Sanoma Learning is frontrunner in the digital transformation. By using big data in adaptive learning we bring more value to customers. It enables us to continuously adjust learning content to the individual needs and preferences of students. In addition, it makes life easier for teachers.

Hans Prins, manager adaptive learning at Malmberg in the Netherlands, reveals the six most important trends for learning.

1.     Differentiated and adaptive learning

Prins: “Differentiated learning takes account of the needs and abilities of individual students. Dividing them into groups forms the simplest form of personalised learning. By monitoring entry levels and progress, teachers use personalised tuition, often in combination with IT tools, to map out individual learning paths. Adaptive learning is both differentiated and personalised, but it adds key elements to the other approaches: it operates in real time and is entirely data-driven. Sophisticated software tailored to each individual’s needs and preferences continually adjusts content for an optimal learning path. This means that – certainly compared with traditional methods – adaptive programmes reach new heights of dynamism and flexibility.”

Hans Prins, manager adaptive learning at Malmberg.

2.     The importance of big data

Implementing adaptive learning is a big step into the future.

Prins: “Implementing adaptive learning is a big step into the future. This innovation of our product line enables us to become a future-proof publisher. Our co-creation with Knewton, the world leader in gearing big data to learning, is the most extensive in Europe. It is of great strategic importance. Knewton supplies highly sophisticated technology, and we contribute high-quality content. Combining the two components in our products opens up a world of possibilities for both students and teachers.”

3.     Practice = proof

Prins: “Adaptive learning has to prove itself in practice, which is why Malmberg ran a three-month pilot programme called Score!. In the Netherlands 20 secondary schools, some 50 teachers and more than 1,500 students participated, while a smaller pilot was run by VAN IN, a Sanoma company in Belgium. The results of the pilot programme, which used the adaptive learning software to teach English grammar, are encouraging.

"Students found it exciting, because it was personalised and we made it better by adding a gaming element"

Published in October 2015, they showed a significant increase in motivation among the participants, while their engagement with the tool also proved positive. They were, in other words, really keen to use it. Prins: “The students found it exciting, because it was personalised. We made it better by adding a gaming element. Each subject was identified by an ice-cream flavour. Doing well enabled students to build a whole stack of different flavours. From the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, the programme will be available to secondary schools under its new name, JUMP. Malmberg has visited the participating schools several times, and has carried out thorough online surveys. Two Master students at the University of Utrecht contributed theses on the subjects of student motivation and the new products’ impact on teachers. During the coming school year we’ll do evidence-based research into better learning outcomes. It’s a key objective for Sanoma.”

During the coming school year we’ll do evidence-based research into better learning outcomes.

Has learning grammar become easier for you because of JUMP?

  • Yes
  • No opinion
  • No

Do you enjoy studying grammar more because of JUMP?

  • Yes
  • No

How do you feel about JUMP adapting to you while you are studying?

  • Positive
  • No opinion
  • Negative

4.     Changing role of teachers

Prins: “Inevitably, adaptive learning will change the role of teachers. But they won’t have to fear losing control. Adaptive learning offers teachers a different kind of control. Like the students, they will benefit from the new programmes, which enable them to see on a so-called dashboard how their students are doing. Because they save time, new tools like JUMP will make teachers’ lives easier; they will have time to give students more individualised attention.”

"Adaptive learning offers teachers a different kind of control"

5.     Testing and retesting is key

Prins: “Those who think that adaptive software will dictate how it is used, will be proved wrong. Malmberg is still in the process of finding out how it can add the most value, for both students and teachers. Only by testing and retesting products, and by running trials, commissioning research, studying results and acting on them can its potential be fully exploited.” 

6.     The shift to digital methods continues to increase customer value   

Prins: “In the next few years, Malmberg and Knewton will develop a whole range of adaptive learning components. From September 2016, JUMP will be available for English, French and German grammar. A year later, secondary school students can use elements of adaptive learning for all their subjects. Adaptive tools for vocational education are next on the list, while primary schools will later also benefit from the new technology. There is no doubt that the shift to digital methods will continue. I expect revolutionary changes in the next year or two. Schools are keen on personalisation and adaptive learning. We are creating new value that is fun to use. We’re embracing the future.”

Schools are keen on personalisation and adaptive learning. 

Have you experienced that JUMP supports you in coping with differences between students?

  • Yes
  • No

Have you experienced that working with JUMP supports you in coaching students on their own individual level?

  • Yes
  • No

More About Malmberg

Malmberg, a publishing house of educational materials for primary, secondary and vocational levels, might be 130 years old and it’s looking to the future rather than the past. Headquartered in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the southern part of the Netherlands, the company offers cutting-edge adaptive learning products.