By Joshua Kim
A few days after the Hewlett sponsored gathering Learning with MOOCs wrapped, one word keeps buzzing through my brain: and that word is data.
This was less a MOOC workshop than a coming out party for the postsecondary learning-focused data scientists.
Instructional designers were yesterday’s hot new member of the course development team. Today, the must-have course development team member (along with faculty and instructional designers and media specialist and librarians) is the data scientist.
And not just any data scientist. A data scientist who is also an expert in program assessment. A data scientist who is also a learning geek, steeped in all things Bloom and constructivist.
Maybe these learning-centric data scientists have always been wandering around campus. Hanging out with the good people in Institutional Research, ensconced over at the Ed School.
From here on out the learning-focused data scientists are the new superstars. The cool kids. The big women and men on campus.
Some of the area where learning-focused data scientists will impact include:
- The learning-focused data scientists on our course teams will have a seat at the table as we develop our open online courses, as we transform our large introductory classes, and as we put together new blended and online degrees.
- The learning-focused data scientists will help us come up with learning hypothesis that they will later test, taking advantage of the massive data streams created by online learning at scale.
- The learning-focused data scientists will help faculty and instructional designers apply lessons learned from MOOCs to residential classes.
- The learning-focused data scientists will be at the forefront of a trend towards evidence-based design and practice in course development and teaching.
- The learning-focused data scientists will create visual representations of student learning, dashboards of student performance, and evaluation reports on course-specific interventions.
We may be living through an inflection point in higher ed teaching and learning. A sea change or broad transformation in postsecondary learning.
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/here-come-data-scientists ]