Personalization and the 2 Sigma Problem

Arthur VanderVeen, The Pulse, Aug 10, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

"Personalization." writes Arthur VanderVeen, "is defined as differentiating instruction and providing regular corrective feedback based on the needs of each student." But it's very expensive to do effectively for groups of students. According to Benjamin Bloom, the best response is mastery learning: identify and address gaps in prerequisite knowledge, increase participation and ownership, find something positive in students’ responses, check for understanding, and provide additional clarification as needed. Opposed to this, we have the argument from people like Benjamin Riley that "students don’t have the requisite knowledge schemas to effectively direct their own learning (path)" and that "students generally won’t push themselves to learn without external oversight." But VanderVeen responds, it's a cooperative enterprise.

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