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?