OpenStudy at OCWC May 2011: Preetha Ram


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Open Social Learning: OpenStudy solves the next big problem of education: engagement and scaling help.

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  • Before we really get into OpenSocial Learning, lets think about the looming problems of education. In the words of an educational visionary, soothsayer even,… Today in 2011 the magnitude of the problem has only increased. The question is one of scale, how do you scale education enough to offer it to the 100s of millions of learners worldwide?
  • OCW, itunes and other Open Course initiatives have taken a bold step to address this question of access and scale by putting high quality and complete content online with free and open access. With the same sweeping global scale Khan Academy is scaling up access to education, one video a time. They are up to 30K a day. But there are two other problems.
  • And that is one of help. Learners everywhere need help. They need help to figure out physics problem, python code, shakespeare sonnets, world religions. Without help, they lose motivation, lose engagement, get discouraged and drop out. So another big problem online education is one of offering help, and then scaling help. So let me ask you this, what are our students engaged in? What do they spend their time on?
  • This is the problem of engagement. George Siemens summarizes the problem of online learning rather nicely there..
  • There are plenty of studies to support his statement. At a recent Gates study, they found that 88% of high school drop outs had, surprise, passing grades. They could have passed. But dropped out instead. Why?? When you dig deeper, it turns out. They were bored. There is one more problem to worry about.
  • Understand learners from theperspective of our digital millenials. So this is the driving force for OS. Engage learners in an environment that they are comfortable in, with the affordances that they have grown accustomed to. We want to build a system that takes all this into consideration.
  • This is the concept of social learning on which openstudy is built. We connect learners from traditional, nontraditional, OCW, young old, across geographic boundaries. In doing so we build an online learning community, where learners can not only seek help nad give help, but also engage in conversation about their learning. Through this, we solve the problems of scaling help and the engagement problem
  • Our approach is based on four important theories of learning and cognition. All of these are well established through research both our own and that of researchers in the learning sciences. “ blended learning” where online learning is enhanced with human interactions, is more effective than traditional face-to-face learning alone , Overall, in a seminal study by Twigg et a National Center of Academic Transformation, in blended models, they observed better student attitudes toward the subject matter, increased student satisfaction with the mode of instruction, and reduced costs by about 40 percent on average in the thirty institutions that were studied. Scholars note that learning communities of peers affect the flow of ideas and knowledge across people and allow for highly creative group and collaborative work, and can result in meaningful learning outcomes. Additional support for positive outcomes in peer learning communities also comes from the work on peer-assisted tutoring (Fuchs, 1997), which shows peer-tutors benefit as much from tutoring as their tutees because the tutors structure their own knowledge during tutoring. Cognitive anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger coined the term Community of Practice to describe a group of “people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” Social learning is the acquisition of knowledge that happens within a social group—the process by which individuals observe the behavior of others and modify their own behavior according. It is noted that individuals learn best by observing others, and are tremendously influenced by the role models they observe. Communities succeed through social learning because they provide opportunities for its members to observe others, to pay attention to role models, and to be motivated by the group to succeed. This, then, is the theory of change that informs our project: learners in a community of practice are more likely to have improved engagement and learning outcomes than solitary learners.
  • Fun game-like environment for learning ALSO tracking progress and assessment
  • OpenStudy at OCWC May 2011: Preetha Ram

