It’s not always easy to know how long a course will take, and most do not include a maximum number of participants in their teaching AI.
What Is Time Average In Online Learning Algorithms
Last week, Coursera announced plans to launch, “a new beginning to learning on digital platforms for working professionals,” with the introduction of in-house software that would learn students’ time to deduct the full cost of education from their bank accounts. Yet, historically, there’s been controversy surrounding time average in online learning programs.
It’s undeniable that Coursera’s announcement caused some blowback from educators, but for the most part, teachers have rallied to speak in support of Coursera’s new project. “We can do a better job in teaching and engaging learners and give them the tools they need to retain all the learning,” said Toufic Hamid, Coursera’s Vice President for Innovation, during the announcement. “We’ve heard what the learners say, and their feedback would be clear.” For example, teachers at Cal State San Bernardino expressed concern that in the future, online learning systems will influence how they teach and teach differently.
However, in a recent interview with Mom Search Blog, Dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, Patricia Cooper, stated, “Online learning systems are based on having a predicted population of a given amount of time to complete a course.” Cooper goes on to say, “I’m not convinced that, when we say, ‘There’s always enough time,’ that there’s really enough time…Online teaching is like any other type of learning. We can teach with shorter courses.”
In fact, the problem in online learning systems is that they continually assume that students are capable of completing courses over a given amount of time. As Dean Cooper points out, “I think we’re always going to find ways that our overall system can support learning. But that’s always going to be adapted to people’s needs, abilities, and lives.”
While Professor Anne Collins, Director of the Center for Equity Studies at the University of Oregon, agrees that online learning systems are not meant to replace on-site learning, she contends that they are one tool in the toolbox that can be helpful in a holistic way. However, rather than constantly forgetful, students should only need a certain amount of time to complete a course. Since online learning systems are made up of reams of information, it’s up to instructors to train students on how to learn and how to master it.
“Online learning has its advantages,” says Stanford professor Lesley Chilcott, who provided data supporting her contention. “It allows more people to pursue higher education, has exciting ways to connect people, encourages them to be present in the moment, allows teachers to do much more than perhaps they used to, has amazing ways of collaborating with other faculty, huge opportunities for personal growth. Online learning is brilliant.”
However, it’s also critical to realize that in order to provide all these benefits and still use online learning systems effectively, professors need to reframe their approach to teaching online to include task-based learning (TBL), where tasks in a learning course are grouped together and students learn by doing. Collins argues that “this is extremely powerful because not only do students get to meet each other in their work and discuss it with their colleagues, but it encourages them to keep going when they may not be sure they have the answer to a question.”
Thus, by placing online learning systems in the context of TBL, Coursera’s new system of learning removes both uncertainty and rigidity. Students are given the freedom to take smaller chunks of time to complete their work, and as they explore topics they may not be able to figure out right away. In the future, professors could tailor courses that provide real-world training opportunities through online learning systems, a practice that has been used successfully in the learning lab of sociology professor, Elizabeth Rasmussen, whose students study how early childhood education impacts communities.