Background: Personalizing education by adapting learning opportunities and instructional practices to individual abilities and dispositions has been a long-standing objective among educators and indeed, among all who seek more powerful learning experiences. Interest in adapting learning opportunities to meet the needs of learners has continued throughout history up to the present time.
Purpose: This article considers both historical and contemporary work to create adaptive learning opportunities to illustrate the various strands of thought about the personalization of learning experiences and to identify active lines of relevant research and development activities.
Research Design: A wide range of work to create adaptive learning applications both within the education sector and the research community and beyond is reviewed. The review is organized according to a model of the processes leading to adaptive learning opportunities that calls attention to seven categories of work encompassing everyday tasks, learning tasks, learning theory, assessment, curriculum, teaching, and networking activities.
Conclusions: After noting some promising directions for additional work, the paper concludes by identifying issues that should be considered in the further development of adaptive learning applications to avoid potential negative effects.