ABSTRACT: Adaptive and perceptual learning technologies in medical education and training
Recent advances in the learning sciences offer remarkable potential to improve medical education and maximize the benefits of emerging medical technologies. This article describes 2 major innovation areas in the learning sciences that apply to simulation and other aspects of medical learning: Perceptual learning (PL) and adaptive learning technologies. PL technology offers, for the first time, systematic, computer-based methods for teaching pattern recognition, structural intuition, transfer, and fluency. Synergistic with PL are new adaptive learning technologies that optimize learning for each individual, embed objective assessment, and implement mastery criteria. The author describes the Adaptive Response-Time-based Sequencing (ARTS) system, which uses each learner’s accuracy and speed in interactive learning to guide spacing, sequencing, and mastery. In recent efforts, these new technologies have been applied in medical learning contexts, including adaptive learning modules for initial medical diagnosis and perceptual/adaptive learning modules (PALMs) in dermatology, histology, and radiology. Results of all these efforts indicate the remarkable potential of perceptual and adaptive learning technologies, individually and in combination, to improve learning in a variety of medical domains.