The development of learner models takes an active part in upcoming adaptive learning environments.
The purpose of learner models is to drive personalization based on learner and learning characteristics that are considered as important for the learning process, such as cognitive, affective and behavioral variables.
Despite the huge amount of theoretical propositions of learner characteristics considered as relevant for learner models, practical payoffs are rather sparse. This study aims to overview the empirical research on the mere value of learner models in the development of adaptive learning environments.
The results show that a lot of high-quality studies are situated in a rather shattered research field, building
few bridges from theory to practice. We conclude with the call for a theory or framework integrating current and past research results that is able to guide theory-based and systematic empirical research having concrete hypotheses on the merits of learner characteristics in adaptive learning environments.