There are countless online learning systems out there. So what’s the safest and most suitable for students?
What Is The Safest Online Language Learning System
By Karen Gann:
A newly launched virtual company called Unbound is revolutionizing learning through new software that’s already being used for Harvard classes and getting three stars from the New York Times.
Unbound is using facial recognition technology, automatic typing shortcuts and automatic answers to make it easy for students to speak once and learn everywhere. The company took our latest Future of Learning class from reporter Kylie Wray to explain how they went from an idea to practicality.
What is Unbound?
Unbound was founded in May 2017 with the goal of making online courses as engaging as in-person experiences with hands-on work.
Unbound founder Paulina Patel wants students to reach their educational potential by making every learning opportunity as convenient as possible.
Where is it, and how many do you have?
Unbound is launched in the fall of 2017 to provide online Learning Assistant programs. It has courses in Human Anatomy, Chemistry, Engineering and Psychology, among others. And they’re using real University students to teach the courses.
There are 18 Education Design classes already available. These classes are centered around the principles of Unbound: Making it convenient and affordable for the learners, continually updating the experience and educating learners about themselves.
How do you measure learning?
We use natural language processing to understand the sentiments in students’ written language, allow them to use descriptive language and turn it into learning opportunities. We try to get students to express themselves using body language, rather than using text.
We also use data analysis to surface students’ learning from video, listening and translations. Because these students have come from universities and internships, they have had a unique insight into their own learning experience.
The course must be at least 75 percent complete before any materials are sent.
Students are primarily on-line at the moment. There are plans to start offering courses in physical spaces in 2019, but starting a course in virtual spaces is easier than starting anywhere else.
How much is your course?
Unbound is priced by length of the course. We get feedback from students about how much they want to spend for each course.
Our Standard Course is about 1,000 and a $115 monthly fee.
The best structured one is “Cupid to Get Here” (just for Romance), for $290 per month. It can last six months, and students can come and go. For these types of courses, we can measure their learning over time.
What are the challenges of this field?
There is a lot of interest from people in learning, but many of them are on-line learners who want to complete content, but need some help. In order to qualify for certification, they need a learning score over one percent. There is a lot of planning that has to be done. Every online learning platform has a community support team, so that process can be smoothed over. But getting five-star reviews from students is critical to us.
“The biggest barrier, for now, is trust,” Paulina said. “People just want to be able to trust that what they are reading is going to be teaching-able and relevant.”
What advantages and risks does online language courses offer over other types of learning?
The biggest advantage for a language course is that you don’t need a lot of time or money for a one-on-one instructor. With language training, you can take more than one course to cover the level you need.
How do you use visual aids to facilitate learning?
We use a few techniques to have these immersive experiences. The first is using a language tool box that you can find online to have photographs, diagrams and glossaries that give context. You can also drill through your own worksheets to remember the concepts and get them faster.
The second is that we are providing additional words, numbers and equations at the end of each lesson. You can break the sequence down into chunks and experiment with them in your own language as well.
How do you measure student retention rates?
We also take a biennial survey to get feedback on learners. This is how we identify students that are continuing their sessions and shows a good retention rate.
The biggest challenge, for now, is trust. People just want to be able to trust that what they are reading is going to be teaching-able and relevant.
What’s next for you?
We recently raised money and we’ve been launching more courses. The next one we’re focused on is a food and cooking course that we’ll release in spring 2019.