Designing an Adaptive Learning Environment to Improve Writing Skills and Usability for EFL Students at the Faculty of Education

Document Type : Original Article


1 Lecturer of Curriculum & Instruction: TEFL Faculty of Education -Mansoura University

2 Lecturer of Instructional Technology Faculty of Education- Mansoura University


Learning characteristics vary for each individual learner. Research suggests that knowledge is processed and represented in different ways and that students prefer to use different types of resources in distinct ways. Adapting learning to meet the various individual differences of the students is a real challenge. Thus, the present study aimed at investigating the effect of designing an adaptive learning environment on developing EFL undergraduate students' writing skills and usability. A design standards checklist was prepared for guiding the process of designing the proposed online adaptive environment. The multiple intelligences (MI) theory was used as a basis for conducting the adaptation process since the students were divided according to their strong intelligences into three groups (analytic, introspective and interactive groups). Different types of multiple intelligences-based activities were presented to each group. Those activities were also adapted according to the writing level of the students (beginning, intermediate and advanced). Consequently, each student proceeded in the adaptive environment in an individualized learning path which was pre-determined through the student MI profile (including a student's personal data, EFL writing level and multiple intelligences).Various online tools (hangouts, Google drive, Facebook and WhatsApp) were employed in the adaptive environment. The experimental design was adopted using 60 students of the 2nd year English major at Mansoura Faculty of Education. Those participants were divided into two groups: one experimental and one control.  Instruments used in the present study were: 1) an EFL writing skills test, 2) an analytic rubric for scoring the writing skills, and 3) a usability scale to evaluate the easiness of students' learning through the adaptive environment. The results indicated that the adaptive online learning environment led to developing EFL students' writing skills and that the students found the environment usable for learning and interacting with fellows and instructor.


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