Tag Archives: elearning

The Top 10 Advantages of an Online Education

online educationOnline education is by far the fastest growing sector in the education industry. Here are a few statistics to give you some scope of the state of affairs.

  • Over 4.6 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2008 term, a 17 percent increase over the number reported the previous year.
  • The 17 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.2 percent growth of the overall higher education student population.
  • More than one in four college and university students now take at least one course online.

Are you surprised?

I definitely was. Continue reading

So What Is Knewton?

Knewton_logo_processknockout

An online test prep company.

The world’s most powerful adaptive learning engine.

An educational platform, about to do a great amount of good.

A second home to 35 extraordinarily talented people, working around the clock.

We like to believe all those assertions are true. And we plan to use this blog as the enlightenment arm of our apparatus. Check in often for thoughts and opinions on subjects ranging from subject-pronoun agreement to remixed vocab quizzes to the democratization of educational materials for learners across the world.

You’ll read insights from our teachers, our CEO, our interns, our investors and others—all from a majestic plural narrative perspective we haven’t really figured out yet.

Learning Adapted

Branch_PB_04_stillThe word “adapt” has its roots in the Latin word aptare, meaning “to fit.” We think learning works best when it fits you specifically, the way shoes work best when they fit your feet. One on one, any competent teacher can customize the lesson to fit a student’s needs. But in groups, it can be difficult or impossible. Every classroom teacher faces the same challenge: Half the class is bored; the other half is struggling.

How do you pace a lesson so that everyone in the room is on the same page?

Technology can help. Computer programs can track your progress and serve up lesson plans or practice questions to suit your unique needs. Self-pacing helps to keep you in a state of fluid learning. When you’re working, you want to be challenged enough to stay engaged, without being so overwhelmed that you get frustrated. Software can fill the role of a personal tutor.

You’ve probably experienced adaptive learning without meaning to—in the context of video games. A well-designed game is first and foremost a self-paced learning tool. If you master the easier early levels, you move on to the harder ones. If not, you repeat the early ones. Not every game is well-balanced, but the best ones carefully balance challenges with rewards to maintain your personal flow.

At Knewton, we think adaptive learning is especially important because some of our students will face adaptive testing. The GMAT is administered as a Computer Adaptive Test. It starts with a question of medium difficulty. If you answer it correctly, you get a harder question next. If you answer incorrectly, you get an easier question. The computerized GMAT is unique to each test taker. We think the best way to practice for this kind of test is with computerized adaptive learning.