Craig Shotland, Global CEO, Matific

Since, immigrating from South Africa straight into the HSC in 1997 and completing a Bachelor of Information Technology scholarship at UTS, Craig has had a career focused on leading companies that leverage technology to solve problems. Craig has now found the most important problem to solve – the global education of primary school students in Mathematics. He has founded and ran the largest e commerce agency in Australia.


Establishing adaptive and personalised learning is becoming the new modus-operandi as it sets the contemporary education culture with more productivity. Adaptive learning emphasises on providing flexibility with the courses while keeping in consideration students’ pace of learning. This system further helps students in integrating the learnt lessons in their lives and adapt to the challenges that they are facing on an individual level as well.

On the other hand, personalised learning aims at customising the hierarchy of mentors and including students as well as their guardians to analyse their assessments, recognise their own growth and work towards betterment. Personalised learning enables students to get their own tailored learning plan and realise where more effort is needed. It focuses on students’ learning journey and is inclusive of a lot more people than just school educators.

Amalgamation of both these learning systems results in students becoming more inquisitive, knowledgeable and responsible. Encouraging self-learning driven by one’s own enthusiasm and motivation is the way ahead to a successful future and individuals.

Technological enablement

Adaptive and personalised learning models are also considered operationally synonymous. However, K-12 education institutes have put faith in personalised learning. Combined, both the models are empowered by artificial intelligence, to fill the gaps that lie in students’ preferences and learning abilities. This model dynamically adjusts to the type of course and the content, based on an individual’s skill attainment, and accelerates learner’s performance with the instructor as well as automated interventions.

By implementing this blended model in remote classrooms, schools can successfully weave individualised learning paths for their students. With a proactive intervention from teachers to extend and assist in all aspects of the learning process, students can get constant support to achieve time efficiency and increased levels of confidence and self-advocacy, which seemed to have been lost at the onset of the pandemic.

The role of AR and VR in ed-tech

Technology is also supporting the system with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) amalgamating well with the current scenario and making the process of learning more educational, accessible and effective. Incorporating AR/VR approach enables the mentors to include next-to-real experience boosting student engagement and aiding them to retain better.

Allowing students to visualise and explore in a real-world environment, AR and VR blended seamlessly with the concept of gamified learning, are proving to be the tools of exponential growth.

Recognising the benefits

The adaptive and personalised model of learning has received an amplified appreciation from the student community as it creates an encouraging environment where students are more likely to achieve curriculum standards. With a personalised learning tool readily available to students, their learning simply does not stop at school as they develop a keen interest in complex topics with an increased rate of attentive engagement.

It also makes the teaching process more aligned and fruitful as the teachers get to understand the individual learning characteristics and development of students, especially while teaching remotely. Hence, there is a stronger sense of ownership in each student, leading to higher engagement and reduced anxiety.

Adoption by Indian classrooms

Indian students are generally taught with a general curriculum that follows the approach of “one size fits all”. However, the pandemic has put things in a melting pot. The government of India has encouraged the states to deploy a Personalised Adaptive Learning model (PAL model) in a phased manner with states like Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh taking the lead. The IT cell experts of different states have also been making provisions and arrangements for strong internet infrastructure and easy access to learning devices. The government has also put in place training for teachers who are learning to be efficient with AI-based teaching models.

One of the reasons adaptive learning has been on simmer is because of the digital divide and lack of resources in the country. People adapting to technology at their own pace has further fuelled the challenges. However, India is evolving across every vertical by the day and is all equipped to provide qualitative education to the citizens. With online learning becoming the new course of learning pedagogy, people have been endeavouring to adapt to the new-age system but the loss of personalised touch is not encouraging students to focus and thus the need for adaptive learning.

Hybrid learning; the future of Indian education

Once warmly embraced, adaptive learning with a hybrid model will make significant strides in the country as it will not only prevent a hole in guardians’ pocket but also make the learning process more effective along with the cost-efficiency of it. However, ingraining this system and kick-starting a new era of education will take its due time as India progresses towards it gradually. The smooth transition into this newly-integrated education system will help children understand how learning transcends theoretical lessons, worksheets and assessments and focuses on acquiring relevant skills to adapt in the real world environment. This will make students take onus of learning and shall further provide the country a robust system for the present needs. It’ll secure the future of education by offering equal opportunities to the students to succeed despite any differences in learning style, pace, and preferences.

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