The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

New Study Reveals Link Between Personalized Learning and Student Achievement

WASHINGTON, DC – Recognizing the importance of providing a quality online learning experience for students through continuous improvement and innovation, the Concordia University Chicago (CUC) research team, led by Dr. Christopher J. Lilly, sought to enhance its online offerings by developing a more adaptive, personalized learning option for students. Over the last 10 years, the university had developed strong online graduate education programs marked by high retention and student satisfaction rates; however, aware of the potential benefits of adaptive and personalized learning, the university endeavored to expand its offerings to include newer models of adaptive education.

Through a partnership with Fishtree, Inc., commencing in 2015, the university was able to not only leverage an adaptive and personalized learning tool but also one that seamlessly integrated within its current learning management system, providing a much more robust learning experience and one that could scale. This, along with the support of the university’s administration and CUC’s overarching commitment to adaptive and personalized learning, the team was afforded the needed elements to develop, implement, assess and evaluate a new adaptive learning course model.

“I have spent nearly 40 years researching and advocating adaptive education models,” says Dr. Thomas P. Jandris, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Concordia. “We partnered with Fishtree because we knew we had found a solution that would deliver on our vision of providing adaptive and personalized instruction to our students. We are thrilled with the impact this has had at CUC and are excited to expand this initiative into other courses with the help of Fishtree.”

The pilot research study, which was conducted on students enrolled in the Masters of Blended Learning Course, concluded that students leveraging the Fishtree platform demonstrated improvements in student achievement and student satisfaction. The CUC research team agreed that students performed very well on the Fishtree content quizzes. Students enrolled in the course were able to use an adaptive path that generated personalized learning resources aligned to iNACOL design standards to achieve these excellent results. Of special note, the Fishtree results and the assignment rubrics demonstrated a link between adaptive, personalized learning models and student success.

Students using the Fishtree adaptive path:

  • Demonstrated excellent achievement with the overall consensus that those students who took the Fishtree adaptive path saw an increase in performance compared to those students who did not.
  • Were more satisfied with the course experience — 87 percent completely satisfied.
  • Were highly satisfied with the ease-of-use and “format and logic” (i.e. students could generate personalized resources from one screen that were unique to their learning experience).
  • Obtained a “deeper understanding” of learning content using resources generated by Fishtree.

As a result of implementing the Fishtree platform, Concordia has created and established a scalable, adaptive and personalized learning model — establishing industry best practices for implementing an adaptive platform — and looks forward to continuing its partnership with Fishtree to expand across the institution.

“Given the ‘noise’ in the market around personalized learning, these are important data points that show the solution works but is also scalable,” says Terry Nealon, CEO at Fishtree. “Implementation is critical and the chances of success are greatly reduced without strong vision and leadership. Fortunately, CUC had both. We are delighted with the outcomes as further justification that attending to the needs of every student is possible and we are front and center in that movement. My congrats to both teams and we look forward to expanding our plans to grow this partnership globally.”

About Fishtree
At Fishtree, we believe that no two educational journeys should be alike. That’s why our team of passionate innovators and world changers strive to ensure all learners experience a unique journey personalized to their needs and aspirations. We are more than just a personalized learning platform. Fishtree helps K-12, higher education and corporate educators around the world deliver a scalable, personalized learning experience to every learner with the click of a button. For more information on Fishtree visit .

About Concordia University Chicago
Founded in 1864, Concordia University Chicago is a comprehensive liberal arts-based Christian university in the Lutheran tradition. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education and College of Graduate and Innovative Programs, Concordia-Chicago offers more than 100 areas of study in small classes taught by professors who are passionate about teaching and student success. For more information on Concordia University Chicago, visit