Broad Learnings

 7,131

Global Education Unlocked

Our challenge is to unlock the power of education for everyone by using technology to create a step-change in learning outcomes.
stage:
Enter
prize:
$6,500
Overview

Challenge Overview

Introduction

Traditional education at the school level (K12) is beset with problems of access and resources, creating a gap that is daunting for most kids in the developing world and the underprivileged in developing countries. With this innovation contest, we hope to develop technology-based tools and solutions that can convert learning into an open resource to unlock the unique benefits only education can bring. 

We are all familiar with online learning in many forms today, from a quick google search to e-learning for training at one’s workplace. Although mostly limited to higher education or skills retraining in technology-related subjects, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have become ubiquitous. However, the large enrollments and flexibility of these virtual classes create an impersonal atmosphere and they suffer from a high dropout rate. 

Context 

Traditional education at the school level (K12) is beset with problems of access and resources, creating a gap that is daunting for most kids in the developing world and the underprivileged in developing countries. With this innovation contest, we hope to develop technology-based tools and solutions that can convert learning into an open resource to unlock the unique benefits only education can bring. 

We are all familiar with online learning in many forms today, from a quick google search to e-learning for training at one’s workplace. Although mostly limited to higher education or skills retraining in technology-related subjects, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have become ubiquitous. However, the large enrollments and flexibility of these virtual classes create an impersonal atmosphere and they suffer from a high dropout rate. 

Most current offerings in online education at K12 level have many shortcomings. Even worse, with the pandemic has come a forced adoption of online education that was never planned for and is severely limited in what it can provide young learners.

At the most basic level, most public schools in the US provide to each student a laptop or tablet device, along with subscription to a cloud-based subscription to productivity suite. However, the classroom is traditional in every sense, including instruction and activities. 

At the K12 level, two major types of online classroom offerings exist: blended learning and distance learning. 

In the blended classroom, teachers utilize computer-mediated personalization of instruction sets and flexible learning schedules for each student. However, the course contents are the same for all students and are the same as traditional classrooms. Automatic feedback from quizzes often do not relate back to concepts or skills of the subject matter. Tracking progress individually is also a challenge. Measurable gains in learning are hard to assess, partly because of lack of standards in metrics. The blended classroom is only available in a few schools in the US and is largely experimental and exclusive. 

Distance education (also called remote or virtual learning), is typically only available as a supplement. Students and parents use online course material on a fully flexible schedule.  Assessment-based personalization of material and progress tracking through coursework is available on some platforms but a sense of community is difficult to foster at scale. Pedagogical developments in this space are still evolving. Moreover, barriers to access remain strong.

We founded Broad Learnings with the vision to help everyone the opportunity to maximize their learning outcomes, regardless of barriers. Our platform not only provides free access to quality academic material to all, but also offers personalized learning paths for students. However, we find that to realize our mission, we need to wield next-level tools, technologies, and methods in innovative ways to win a step-change in learning outcomes for all students. This is our challenge.

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Problem Statement

We are launching this challenge to identify new ways to improve the virtual learning platform experience. We want to encourage the next generation of teachers, students, programmers, scientists, researchers, policy makers, and anyone passionate about education to help create new learning tools that benefit a large number of learners in a variety of settings. 

Specifically, we are interested in tools and solutions that use or enable one or more of the following:

  1. Improved understanding of course material in terms of specific concepts, ideas, methods, relationships between concepts
  2. Improved skills in applying understanding of course material to new situations
  3. Personalization of educational content or progress path through a course of study
  4. Efficient assessment of learning outcomes across clearly identified metrics
  5. Engaging learning system with interactive lessons, games, problem solving exercises
  6. Virtual tutoring system in which the student learns by interactions with a computer-driven system through a natural language interface (voice or text)
  7. Systems that promote learning through a virtual community of students

Since we are covering K12, we are looking to cover well-understood domains. The submission can be limited in application to a specific subject, such as science, mathematics, life sciences, or language, or be more generally applicable. At this level the submission is not expected to be dependent on or limited to any particular standard or curriculum.

We want bold and creative ideas, including those that combine existing ideas and practices in new ways. References have been provided only to help provide a context and perhaps a starting point for reviewing existing solutions. 

There have been multiple attempts in the academia as well as commercially to develop this type of solutions (see references). For many reasons, they have not translated into practical systems that can be adopted by a large number of users. 

