One of the most powerful features of technology-enhanced learning environments is that they allow us to embed ongoing formative assessment and feedback into instructional activities. Using intelligent tutoring, virtual laboratories, simulations, and frequent assessment and feedback, the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University supports flexible and responsive instruction that fosters learning. As students work through OLI courses, we use technology to collect real-time data that informs four positive feedback loops: feedback to students, to instructors, to course designers, and to learning science researchers. The results are promising. Our experience shows that educational technology can make higher education less expensive and more accessible while increasing effectiveness -- breaking the iron triangle - while serving greater numbers of students who bring enormous variability in their background knowledge, relevant skills and future goals. In fact, learning technology may be essential, if we are to meet President Obama's goal to raise the nation's college graduation rate to 60% by 2020.
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