Personalization of education and learning

What should our future education be aiming for?  Massification of education or personalization of learning?

In this paper on Instructional Theory by Reigeluth C. (2012), he highlights the need of having more personalized approach towards learning, through a post-industralist instructional approach, where learner becomes the centre for learning.

In this Mastery Learning and this paper on Mastery Learning, there are benefits of adopting its philosophy in MOOCs.  That’s also the central pedagogy adopted by most xMOOCs providers.

As I have shared in my previous post, students may master what is expected to be learnt if all teachers are teaching solely to the test.  However, it seems that many people might have mis-understood the initial intention of Mastery Learning, where the intention is NOT to ask the teacher to teach only those concepts for the sake of assessment or testing, but to allow the learners to master their learning at their own pace, in a progressive manner with immediate feedback in order to reinforce their understanding of concepts, and to correct any mis-understood concepts where possible.  Besides, Mastery Learning could be effectively employed in a mentoring and apprenticeship program where the mentor could guide the mentee through the program.

The future of education though would lie with personalization rather than massification of education as Aoki concludes here

This massification of online education appears to go in an opposite direction to personalization that elearning and use of ICT in education should aim for the purpose of providing more effective individualized learning experiences to learners.

How to progress from massification to personalization of online education?  I have shared that here.

Giving  students the correct answers strict away may sound a good instructional approach towards teaching.  However, have the students learnt how to arrive to those calculations?  Have the students mastered the concepts CORRECTLY?  How do we know if the students could apply their skills and transfer them from one area to another, in solving problems?

Aoki elaborates further on how personalization of learning could be achieved:

With the vast amount of data gathered through learners, personalization will become possible eventually with proper learning analytics and data mining. Furthermore, quality of learning outcomes may be further assured with the evidence of learning.


Big Data, Adaptive Learning and the Assumptions behind Part 1

This post on adaptive learning and big data sounds interesting. Thanks to Stephen Downes for the reference.

What are the significance of big data?

What is adaptive learning?

What are the assumptions behind the relationship between big data and adaptive learning?

Here is my previous post relating MOOC to adaptive system.

Before I could address the three questions above, here is my comment to my previous post:

What questions of learning would lead to a particular learning theory? If you ask me a question of learning based on behavior learning theory, surely I could gather evidences which could match your questions.
Similarly, if you ask me if instructivist approach is best for teaching, like those in xMOOCs, I could show you all the great, positive and praising and thankful responses from the learners on the professors, and course content, and the high distinctions result of the students, as evidence of great pedagogy of mastery learning, and the cognitivism/behaviorism play a major role in the whole notion of learning. Experiments and empirical researches surely have demonstrated these under classroom environments.
Would these be equally true and effective in virtual learning environment? If we are to use the assessment results like an improvement and grades or scores as evidence of learning achievement, we may likely end up with the theory that cognitivism relates to learning most directly, as the intellectual capability of a person is demonstrated through the achievement of results in test, examination or assignment. These seem certainly be the case, under a formal education system.
However, how about the social aspects of learning? Could we assume that a highly intelligent person (who is tested with high IQ or highest achiever) be socially capable in connecting with others in classroom, workplace or community? What assumptions have we made in judging the correlations between individual intellectualism and social skills and social intelligence? Would we be able to easily delineate the relationships between all these various parameters and factors? You could quote examples in real life indicating that many highly intellectual scholars won’t socialize, and these included Issac Newton, Albert Einstein, etc, but that they were highly successful in their academic achievement, and should be role models for many learners. Did this prove anything about personal learning or social learning as explained under learning theories? Again, this depends on what assumptions you have made, and what questions that you are asking in your scientific research, or inquiry in learning.

If you ask me if connectivist approach is best for learning under a complex learning environment, I could show you social network analysis, and how the 4 properties of openness, diversity, autonomy, interactivity and connectivity lead to better networked learning, under Connectivism.

In summary, it is not what I want it to be that would lead Connectivism to become a learning theory. It is what you could demonstrate and theorise that would lead one to “believe” in certain validity and reliability of a learning theory such as Connectivism.

How would I relate the big data to adaptive learning?  I would explore these in the coming posts.

What would be the implications of MOOCs on Higher Education?

Here is a provocative post on moocs and other ed tech bubbles.  My first response below:

I would like to write a detailed response, but by now a few questions and comments first. 1. Would technology undermine formal education? 2. Could learner pick and choose their education? 3. When none of the peers is an expert, is there too much risk of misconceptions and bad habits becoming established within the cohort? 4. Who are the experts? How are these experts identified and recognised? Are we looking for experts as “teachers” or “facilitators”, or machine based AI generated experts? 5. Are experts available for “free” in mooc or  would they only “teach” when paid? 6. Why would professors want to teach in MOOCs? What are their motivations? Are they assuming the role of a teacher, or a learner among the networks?

My comments: Sebastian Thrun has tried his experiment with the AI MOOC as he is a highly enthusiastic educator and is willing to devote time and efforts in doing the “extra” teaching. Could we presume and assume all the professors in MOOCs are having and sharing the same spirit of teaching, apart from their research loads?

One of the questions is: If the mooc is better than the existing teaching and learning in the elite or most universities, wouldn’t that be the greatest disruption to their own “mainstream” teaching and pedagogy? If the mooc is far less valuable, attractive and useful than their mainstream teaching and pedagogy, who would be losing? Would that be the professors teaching in the MOOCs? So, no matter whether MOOCs are providing a better or worse pedagogy to the mainstream teaching, either way would not be beneficial to the HE institutions and the professors. But without the MOOCs as the starting point, what would happen? No change, no innovation needed? Would that be totally different if the pedagogy is aligned with cMOOCs? I don’t know the answer.

To me, the xMOOCs are still organization driven and well developed online courses, which seem to be significantly different from the adhoc organization driven and adhoc (COP, mentoring) and the cMOOCs which are learner driven and adhoc (social networks, forums, wikis, blogs).  The cMOOCs are leveraging the affordance of emerging technology and tools, together with the social networks to achieve learning (both formal and informal learning).  This seems to be a race between technology affordance and professors and the associated pedagogy employed in the conversation and engagement of learners in the MOOCs.

Do you want learners to learn from the organizations or from the self-initiated networks (PLE/PLN)?

Would it be possible to sustain education with prescriptive knowledge and emergent knowledge?

What would be more valuable for learners – in terms of knowledge duplication or knowledge creation?

Which would be the model of education (push or pull in knowledge generation and creation) that would fit into the learners’ present and future needs?

Would that be a matter of sensemaking and wayfinding if the digital learning is employed?

Emergence category-matrix2 (1)