The spread of adaptive learning technology in higher education, to some, is the rise of the machines — replacing professors with software and an automated, cheapened form of instruction. To Ariel Anbar it’s a tool that helps him teach in new ways.
Anbar is a professor in Arizona State University’s department of chemistry and biochemistry. Four years ago he began a collaboration with Smart Sparrow, an education-technology company based in Australia and San Francisco.
“I was trying to create an interactive, game-like science course for non-science majors,” said Anbar, who this year was named ASU’s first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, an honor that comes with a $1 million research grant.