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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

Adaptive Teaching: An Effective Approach for Learner-Centered Classrooms


Adaptive Teaching: An Effective Approach for Learner-Centered Classrooms ABSTRACTWith the recent focus on student achievement, teachers are striving to improve the quality oftheir instruction methods to achieve a learner-centered environment in their classrooms. Thedifference in the students’ level of achievement in any specific course is mainly due to thedifference in the students’ aptitude for learning “Learning Style”. Unfortunately, the statictraditional teaching style “Chalk-&-Talk” which is still being used in engineering schools doesnot adapt to the changes in the cognitive profile of the student cohorts which reflects negativelyon the students’ achievement and performance, especially in engineering.In this paper, we discuss our approach on how to achieve adaptive teaching which leads to amore efficient learner-centered environment. Based on the Felder and Silverman index oflearning styles, there are four dimensions for the aptitude for learning which are active/reflectivelearners, sensing/intuitive learners, visual/verbal learners, and sequential/global learners. Thedifferent conglomeration of these dimensions for the students in any cohort form a specificcognitive profile. We used the Felder and Silverman index of learning styles survey to determinethe dominant learning styles within a cohort of students. Knowing the students’ cognitive profilehelped us adapt our teaching styles to achieve an optimal learner-centered classroom. We mainlyfocused on activities that would engage the majority of the students, to help facilitate the learningprocess and consequently, improve the students’ achievement. The effectiveness of this approachwas qualitatively and quantitatively verified by assessing the students’ performance usingtraditional teaching activities and activities tailored towards the students’ learning styles.


© 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation. Article obtained from the American Society for Engineering Education.