The struggle to online education: three kinds of mode to improve user engagement

abstract: this article is available online course learning platform Thinkful, co-founder of Dan Friedman’s experience to share. Online education in popular today, he unveiled a false prosperity, cover the deep concern of the industry. Although many sign up, but only a few real completion. How to improve the participation of online education, the author puts forward three kinds of modes for reference.

three years ago, Sebastian Thrun recorded within its at Stanford university to teach a course in artificial intelligence, and upload to Internet platform for the number up to 180000 students in online learning, Sebastian Thrun himself at the same time also on his road to “reform of higher education”. Soon after, founded by a computer science professor at Stanford university, two free Coursera large network public course projects, to achieve democracy education Udacity private education organizations, and other similar institutions have also said it would provide high value free courses, in order to solve the problem of students heavily indebted and economic difficulties. Since then, more than 8 million students in the network course registration.

three years later, nothing has resulted from the vigorous reform are: participate in registration only half of the attendance of the students, some even just heard of a course; Only 4% of the students to keep learning and graduation. Open and large network courses (MOCC) in the audience is a person who has obtained a college degree, it also makes the status quo of higher education “change” promise become empty talk. MOOC course provider the explanation is: free course completion is not an accurate measure of success for this reform. But as a for-profit colleges and universities of the SAN jose state university in an experiment also show that the network curriculum mode of teaching efficiency is lower than that of the traditional model.

but then again, the result is not surprising. Online learning mode in early before they can solve the problem of learning channels: 8 million people registered online courses, plus iTunesU downloaded over 1 billion times, we really can feel people’s demand for online courses. But we did not feel, these online classes can be as effective as traditional teaching, and even more effective than traditional also? Behind these questions is to focus on a more difficult problem: engagement.

if you are a network course student, it’s easy to stick for maybe you will find: the exhaustion of a long day work, “I want to learn a new skill!” The sacred goal often follow turn off the web page is in limbo. Online learning also requires students to attend and pass the test, but the test not only need to do is good for students, also need to let students enjoy it. Now, some Internet companies, large enterprises and institutions of higher learning finally get online education in which direction the development of the real: the study in reasonable price levels to promote a substantial step forward. And as for the development goals, there have been three avenues to promote its implementation: tutor system, retention, marketing and new form of practice teaching.

in the first place, people have long known that one-on-one tutor teaching much more efficient than the collective teaching. Attention focused on a tutor to teach, can make a person at the right time focus on the right questions, so as to accelerate the process of his study; Establish the real teaching relationship and the same teacher can also give students bring the sense of responsibility. In personalized online education platform Thinkful, students in the class teacher the day before the study will be a peak. Because of that one-on-one teaching relations, makes the students want to reach more learning goals, and this desire is so into more efficient learning. And Thinkful is trying to apply this kind of social pressure to each week of the teaching work, so that can be used to study all the time in the future. In fact, in some cases, we need to respect the person remind yourself: to study the bone, again difficult also to chew on.

second, learning and marketing should be preserved. Has a series of methods, such as email, phone call and push messages, are able to ensure that the students can continue to participate in the existing network course learning.

network storage Dropbox online application in this respect is worth learning. When the user opens the enterprise cloud service application Dropbox for Teams of page, Dropbox will send an email to users: “thank you for using Dropbox for Teams! But you may not have fully understand these Dropbox for Teams function… “. At the right time to present a network for the user class products, online learning platform can help users to gradually develop good study habits. Sometimes, we need to just to remind myself: should spend more time to study.

once again, in the network platform to help the user’s computer and phone are immersive learning experience before, to achieve “practice teaching of” new technology is also impossible. In the 1960 s, famous psychologist, Jerome Bruner promote one, known as the education theory of constructivism, think students should be under the guidance of teachers, through the way of study, and intuitively to master complex theory. And this kind of try and fail, and then by a mentor to guide teaching way in the right direction, proved to be a effective way to drive students to continue learning.

however, we also not clear is that the “leading” into such as sandbox game Minecraft or head-mounted display Oculus in the “new bottle”, can harvest ten times than the original even higher learning effect? In fact, Minecraft applied learning approach has paid off; In the article published, Thinkful for Oculus equipment procurement, in order to use it to promote practical teaching. This new immersive virtual learning environment can hold the attention of students, is a traditional textbooks cannot do.

the last there is a commonly used those education institutions “good way”, effective, but in the long run is deadly: reduce the difficulty of the class. Management of network course platform company found course completion rate is lower, then take the important teaching material of “quick fix” cuts to raise completion rate.

Udacity at the beginning of the creation, its initial difficulty with Stanford university disciplines corresponding curriculum difficulty remains at the same level; Nowadays, there are many on the Udacity subject only need to spend 40 hours to complete. Imagine, spend a week of kung fu can let Stanford give you the credit of a discipline, the brand-name colleges and universities face also go toward where put? Go on like this, in the near future we may indeed be able to hear such as network course completion “rapidly improve this kind of” good news “, “but never one filed a high completion rate low behind the difficulty of the class.

to some extent, the so-called “progress” for the whole industry is a kind of hurt, because not learn real skills, it didn’t work and can’t find a job, the marking time and can not get promotion, low capacity of the staff to improve work efficiency. Although we don’t want to do look at for-profit colleges so decline, but in the report said the expedient beautifully in the long run save nothing.

as said earlier, the channels for the future of online learning is not the problem: the real problem is how to make use of existing knowledge to complete the line will be able to finish the job, at the same time, combined with the content that can only be completed online, together to create the most these learning experience. But no matter how to mix, the nature of the most necessary factor has always been that several: to explore the way and thoughtful personalized experience from practice, strong faculty support.

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