An Alternative to the Engineering Model of Personalized Learning

e-Literate, online learning, Feb 14, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Larry Berger "is exactly right that there is a fundamental problem with the assumptions behind what he calls the engineering model of personalized learning," writes Phil Hill. Berger argues that he "spent a decade believing in this model—the map, the measure, and the library, all powered by big data algorithms" but that ""the map doesn't exist, the measurement is impossible, and we have, collectively, built only 5% of the library." Hill reiterates his minority and irrelevant definition of 'personalized learning' as "teaching practices that are intended to help reach students in the metaphorical back row" but beyond that doesn't say more about Berger's commentary. And Berger's commentary is important, and importantly right.

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