Thursday, March 29, 2012

Choose your own Adventure

Matt Hintze delivered an interesting TEDxUF talk titled "Choose your own Adventure" as a way for online education to teach the same content in multiple different ways. This seems to be very close to my thoughts on the future of education, but another roundabout way of getting there. Student's personality and learning styles would certainly come into the decision making process of which method / teacher to learn from. But I hadn't considered making it overtly part of the process by giving a minute snippet to see whether the student likes the style presented. Yet more good ammunition for the recommendation engine to process.

Could learning style and teacher presentation style also be captured by data analysis? You could map the student onto other students who have successfully completed the learning activity by comparing their learning landscape up to that point. Close matches can be used as trailblazers to recommend certain exit paths, with an indication of likely successes or failures along that path. Adding a student's goal into the mix could also help the system target high success paths leading from the current activity to the goal. Would learning styles and teaching styles be captured in data like that? I don't mind the idea of a 1 minute preview, apart from it being still too long for someone to make an effective decision between potentially hundreads of options. Maybe the recommendation engine gives them a default that they can opt out of by watching the teaser video?