from Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education :
Change happens big in technology and it happens fast. And when public money is being spent and students’ futures are at stake, it is crucial that changes also happen smart. Our new report, Expanding Evidence Approaches for Learning in a Digital World, calls for smart change by presenting educators, policymakers, and funders with an expanded view of evidence approaches and sources of data that can help them with decision-making about learning resources.
The report discusses the promise of sophisticated digital learning systems for collecting and analyzing very large amounts of fine-grained data (“big data”) as users interact with the systems. It proposes that this data can be used by developers and researchers to improve these learning systems and strive to discover more about how people learn. It discusses the potential of developing more sophisticated ways of measuring what learners know and adaptive systems that can personalize learners’ experiences.
The report describes an iterative R&D process, with rapid design cycles and built-in feedback loops—one familiar in industry but less so in education (however, the report provides numerous examples of applications in education). An iterative R&D process enables early-stage innovations to be rapidly deployed, widely adopted, and—through continuous improvement processes—refined and enhanced over time. This means that data collection and analysis can occur continuously and that users are integral to the improvement process.
The report encourages learning technology developers, researchers, and educators to collaborate with and learn from one another as a means of accelerating progress and ensuring innovation in education.
In the spirit of an iterative development process, we are posting this report for public comment. Does the report resonate with your view of the emerging digital learning landscape and the data? Do you have examples of evidence gathering methods that use emerging data? Are the recommendations the right ones for enabling progress? Do you have other thoughts and ideas on the topic of data, evidence and digital learning? We would like to hear from you!
The content of the report include the following chapters:
(download from here, or here: Expanding_Evidence_Approaches_DRAFT)
- Chapter 1: Making Sure Learning Resources Promote Deeper Learning
- Chapter 2: Building Adaptive Learning Systems That Support Personalized Learning
- Chapter 3: Combining Data to Create Support Systems More Responsive to Student Needs
- Chapter 4: Improving the Content and Process of Assessment with Technology
- Chapter 5: Finding Appropriate Learning Resources and Making Informed Choices
- Summary and Recommendations
Yes, data is the only hard evidence of what works in digital learning and the compass for personalized learning journey.
- 5 Must-Read Articles for Latest Educational Technology Trends (classroom-aid.com)
- Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics (classroom-aid.com)
- Evidence of Teaching, Evidence of Learning (cea-ace.ca)
- Data: It’s more than test scores (eschoolnews.com)