Lessons learned from using Khan Academy content in a blended learning pilot

Alfred Essa, Innovation | Analytics, Jan 02, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm highlighting this item just to scratch my head in public. What we have here is a study (reported via Seb Schmoller) where "students using Khan Academy content in a blended learning model showed, on average, a 6.4% gain compared to a 5.2% gain in the control group. The two groups scored roughly the same overall, each showing better results in some areas compared to the other group." Well, OK, typical if uninformative. But then we learn from Alfred Essa that, "the students in the study had all failed algebra. The authors mention this but only in passing. We need to keep this in mind before deriving hasty conclusions. A tentative hypothesis might be: 'Khan Academy in a blended context shows no gains for failing students…'" Or something! And Schmoller then opbserves "despite this the students’ pre and post-test scores were not deplorably poor." Who publishes a study like this? Google and the Stanford University D. School, that's who. Odd. Leaves me scratching my head.
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