UAE reaping the fruits of online education
“We are on the verge of tremendous change, as both the amount of data available increases and methods for collection are increasingly embedded in modern life,” said Dr DiCerbo.“The key to harnessing this potential is identifying the most effective ways to capture this data and turn it into meaningful information educators can use to assist their students.”
The opportunities that online education tools provide in terms of student assessment, engagement and education outcomes was discussed at the recently concluded 2015 Global Education Forum in Dubai, UAE.
Dr Kristen DiCerbo, principal research scientist at Pearson, led a discussion at GEF 2015 based on the findings of her recent research paper, ‘Impacts of the Digital Ocean on Education.’
She emphasised how the massive amounts of data now available from student interactions, the digital ocean, can be used to underpin new and more effective methods of assessment and better outcomes for learners.
“We are on the verge of tremendous change, as both the amount of data available increases and methods for collection are increasingly embedded in modern life,” said Dr DiCerbo.
“Today’s students interact with digital technology on a day-to-day basis, and their interactions with online learning tools can provide continuous data to educators - creating a more holistic view of the learner’s progress than traditional assessment methods.
“The key to harnessing this potential is identifying the most effective ways to capture this data and turn it into meaningful information educators can use to assist their students.”
The session resonated with participants from the UAE, as educators across the country are increasingly turning to e-learning and the use of online resources, including the new wave of game-based learning and assessment tools, for both distance and classroom education.
Dr Di Cerbo cited a specific case study showing the complete cycle from activity integration and data collection to educator decision-making and long term impacts, and invited attendees to consider the possibilities for their own institutions.
“The digital ocean provides educators with a unique opportunity to understand the learning process, to assess the efficacy of different methods and techniques, and to use this new understanding to provide unobtrusive tailored support to individual learners, as well as to improve educational outcomes for all,” she said.
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