Importance of Natural Resources

edX – Education Datapalooza


Many of you know edX as edX.org, the destination
site founded by MIT, Harvard, Berkeley to deliver great courses to a worldwide audience.
That same code base that is used to power edX.org is available in an open source project
called Open edX. At the Data Jam we brought both our engineers and of course our source
code and enabled people to build projects and utilize the edX engineers to get those
going. And you can see from the list of companies that the Data Jam had a very significant impact.
We were transformed almost instantly from an open source project to an open source community
with an ecosystem. So what were some of the three big ideas that I wanted to talk about
that came out of that Data Jam? The first I’m calling the personal education record.
What are students learning online? How are they learning it? And what have they achieved?
Pretty important. We know they all get a certificate of completion, over 50% of students who say
I want a certificate of completion or I’m signing up for that actually do complete that
work. Well, next please. How did they do that? How can companies participate in that ecosystem,
to help coach them along? So ADL, Carnie Labs, Parchment took the open edX codebase and extended
it with a set of open edX connectors. Those connectors allowed, first of all, to publish
what the course materials are to a learning registry. The second thing they enables was
to take student records and export those out of the data base, out of the back end of edX
in order to be able to have a registry where that data is the student’s data. If you think
about this personal education record and you think about the challenge of interoperability,
we’re at that inflection point right now. We couldn’t do it with the personal health
record, but if we get behind some of these standards, we’ll be able to know across MOOCs
what students learn, how they learned it, and what they achieved. The next big idea
I want to talk about is rapid course cohorts. For those of you standing in the back there,
if you can imagine you’re back in a college classroom, that’s the original distance learning.
What happened right back up there if you look at all that? This team led by Jane Manning
at Stanford said, look we got a call when the Stanford database course was being offered
from a Professor in Puerto Rico. She wanted her students to take that course and have
access to the grades of that course and be able to track that. The team got together
on the Open edX code base and created a rapid cohorting mechanism where each student said,
look I’m signing up for this course and I agree to allow the professor to see the grades.
A very interesting idea to have students come to the classroom to really work together and
have a professor help them move that along. The third big idea, of course what would this
be without big data. But Daniel Seton from MITx said I’ve been looking at all this data,
there’s about 10 GB of data, maybe we could compress it to 2 GB but can we really understand
what is the state of the student, what is the state of the mind when looking at this
click stream. And so what the team decided to do was look for the top 5 students who
were issuing over 2,000 clicks a piece and find out what was going on. I’m dubbing this
the learner frustration index. Some students are just frustrated. They are clicking around
very quickly. If we can use this big data to identify those students who are at risk,
we can then alert folks to what needs to happen and how to intervene. Three big ideas from
Open edX. Thank you.


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