    1. 1. Open Social Learning Socializing OCW Preetha Ram Ashwin Ram Chris Sprague OpenStudy [email_address]
    2. 2. The Team Ashwin Ram – Georgia Tech professor Cognitive Computing / PhD Yale / IIT Preetha Ram – Emory dean Learning Scientist / PhD Yale / MBA Chris Sprague – CEO Social Web / MS Georgia Tech / Stanford
    3. 3. Support <ul><li>Next Gen Learning Challenges (NGLC) by Gates Foundation and Hewlett Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>National Science Foundation (NSF) </li></ul><ul><li>National Institutes of Health (NIH) </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia Institute of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Emory University </li></ul>
    4. 4. Education: What ’s the problem? Access More than one-third of the world ’s population is under 20. By 2006, 100 million qualified to enter a university will have no place to go. To meet this staggering demand, a major university needs to be created each week. — Sir John Daniel (1996)
    5. 5. OCW provides access MIT OCW: 9m users/yr iTunes U: 300m downloads Khan: 30k videos/day Traditional Open Education
    6. 6. What about Help ?
    7. 7. What about Interaction ? Great video and talented presenters. My only complaint: I ’d like to interact with others who are viewing the resources. Creating a one-way flow of information significantly misses the point of interacting online. — George Siemens (2007)
    8. 8. What about Engagement ? 88% of high school dropouts have passing grades. — Gates Foundation study “Silent Epidemic” (2006) 47% of dropouts say “classes are not interesting”. 60% find video lectures “boring”. 60% read less when using e-textbooks.
    9. 9. Digital Millennials 95% spend 10-15 hrs/wk on Facebook 80% go to Wikipedia 55% use IM for homework
    10. 10. Open Social Learning … a social learning network a global study group for students to get immediate help and build online social capital via peer reputation and game-like rewards Home Schoolers Traditional Self Learners Community Colleges
    11. 11. Learning Theories Dziuban et al, 2004; Means et al, 2010, Twigg (2003 Fuchs, 1997 Lave & Wenger, 1991 Vygotsky, 1978
    12. 12. Our Partners <ul><li>OCW </li></ul><ul><li>MIT OCW </li></ul><ul><li>Open Yale Courses </li></ul><ul><li>Korea University </li></ul><ul><li>OpenMichigan </li></ul><ul><li>UC Irvine </li></ul><ul><li>Notre Dame </li></ul><ul><li>NYU </li></ul><ul><li>Emory </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia State U </li></ul><ul><li>In Conversation </li></ul><ul><li>NCTU </li></ul><ul><li>Tufts </li></ul><ul><li>TU Delft </li></ul><ul><li>Tokyo University </li></ul><ul><li>African Virtual University </li></ul><ul><li>Distance Education Univ. Costa Rica </li></ul><ul><li>Monterey Inst. Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Purdue Online Writing Center </li></ul><ul><li>Process.Arts </li></ul><ul><li>OER </li></ul><ul><li>CDC (TRAIN) </li></ul><ul><li>SmartHistory (MOMA) </li></ul><ul><li>Purple Math </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>FreeMathHelp </li></ul><ul><li>HelpWithFractions </li></ul><ul><li>BiologyCorner </li></ul><ul><li>CellsAlive </li></ul><ul><li>Physics </li></ul><ul><li>HyperPhysics </li></ul><ul><li>Calculatorsoup </li></ul><ul><li>DavidDarling Info </li></ul><ul><li>In Conversation </li></ul><ul><li>HippoCampus </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Connexions </li></ul>
    13. 13. OCW + OpenStudy
    14. 14. Connecting Globally
    15. 15. Getting Help
    16. 16. Cross Pollination
    17. 17. Finding Open Content
    18. 18. Ratings and Recommendations
    19. 19. Recognition A college student passionate about math and helping others learn it. I will be an Einstein one day. Untill then, I love soccer, music and horses.
    20. 20. OpenStudy is… “ a social platform for learners who want to help each other study” “ you’re no longer alone—you have the world’s biggest classroom to turn to, any time, anywhere” “ a global study group” “ global element is important…users will almost always find someone online in the study groups” “ one of ten most innovative companies in education”
    21. 21. OpenStudy Benefits
    22. 22. Value to OCW partners <ul><li>Improve engagement, time on site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A global virtual study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactions with other learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real time help. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community supports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased analytics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User behavior, usage patterns, feedback about content </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. User Demographics
    24. 24. User Profile Motivation for Study on OS Audience Breakdown *8% are high school students
    25. 25. Our Community <ul><li>Usage </li></ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><li>38k registered users </li></ul><ul><li>50,000 unique visitors per month </li></ul><ul><li>600,000 unique views/month </li></ul><ul><li>Averages </li></ul><ul><li>New Users spend10 mins </li></ul><ul><li>Loyal Users spend 18 mins </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency of visits 2/week </li></ul><ul><li>Between 60 and 120 users online </li></ul><ul><li>20K questions per month </li></ul><ul><li>70% of all questions answered within 5 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>80% all questions are answered </li></ul><ul><li>Game Like Features </li></ul><ul><li>Game like Features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Levels: superheroes&quot; with over 350 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>math experts with over 75 medals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1000 students that have earned topic-based achievements for other types of participation.  </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. How to OpenStudy your OCW site?
    27. 27. Or on your CMS
    28. 28. User Feedback
    29. 29. Thank you! The OpenStudy Team