Differentiated instruction, the tailoring of educational experiences to meet individual learner needs, is nothing new. Hardworking teachers have always recognized the diverse needs of students and adjusted their instruction to account for them. Through one-on-one coaching sessions, small group activities, individualized course packets, reading assignments, and projects, teachers are addressing a range of student levels, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and goals in their classrooms today.
Differentiated instruction is difficult and time-consuming work, however, and class sizes are increasing all the time, making individualized learning harder to achieve. New adaptive learning technology can assist teachers and augment their efforts by recommending which concepts to focus on with a learner or an entire class and by providing instructors and students themselves with information about their concept level strengths and weaknesses. These advancements allow teachers to make the most of class time, leaving students neither overwhelmed nor bored.