An Examination of the Effectiveness of Online Adaptive Learning Technologies

Timothy E Jares, William Wilcox, Ryan Cahalan, Gabe Dickey


Business faculty are trying to find new and innovative ways to enhance the learning of their students. The need to develop metacognitive as well as technical skills has grown as the business and accounting professions have become more dynamic. One tool that purports to aid in alleviating deficiencies in metacognition, as well as improving those skills, is an online, adaptive learning technology (OALT). Our study examines the impact that an OALT has on attributes associated with student learning, including students’ perceptions of preparation, engagement, and information retention.

Our findings suggest that an OALT has a nonlinear impact on students’ perceptions, with both higher performing and lower performing peers indicating lower perceived benefits than their peers. Furthermore, for students who do feel that the OALT improved their level of preparation, their perception of engagement in classroom activities and interest in the course topics are similarly improved. These findings should help business faculty better understand the impact that an OALT can have on classroom activities and student learning.

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