adaptive learning

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Adaptive learning, or adaptive learning and management, is a process to sense changes, threats, and opportunities, assess those changes, make decisions, and perform according to those decisions.

In its basic form, adaptive learning is also referred to as single loop learning. With the addition of changes to the decision making process itself, it becomes a double loop learning process.

Russell L. Ackoff provides a model for adaptive learning. The basic steps of the model are:

  1. Identification of actual and potential problems, both threats and opportunities. Use a symptom and presymptom analyzer for organizational and environmental surveillance coupled with decision support to provide information, knowledge, and understanding needed to make decisions.
  2. Decision making.
  3. Maintenance and improvement of performance under changing and unchanging conditions. This requires a memory and comparator for the decisions made, along with their expectations, assumptions, information, and the processes used to make the decision. This is a system of record. Also required is diagnosis and prescription. Using the deviations from expectations to prescribe improvementst to the processes involved in making decisions then creates a double loop learning process.

For a comprehensive view of Ackoff's model see: Russell L. Ackoff, Re-Creating the Corporation, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp 166-172

See learning levels of for a framework of types of learning.