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As part of the school’s “phygital” transformation plan, ESCP Business School started collaborating with EdTech start-up Domoscio to implement an adaptive learning approach.

In 2019, ESCP Business School launched its phygital transformation plan, called “So'SCHOOL” and made up of some forty projects. All of them aim to transform students’ learning experience by offering new, bold and innovative digital services. A number of these projects are currently driven by ESCP's digital & learning innovation team in a structure dedicated to experimentation: the Phygital Factory. It is within this framework that Domoscio and ESCP have launched a partnership for adaptive learning. “As every teacher knows, no student is alike. Each of them has his/her own characteristics, peculiarities, abilities and weaknesses, and broad-based learning approaches could be ineffective to embrace this complexity over the long term. Adaptive learning is an educational system based on technology and data analysis, allowing teachers to track each students' performance and adjust methods/programs to their needs”, commented newly-appointed Associate Dean of Learning Innovation, professor José Ramón Cobo, who is moving forward in rethinking student pathways and experiences with the school's Chief Digital Officer, Anthony Hié.

An enhanced and individualized student experience, even for distance learning
According to the latter, “adaptive learning consists in using the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & big data to create the best possible online learning experience for students.” With blended (physical & digital) and modular teaching activities, the challenge is to provide students with a tailor-made experience throughout their time at the school. Thanks to Domoscio’s adaptive learning solution, the students’ learning data is processed using AI to determine their profile and pedagogical needs (known as learning analytics), and to build the most relevant learning path for them.
Two elements are essential for this:
1.         The implementation of a continuous assessment strategy: among the types of data used by adaptive learning, assessment data is essential to measure students’ progress towards their learning objectives and estimate the skills gap. This data comes from positioning tests, online quizzes, grades, project-based learning assessments...
2.        The implementation of a recommendation engine: once the students’ levels have been positioned in relation to their learning objectives, adaptive learning can provide recommendations of pedagogical activities suited to their needs, and build a logical, optimal and blended path.

The interest of adaptive learning also lies in implementing a predictive approach: by grouping students in homogeneous groups, measuring and comparing their progress as well as matching specific content with defined profiles.

Implications for business and management education
Nowadays, students have a diverse educational and knowledge background when attending a class. It comes naturally to think that progression in higher education institutions should not only consider students' age and time spent in class, but should be more focused on proficiency. In addition to giving students the right amount of time to maximize their efficiency and engagement, there are other significant implications in putting adaptive learning into practice. Think about how useful it would be for teachers to get real-time analytics about their class' performance, emerging struggles and successful exercises. Thanks to automated data analysis, they could promptly intervene on critical issues and adjust their methods to solve them.
Here are some of ESCP’s opportunities with adaptive learning: Identify competency gaps; custom-design training by providing focused attention to every individual student; adjust to different learning styles; update when information changes.

A first pilot for executive education
Initiated in June 2020, the collaboration between ESCP and Domoscio first led to an audit of the existing tools, data and content in the ESCP course catalogue. ESCP Business School then decided to implement a pilot project starting in the spring of 2021 for executive education programs. As part of the pilot, the Domoscio Hub portal will be integrated into the learning system and will allow to index a set of learning materials hosted on the different platforms used: Blackboard, FUN or Coursera, for example.
The system implemented for this pilot will allow ESCP and Domoscio to validate the learning experience, involve teachers in these new methods and confirm adaptive learning’s impact. First results are expected in the summer of 2021.