A new online learning platform now under development will adapt to the “learning DNA” of students, said Angie McQuaig, director of data innovation at the University of Phoenix. Learning from Facebook, the for-profit company hopes to “deeply understand our learners,” McQuaig said at the Educause conference. From Inside Higher Ed:
Phoenix’s Learning Genome Project will be designed to infer details about students from how they behave in the online classroom, McQuaig said. If students grasp content more quickly when they learn it from a video than when they have to read a text, the system will feed them more videos. If a student is bad at interpreting graphs, the system will recognize that and present information accordingly — or connect the student with another Phoenix student who is better at graph-reading. The idea is to take the model of personal attention now only possible in the smallest classrooms and with the most responsive professors, make it even more perceptive and precise, and scale it to the largest student body in higher education.
“[Each student] comes to us with a set of learning modality preferences,” McQuaig said. The online learning platform Phoenix wants to build, she said, “reject[s] the one-size-fits-all model of presenting content online.” In the age of online education and the personal Web, the standardized curriculum is marked for extinction, McQuaig said; data analytics are going to kill it.
The University of Phoenix has been a pioneer in online learning.