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Wednesday, November 15, 2017
BLOCKCHAIN ACADEMY: TRY Technology Enabled Learning for the Financial Markets | CapitalWave Inc.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s when the public education system changed its instructional model—to today’s factory model—that the blackboard became a staple of American education. Lesson? The model matters.
Fast forward to today, and we see the same dynamic. A new—and very helpful—analysis of the researchhelps tease this out and perhaps can at last break the infuriating log-jam between those who argue technology is a distraction at best and those who argue it is an extremely positive force.
At J-PAL—MIT’s Poverty Action Lab—Maya Escueta (Columbia), Vincent Quan (J-PAL North America), Andre Joshua Nickow (Northwestern), and Phil Oreopoulos (University of Toronto; Co-Chair, J-PAL's Education sector)released a reviewof more than 100 experimental studies (RCTs and RDDs) in education technology to examine the evidence across four key areas of education technology: access to technology, computer-assisted learning, technology-based behavioral interventions in education, and online learning.
Among the findings, according to the summary J-PAL provided:
Computer-assisted learning, in which educational software helps students develop particular skills, is particularly promising, especially in math. This is likely because of the software’s ability to personalize by adapting to a student’s learning level and letting the student learn at the right pace for her, as well as the ability to provide teachers immediate feedback on student performance that is actionable. This is of course no surprise to those of us who have been excited about blended-learning models that personalize learning for students.
Technology-based behavioral interventions—like nudging a student to register for a course—produce consistently improved learning outcomes.
Initiatives that provide computers to every student in a classroom do not improve learning outcomes. That isvery predictable given our research on the perils of cramming technology. I’ll repeat myself again here: You have to focus on the learning model first followed by the technology in service of that learning model. Initiatives that start with the technology almost always fail in my experience.
Research on online courses is still early, but it appears that “blended” courses produce similar outcomes as in-person courses, which could drive down costs. In-person classes outperform fully online ones—a reason to still keep fully online courses focused on areas of nonconsumption, where the alternative is nothing at all and therefore not competing against an in-person course.
In my view, this is what I’d expect a review to find, as it points to the tremendous promise of technology to personalize learning (note: the outcomes here are still reliant on good learning design) and the peril of merely cramming technology in to existing, analog learning models.
Will this spur the research community to take note and sharpen the questions it asks about technology and learning going forward? Let’s hope so. It’s high time we move beyond a broken debate and simplistic research around whether technology in education is good or bad that serve no one’s interests.
Our Digital Learning Environment (DLE) is our implementation of the MOOC learning-framework. Many of the larger MOOC environments have been a test-bed of innovation, with lots of trial and errors. We have continually looked at what features are most engaging and how they are implemented.
Features like enrollment and course outlines are an absolute must. Video training is indispensable for learning. Online resources are invaluable. Ongoing testing and assessment is mandatory. Discussion forums that are attuned to courses, modules and lessons are required.
Twitter, micro blogs, and full blown blogs are generally not welcome in today’s corporate environment. Social bookmarking may be an ideal that many firms feel that they want to offer staff are generally shunned by their compliance departments.
Our original approach to the DLE was to attempt to work within existing LMS frameworks. Most LMS frameworks are way to restrictive for the flexible MOOC delivery. Our next approach was to copy what various firms were offering (even using their open-source code). Quickly dropping that approach to develop our own platform because these open-source platforms provided limited security and bolstering the ‘assessment and testing’ features was major surgery.
The DLE is comprised of four main functions:
VCP – Video Content Platform
FSP – Financial Simulation Platform
ORA – Online Resources and Assessments
Admin – The administrative back end that manages courses, instructors, staff and deep metrics.
Our DLE platform is flexible, tuned to MOOC-style courses, has a deep testing and assessment system, offers powerful discussion forum and can be conveniently integrated into single-sign-on systems to insure ease and access for all participants.
Without a doubt, this platform is our most disruptive training product. The DLE has already changed the delivery of two major firms (one in the UK and one in the US).
The delivery method is a game-changer for companies, staff, learning and development teams, and for line managers. For many firms, offering of the training is only one small consideration to offering and delivery. Issues such as: time away from the desk, cost of flying staff to a specific location, hotel and accommodation costs for the programs, better metrics for ROI and availability to review material afterwards. These other costs generally are 5-10x’s the cost of the program.
CapitalWave is on the forefront of delivering programs via our custom training portal. We have taken the learning framework of MOOC’s and have applied them in creating a custom/private MOOC to deliver special training.