What is Snapwiz? Part 1: Snapwiz’s Adaptive Learning Features

April 18, 2014
by Jordan Taylor

Adaptivity in the classroomThe field of education technology is buzzing with two entangled terms: “adaptive learning” and “personalized learning.” Both terms represent the promise of a preeminent Renaissance for K-12 and Higher Ed education—yet both terms are little understood.

The reality is adaptive learning will become a standard feature of all tech-based education solutions in the (not-so-distant) future. Rather than being a passive part of this process, we’re already creating something entirely new at Snapwiz.

Snapwiz is more than just a powerful adaptive learning platform because it allows anyone involved in education (from students to administrators) to access, create, and influence personalized learning spaces. Still, at the risk of boring you, it’s best to start by highlight what adaptive learning is—and how Snapwiz utilizes it.

What is Adaptive Learning?

EdSurge does a wonderful job of highlighting the ambiguity surrounding the term adaptive learning, while also pointing out that different platforms adapt to learners in different ways. So what are those different ways? I’m glad you asked.

Here’s how EdSurge puts it: “Some programs “adapt” based on the results of an assessment at the end of a unit…Other programs monitor the responses that a student provides while he or she is moving through the program.”

Rather than a one-time adaptive learning system, Snapwiz dynamically adapts to a student’s progress and learning activities in real-time and throughout the duration of the course. Students are provided with a dynamic study plan that is always in sync with their current skill profile and rate of progress. For more information about this process here’s a brochure on our partnership Wiley Publishing: WileyPLUS with ORION. You can also visit our White Papers or Partners pages to learn more.


 Here’s a short video too:  



Still want a definition of adaptive learning?

John K. Waters, in “The Great Adaptive Learning Experiment,” a piece for Campus Technology, defined adaptive learning this way:

“An approach to instruction and remediation that uses technology and accumulated data to provide customized program adjustments based on an individual student’s level of demonstrated mastery.”

Here’s EdSurge’s definition:

“When software adapts content to the knowledge level of the learner to create a more personalized learning experience.” 

How Snapwiz’s Platform Performs Adaptive Learning

This is all a bit technical but it does help to understand how our adaptive process works. Our platform uses a combination of several adaptive and heuristic models to deliver personalization to the individual. From the start, a diagnostic is used to drive the study plan (outer loop) and each activity is guided by continuous remediation and evaluation (inner loop) until mastery is achieved.


Adaptive Loops

The platform continuously adapts to each student based upon the interaction with the system, presenting appropriate content to the learner. Several adaptive and heuristic algorithms rely upon several inputs to suggest the appropriate learning path:

  1. Performance on a question
  2. Ambivalence on an answer/switching choices
  3. Time spent on question
  4. Time available for preparation
  5. Stated performance goals for the course
  6. Stated learning style preferences
  7. Activities, time spent and performance patterns
  8. Social rating of content
  9. Feedback on content
  10. Peer reviews or peer grading of contributed content

Let’s not forget about adaptivity from the instructor’s perspective: the platform also allows teachers to visualize and author learning spaces with help from intuitive analytics tools. This empowers teachers to improve their content and pedagogical approaches.


So, for now, this should help you understand our platform a little better with respect to adaptivity. We will release white papers in the near future that dive deeper into topics covering how personalized learning pathways are shaped. Topics like: Adaptive Model Types; Outer Loop Adaptivity (Curriculum Sequencing) and Inner Loop Adaptivity (Cognitive Tutor); and other factors that affect the Adaptive Algorithms. 

In Part 2—What is Snapwiz? Think Paradigm Shift—we’ll cover how Snapwiz stands out with one-of-a-kind personalized learning spaces based in eConcept widgets, detailed assessments, and user control.

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  1. […] and infuse it with adaptive learning, sophisticated questions types, and potent assessment widgets. In What is Snapwiz? Part 1: Snapwiz’s Adaptive Learning Features some of the “secret sauce” behind our adaptivity models were discussed openly. A quick, yet […]

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