Tips for Choosing the Right Adaptive Learning Partner

Fulcrum Labs
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In the world of L&D, it seems like everyone is talking about adaptive learning. For example, last month, CLO magazine published a great article about A.I. in training that we found particularly interesting – essentially espousing the virtues of adaptive learning.

We also recently sat down with a reporter from to discuss our take on adaptive learning. In addition to outlining the basics of adaptive learning, we discussed how to choose the right adaptive partner and why the partnership mentality is so important in the work of adaptive learning.

A bit of History

Although adaptive learning was first introduced in the 1970s, it is only recently that technology has advanced enough to deliver this methodology at scale…and at a cost that’s reasonable. As a result, new adaptive learning vendors are emerging. And it seems that no two adaptive technologies interpret or deliver adaptive learning the same way. They all have different philosophies, algorithms and deliverables. So, how does an organization choose which is right for them?

There are many suppliers out there, and organizations need to select one that is a good fit. In fact, we’d go so far as to argue that organizations should view the selection process as choosing a partner rather than merely a vendor. Why? Because executive an adaptive program well requires a certain amount of development, analysis and fine-tuning. Organizations need a partner to walk with them on this journey and offer expert guidance and recommendations along the way.

Tips to Finding the Right Adaptive Partner

With that in mind, we’ve put together five tips to help organizations find the right adaptive partner:

Tip 1: Ask the right questions

Ask potential partners key questions to see if your goals and philosophies align. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for customer references. Quiz former customers about their experience with the potential provider by exploring:

  • How well did they implement the program?
  • How good are the provider’s collaboration and customer service skills?
  • Are there any hidden fees?
  • How did they measure success?

Tip 2: Ask to see examples of courses created in the platform

Good adaptive courses are slick and beautiful – and filled with techniques that keep learners engaged throughout the learning process. You should have a good understanding of how your potential partner leverages content and encourages learner engagement and motivation prior to moving forward. Ask especially how a potential partner’s solution overcomes some of the known challenges of adaptive learning, like the adaptive loop of death and preset learner pathways.

Tip 3: Look for platforms that meet your technical requirements

Adaptive learning technologies can make the life of an L&D professional a little easier. This won’t be the case if you have to manually manage the flow of data between your legacy LMS systems and your new technologies. That’s why it’s important to make sure that any potential adaptive partner meets your technical requirements, including compatibility, integration, ease of use and stability. Learn how to avoid the integration blame game here.

Tip 4: Look for analytics that are easily decipherable

Adaptive learning technologies often promise to deliver a plethora of learner data. Unfortunately, this data can often be hard to interpret and overwhelming in its sheer size. Look for an adaptive partner that offers analytics dashboards that keep things simple and relevant, namely: who needs help, where (specific learning objectives) and why. Here’s another thing to look for: a partner who can help you measure performance of your course and make data-based suggestions on how to improve it.

Tip 5: Look for a platform that makes content adjustments easily

Adaptive learning is not a one-and-done process. Organizations continually have needs to revise training based on updates to processes and procedures. Additionally, as we stated earlier, a good partner will provide you with data that helps you fine-tune your course. All this data is for naught if the platform is difficult to make changes within. You want to find an adaptive partner that can easily incorporate your necessary content changes, so you can have confidence that you’re delivering the best course possible.

 “A well-designed adaptive course, in a great platform, will offer solid value right away, and after a few adjustments, you’ll begin tapping into its full potential.” – Patrick Weir, CEO, Fulcrum Labs

Want to learn more about how we view adaptive? Want to find out if Fulcrum Labs is the right adaptive partner for your organization? Check out our article on for more information, click here to see how we approach adaptive learning or contact us directly to schedule a demo of our software.