How the Applied Learning Platform works

The Applied Learning Platform leverages the existing power of a word processing document by enabling educators to create and include an interactive applied learning component with any traditional teaching and learning materials such as text, images, tables, and links to videos or other Internet resources.  The following links are an example of Blackie the Cat in a traditional document that does not include the interactive component: web page, docx, doc, PDF)

An interactive applied learning activity is created using the Create an activity module of the Applied Learning Platform with either CreatorBasic, which is free, or CreatorAdvanced, which is available by subscription. The created component consists of encoded XML markup that is copied and pasted into a word processing document. In this way, a word processing document is used to deliver the interactive applied learning activity (XML markup) for use with the Applied Learning Platform, along with any supporting materials mentioned in the previous paragraph. Supporting materials could also be delivered in a separate document that is referenced by the applied learning component. The following links are an example of Blackie the Cat in a document that includes the encoded XML markup after the traditional learning materials: web page, docx, doc, PDF. Blackie the Cat is also one of the demonstration examples in the ALP Basic.

Educators either send the word processing document containing the interactive applied learning activity to learners as an email attachment, or notify them to download it from a shared directory or course management system. The XML tags of an activity can also be copied directly from a web page.

When learners receive a word processing document that contains the interactive applied learning activity, they copy the entire contents of the document to their clipboard including any supporting materials. Next, they open a browser and navigate to this website where they start the Applied Learning Platform, which is free. They select "Begin an activity" and paste the contents of their clipboard into the dialog box. The Platform extracts only the applied learning activity, and ignores everything else.

After working through an applied learning activity, learners can copy to their clipboard the entire activity for later use, or only a human-readable report of their work. Next, learners paste the contents of their clipboard into a separate word processing document for storing on their computer, emailing to an instructor, or posting to a course management system.

Applied learning activities authored using ALP Advanced enable the author to provide a solution to learners that is immediately available upon completion of the activity (example: Blackie the cat's reference assessment). In addition, authors can include multiple choice and short answer questions, a discussion, a rubric for evaluation, and a topic-based self-evaluation for use by learners upon completion of an activity. Learners can submit their work prior to class as evidence of pre-class preparation, or bring it to class for discussion and/or peer-review.

Applied learning activities can be used to facilitate learning in a traditional recitation section of a course, in a flipped classroom, with team-based learning, blended courses, or distance education. The Platform also provides a free component for peer-evaluation of a learner's work.

The Applied Learning Platform is the exact opposite of an expert system. An expert system provides expertise to its users; the Applied Learning Platform is used by educators to build expertise in its users.

To learn more about the Applied Learning Platform, please read Best practices for adoption. Demonstration videos are available, as well as an example from veterinary medicine. Click here for a brief overview of how to begin and save an applied learning activity. Additional resources are available under the Learning option of the main menu.