What we’re learning from online education about personalized learning

"Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary."

~Thomas Friedman, May 15, 2012, New York Times


1:40 - The cost of higher education tuition increased 559% since 1985.  Source: BLS

6:50 - Some of the learnings from these online (MOOC) courses:

  • You can break away from the monolithic 1 hour lecture
  • You can break up the content into smaller, consumable content
  • Students can take time to prep with pre-requisite content before attempting a segment
  • Students can revisit sections
  • Active learning can help increase student learning
  • Technology and "big data" can be used for personalization of learning content

7:45 - Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping. J. Karpicke, J. Blunt. Science (2011)

9:45 - How can you use technology to grade the work of 10,000 students?

  • 11:15 Peer Grading -- and perhaps even self-grading -- is a surprisingly effective strategy. They correlate well with teacher-assigned grades.

12:15 - The median response time to student questions can be a lot faster than that of a physical classroom. Due to global nature of the community and global study groups.

14:05 - You can potentially collect a LOT of data.  Clicks, submissions, pages, communications. You can analyze root causes of student trouble-spots and refine the training to cater to those misconceptions. Can give prsonalized feedback.

16:00 - The opportunities of personalization. Summary of Benjamin Bloom's "2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring."  How can we use technology to help students achieve the levels of mastery and individual tutoring shown in Benjamin Bloom's 2 Sigma analysis.

18:10 - Are universities now obsolete? Active learning, through personalization, can help improve learning. "Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class." L. Deslauriers, E. Scheles, and C. Wieman. Science (2011).

19:27 - If we could offer a top quality education to everyone in the world for free, what would that do?

Your turn

What do you think?  Are MOOCs and online education the wave of the future?

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About Mel

Mel is the online training architect and screencasting wizard at Kareo, one of Forbes' 2013 list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America. He's also the creator of Digital-Know-How, a training website devoted to developing learners' skills for screencasting and web video course development. Mel is also the chief blogger of ScreencastingWizard.com; Mel's personal blog. The comments and opinions you read here are Mel's and not associated with any other company.
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