Category: Higher Education

Learning at Scale Slides from ICTCM

Learning at Scale: Using Research To Improve Learning Practices and Technology for Teaching Math In the last 5 years, there has been a rise in what we might call “large-scale digital learning experiments.”  These take the form of centralized courses, vendor-created courseware, online homework systems, MOOCs, and free-range learning platforms. If we mine the research, successes, and failures coming out of these experiments, what can we discover about designing better digital learning experiences and technology for the learning of mathematics? Learning at Scale: Using Research To Improve Learning Practices and Technology for Teaching Math from Maria Andersen   Possibly...

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Broken Educational Metrics: Office Hours

Our modern-day system of higher education was built to mass-produce education during the industrial age.  The system is loosely based on a factory-model where students are, in general, processed through the system in batches through a series of distinct steps.    As long as the goal of education was to impart information in a uniform manner, this served our needs relatively well, ramping up education from one-room school houses and private tutors to a large-scale operation with a goal of educating the entire population.  But we now live in a different era – one where information is abundant and readily available at our fingertips, creativity means greater employability, and the ability to understand interdisciplinary projects and work on a team is vital. If we’re going to change education to adapt to the new era, there’s no doubt that we have to change the metrics that measure student learning.  However, we also have to change the metrics that measure instructor duties and performance. Let me illustrate with an example of a broken educational metric from the instructor’s point of view: office hours.  Most full-time instructors in higher education are required to hold office hours. What purpose were office hours supposed to serve? Student Engagement Presumption: Students will use office hours to communicate with their instructors one-on-one when they need help or guidance Today, the act of being physically present in...

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