t taken a math class in while. An APL is designed assess where the student’s gaps are and creates a learning plan that help fill in those gaps without the student having to repeat information they already know.

APLs are also being used as a way to enhance teaching of the course content itself. Instructors create scaffolded learning sequences that assess where the student does or does not understand the material and the instructor can then design lessons that help the student understand the more troublesome topics.

APL platforms are designed to customize your course content to each student’s learning. APLs are one tool to potentially help instructors “flip” their classroom; that is, students review the content at home and work through the adaptive or personalized learning, which helps them pinpoint areas they have trouble understanding. The instructor can then use the analytics to determine what needs to be addressed in the class lecture time.

You can learn more about APLs at the OSU Adaptive Learning Open House on May 9 & 10. More information about the event is available on this blog.

Here are a few sources to help familiarize you with APLs:

Culatta, R. (2016, March 21). What are you talking about?! The need for common language around personalized learning. Educause Review. Retrieved from

Feldstein, M. (2016, March 16). Personalized learning vs. adaptive learning. [blog post]. E-Literate. Retrieved from

Feldstein, M. & Hill, P. (2016, March 7). Personalized Learning: What is really is and why it matters. Educause Review. Retrieved online at

Personalized learning. EDUCAUSE library. Retrieved from

And some videos…..

Bass, R., Wilson, T., Crow, M. M., Alexander, B., Wiley, D., McCarty, S, & Denley, T.  (2016, March 7). How do you define personalized learning [Video file]? Educause.

Hellinger, M. (2012, December 2017). The 5 essentials for personalized learning [Video file]. Retrieved from

LearnLaunch. (2013, February 15). The future of adaptive learning [Video file]. Retrieved from

Prince, K., (2104, November 26).  A vision for radically personalized learning [Video file]. TEDxColumbus. Retrieved from


official-icons-45_0011_OSU-OrangeAdaptive Learning Open House

Save the date! Mark your calendars for the upcoming Adaptive Learning Open House, May 9 and 10, in the MU Horizon Room.

Leading providers of adaptive and personalized learning platforms have been invited to campus for an Adaptive Learning Open House on May 9 and 10 in the MU Horizon Room. The detailed schedule is being finalized, but please mark your calendars to save these dates. You’ll have opportunities to see provider demos, talk one-on-one with providers, and attend a luncheon and panel discussion about what the future might hold for adaptive learning at OSU.

What is Adaptive and Personalized Learning?

Basically, adaptive learning providers offer tools that develop personalized learning paths intended to help students learn and master course material. Those pathways are determined based on how students interact with digital courseware and adjust to student needs as they work through the content. Some platforms come with content-rich courseware, others come with starter content and the capability to add more, and others are platform-only, allowing instructors to create personalized learning paths entirely with their own course materials.  Educause’s 7 Things You Should Know about Personalized Learning is a helpful introductory resource.

What is the purpose of the Adaptive Learning Open House at OSU?

In short, to learn more about adaptive and personalized learning tools and to explore the possibilities for teaching and learning at OSU. Your feedback is needed as we consider these questions:

  • To what extent do adaptive learning platforms improve student success?
  • Can adaptive learning platforms help instructors spend less time on rote teaching tasks and more time on higher-impact interactions with students?
  • Do we want to use this kind of teaching and learning technology at OSU, and if so, what is the best way to proceed?

A more detailed schedule will be distributed in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more details to come. Questions? Email


Lois Brooks, Vice Provost for Information Services and Chief Information Officer

Dave King, Associate Provost, Outreach and Engagement

Susana Rivera-Mills, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies


Exploring Adaptive and Personalized Learning Options for OSU

In February 2016, the IS Instructional Governance Committee convened a task force to establish a series of adaptive and personalized learning platform demonstrations on campus during spring term, 2016. Building on the momentum of a successful migration to Canvas and efforts to establish a new learning ecosystem called Learn@OregonState, the intent is to provide faculty with an opportunity to explore and review adaptive learning options. For an introduction, check out ELI’s 7 Things You Should Know About Personalized Learning.

We are interested in learning more about how an adaptive and personalized learning platform or platforms may help us accomplish the following, among other goals:

  • Improve student success by helping us target and address known gaps in student knowledge and skills, such as in high DFW courses, or in programs that draw students with varying degrees of preparedness 
  • Improve success of international students
  • Improve our ability to track how all students are meeting learning outcomes for the continual improvement of our course design, and to support student success overall
  • Access data that provides insights into the cognitive dimensions of learning and student behavior to inform student success efforts
  • Enable greater flexibility to create more personalized pathways for a variety of learners

The task force is in the process of identifying and inviting providers to come to campus and planning the logistics of the event, scheduled for May 9 and 10. If you have questions, please contact Shannon Riggs at

Task Force Members

Shannon Riggs, Robin Pappas, Courtney Everson, Alex Aljets, Chrysanthemum Hayes, Erica Curry, Victor Yee, Stefanie Buck, Mike Bailey, and Sara Thompson

IT Instructional Governance Committee

Dave King, Lois Brooks, David Barber, Robin Pappas, John Greydanus, Susie Brubaker-Cole, Cheryl Middleton, Susana Rivera-Mills, Bill Loges, Rebecca Mathern, and Faye Chadwell