Learner-Adaptive Educational Technology for Simulation in Healthcare: Foundations and Opportunities
Despite evidence that learners vary greatly in their learning needs, practical constraints tend to favor “one-size-fits-all” educational approaches, in simulation-based education as elsewhere. Adaptive educational technologies - devices and/or software applications that capture and analyze relevant data about learners to select and present individually tailored learning stimuli - are a promising aid in learners' and educators' efforts to provide learning experiences that meet individual needs. In this article, we summarize and build upon the 2017 Society for Simulation in Healthcare Research Summit panel discussion on adaptive learning. First, we consider the role of adaptivity in learning broadly. We then outline the basic functions that adaptive learning technologies must implement and the unique affordances and challenges of technology-based approaches for those functions, sharing an illustrative example from healthcare simulation. Finally, we consider future directions for accelerating research, development, and deployment of effective adaptive educational technology and techniques in healthcare simulation.