Some of these solutions, such as intelligent tutoring systems, have been prohibitively expensive to build and deploy because of underlying complexity of solution. Such systems are instructor-driven and typically cover only material (covering specific topics, problems, or tasks) that have been prepared in advance. They can also require special training for teachers and complex authoring tools. 

On the other hand, currently available personalization systems that are designed to assess and/or track individual learning still continue to select from a set collection of static teaching material. 

Students learn not only from teachers or course material but also from their peers. However, strong interaction among digital learners is usually afforded only through teachers in blended classroom, a scenario that requires access to physical classrooms.

This challenge is asking you to develop ideas for new tools and methods based on the current rapid advancement of digital technology. What have you seen or thought about that works well?

Resources 

Some online resources 

Authoring tool                                                  http://ctat.pact.cs.cmu.edu

Intelligent Tutoring System                     http://ace.autotutor.org/IISAutotutor/index.html

Dynamic content generation                  https://www.ontotext.com/knowledge-hub/

Collaborative Prototyping Tool             https://www.figma.com/

Collaborative Prototyping Tool             https://balsamiq.com/

Ontology                                                               https://www.bbc.co.uk/ontologies/curriculum

Course material                                                https://www.broadlearnings.com

 

References

Publications

 Walkington, C. & Bernacki, M.L. (2020). Appraising research on personalized learning: Definitions, theoretical alignment, advancements, and future directions, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 52:3, 235-252, DOI: 10.1080/15391523.2020.1747757

Graesser, A.C., Hu, X., and Sottilare, R. (2018). Intelligent Tutoring Systems, International handbook of the Learning Sciences, published by Routledge, ISBN 978-1-138-67059-4

Xie, H., Chu, H.C., Hwang, G.J., Wang, C.C. (2007 to 2017).  Trends and development in technology-enhanced adaptive/personalized learning: A systematic review of journal publications, Computers & Education, Volume 140, 2019,103599, ISSN 0360-1315 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103599.)

Lippert, A., Shubeck, K., Morgan, B. et al. (2020). Multiple Agent Designs in Conversational Intelligent Tutoring Systems. Tech Know Learn 25, 443–463. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-019-09431-8

Roman, D., Dimitrov, M., Nikolov, N. et al. (2016). DataGraft: Simplifying Open Data Publishing, In: Posters & Demos of the 13th European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2016), Heraklion, Greece. https://www.ontotext.com/documents/publications/2016/DataGraft-Demo-FINAL.pdf

Carchiolo, V., Longheu, A., Malgeri, M., Mangioni, G.(2003). "Courses personalization in an e-learning environment", Proceedings 3rd IEEE International Conference on Advanced Technologies, Athens, Greece, pp. 252-253, doi: 10.1109/ICALT.2003.1215069.

 

Judging Criteria and Submission Protocol

To be eligible for a prize, the idea or tool must be accompanied by 1) a sketch or video demo and, 2) a user interface demo. Preference will be given to entries that provide steps of their methods through flow charts, pseudo-code, or detailed description.

We are interested in practical solutions that will be feasible within current political and social set ups.  Preference will be given to entries that will be viable with widely-available levels of technology infrastructure. Solutions must have a viable path to implementation. Qualifying solutions be such that they can be prototyped in six months.

We recommend using tools, such as Figma and Balsamiq, to sketch out the ideas for submission. We also want to encourage people to team up and collaborate, particularly because solving this challenge may require multiple disciplines to converge. 

We are looking for technology-based solutions, not proposals for policy changes in education. We are not looking for already developed commercial tools. However, we do encourage submissions that are leveraging multiple pre-existing tools or methods to make a working solution.  

Any intellectual property within the winning entries to this contest will be owned by the challenge sponsor. 

Submissions will be reviewed by a group of experts chosen by us according to the following criteria:

Criteria

Description

Weighted Percentage

Impact

Solution can potentially change how students fundamentally learn today

30

Innovation

Novelty or creativeness of the approach used; solution is an improvement over state-of-art technology or best practices

25

Implementation

Viability of implementation with currently available technology; Likeliness/feasibility of idea to be prototyped within 6 months of conception

20

Ease of Use

Proposed concept is easy to use and understand

15

Quality of submission

Proposal and explanation are concise and clear with proper highlights of how it should work, including the capture and use of data

10

Timeline
Updates 5
Forum 4
Community 242
FAQ