Daphne Koller talks about the potential of distributed education and massive open online courses.
There are some tremendous opportunities to be had from this kind of framework. The first is that it has the potential of giving us a completely unprecedented look into understanding human learning. Because the data that we can collect here is unique. You can collect every click, every homework submission, every forum post from tens of thousands of students. So you can turn the study of human learning from the hypothesis-driven mode to the data-driven mode, a transformation that, for example, has revolutionized biology. You can use these data to understand fundamental questions like, what are good learning strategies that are effective versus ones that are not? And in the context of particular courses, you can ask questions like, what are some of the misconceptions that are more common and how do we help students fix them?
Hosted by Cyndi Varady and Stephanie Roach (LIS Lady), twelve or so library and information professionals and students enjoyed the pint beer specials and delicious food at Cafe Flore.
With the start of school in August, and several students in attendance, much of the focus was on new classes at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science. However, the Bay Area has other LIS education opportunities, which were a hot topic at the August Meet-Up.
Coming soon (October-December 2011) is Stanford University’s experiment in distributed education, featuring free courses in computer science such as “Introduction to Databases,” “Machine Learning” and “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.” The school is offering these courses free as online versions of their on-campus counterparts. It is such a neat opportunity, and it seems that, at least for some topics, this type of free course could break down economic barriers to higher education today. More than 45,000 students have signed up for each course so far. The courses are available to students “worldwide.” However, there is always the digital divide to consider, as not everyone has ready access to computers and other necessary technology to participate in this type of experiment in distributed education. Nonetheless, I am very interested in this opportunity and can’t wait to hear more about it.
Watch for details about the next IPSC Meet-Up on the LIS Lady Blog.