— Nigel Painting (@nigelchpainting) February 28, 2017
“Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary”
This quote from NY Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman sets the scene for this TED talk from Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera.
The talk is relevant to both the community culture and algorithm cultures of this course. From a community perspective Koller describes cultural norms in MOOCs that we have also seen develop during this course, including students asking and answering each others questions and forming into smaller study groups of their own volition.
From an analytics perspective Koller talks about the way massive open online courses have enabled turning “the study of human learning from a hypothesis driven mode to the data driven mode”. Koller states that the data Coursera collects enables fundamental questions such as “what are good learning strategies versus ones that are not” to be examined. She also talks about the personalisation that is possible by virtue of having large volumes of data available, making it easier to spot anomalies and address them with targeted guidance for students.
Interestingly she doesn’t see MOOCs making traditional universities obsolete, but calls upon them to move away from the lecture based format and embrace active learning.
She finishes with a vision of the possibilities that online education brings for fundamental change in the world.