Evaluation of an Adaptive Learning Technology in a First-year Extended Curriculum Programme Physics course

Moses Mushe Basitere, Eunice Ndeto Ivala


Personalised, adaptive online learning platforms that form part of web-based proficiency tests play a major role in the improvement of the quality of learning in physics and assist learners in building proficiency, preparing for tests and using their time more effectively. In this study, the effectiveness of an adaptive learning platform, Wiley Plus ORION, was evaluated using proficiency test scores compared to paper-based test scores in a first-year introductory engineering physics course. Learners’ performance activities on the adaptive learning platform as well as their performance on the proficiency tests and their impact on the paper-based midterm averaged test were investigated using both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. A comparison between learners’ performance on the proficiency tests and a paper-based midterm test was done to evaluate whether there was a correlation between their performance on the proficiency tests and the midterm test. Focus group interviews were carried out with three categories of learners to elicit their experiences. Results showed that there was a positive relationship between high-performing learners’ proficiency score in the midterm averaged test and that the proficiency test enhanced learners’ performance in the paper-based midterm averaged test.


adaptive; metacognitive report; online assessment; Productivity reports; Wiley Plus ORION

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18489/sacj.v29i3.476

Copyright (c) 2017 Moses Mushe Basitere, Eunice Ndeto Ivala

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