(Not long time ago this was the case, now is totally different, it is good to have some background of different situations, so for the sake of continuity I am posting this, but you know it was in my blogger from the beginning, this is just an old follow up… for the next post)
Oh!!! No!!! What is going on!!! Failure!!! Poor rates!!! Look at the performance!!!
Some Media and their ways of putting things….
Remediation classes… Ha! It is exactly the word that put in a very questionable position the origin of an Olympian, wonderful, and amazing set of tools that Udacity is… It is also an experiment, and the population is a very special one. For one year+ Udacity has delivered in a very concise format a huge amount of knowledge. Udacity is a place to enjoy and learn; if remediation was the challenge then you do not put unreachable constrains if you want good comments from the Press; if your objective is to experiment then go ahead and learn from your experience, and that is a success.
In Udacity or while learning in any arena you need to have time to experiment, explore, try, challenge, dare, improve your abilities; which ones… well let’s see an example; when mankind were learning to play with electronic games some 20+ years ago, first we needed to learn to press the right buttons for any special movement, then it came the combinations; after, you are able to do the series of nested combinations. Nowadays, you can easily point out who has been playing for a long time just because it came natural to them all the micro movements they need to do in the fastest precise way to win over the opponent.
The population for remediation has very different problems to deal with but, the worst pervasive one is the LACK OF TIME as I just read and concurred in Sebastian Thrun post explanation. Next to that one is the pressure to repeat a concept in certain time and with that believe that you are going to assure success. The brain doesn’t work like that… it is boring and then the attention to detail is lost in an abysm of boredom. Every single person who needs remediation needs to be diagnosed exactly with the special need or with the located misunderstood concept and start from that or those, people can have many. It needs to have a systematic approach of assistance. That means to diagnose from the beginning what are you dealing with. Or at least have a history of what has been happening.
What I have learned, study and seen in the amazing wonderful universe of learning is that it needs to be INTERESTING. Not long time ago a person told me to repeat courses that I have already taken. Wow! I was furious, and I refused for a long time, then I meditated. If I have already passed them then I can look at them again in another perspective, since I do not have any pressure but my own. I am taking my time and refuel my patience to hear the same things by the same people in the same manner. Well I do not reread books, I don’t see movies twice in a regular basis, it needs to be very, very good to make me do it. It is not the same if you read a book and then you see the movie, or the play of it. Theater is magic because no performance is the same because people behave differently every time, so it is not boring. With this I want you to notice that emotions are there you can not avoid them. Once you fail something you have a sour thought about it, that is stress…
You can learn the same thing in different platforms, or formats; learn with unlimited examples, experiences, games, contexts; the rule is always pursuing to be interesting! I did not invented it, there are many studies that talk about that I just concurred from my experience.
Our knowledge behaves like an onion, it has many layers; they started to form the same day you become alive. According to your experiences is the type of knowledge you have. That is one thing.
Knowledge behaves like energy does; one person can have it or a group of persons without changing the force. The wonderful thing is that a difference of energy, it can be storage. It is not like power, or money; it is really a shareable thing. Everybody gets enriched. You have seen how a student can explain to another student the concept in a particular proper vocabulary and Eureka everything became clear.
When people are stressed, they learn like a Swiss cheese, with holes. Or like with wrinkles in their layers or with jumps between them. So, in order to have perfect onions or layers of knowledge you need to peel the onion and check where the fault is. It can be done with a one on one assistant, or with software. The quality of the remediation outcome lies in the efficiency of the model use to locate the hole and how to fix it. Who does the software? It is People. Who does the tutoring? It is People. In every single origin of knowledge the primal source is People. Who is going to hire you? Who is making jobs? Who is designing courses? Who is putting the standards or conditions to say you know something? Always, the answer is People.
So, why it is this whole debacle idea and the debate about it that the Press is taking out of proportions? Udacity is a proven source of top-notch knowledge. The good thing is that a critical mass of people understands that online education is for the good of Humanity. So, for majority and for leadership we can keep forging in the right direction for a better future. There are many links on the web talking about this with big names and/or wallets that are helping. I just read the Scientific American article of this month about Learning in the digital age. Sebastian Thrun also explained it in the Udacity Global Meetup Day, you can see it in YouTube. I think it is an unstoppable phenomenon. People need to be reassured that everything is going to be absolutely better. And by the way, once you take your course online if you are on the remediation club, you can go back and look in a calm manner what you missed. If nobody helps you, look inside yourself maybe you will find the best answer. A good idea if you find a way to succeed is just to give feedback. Use Udacity or some other distinct MOOC’s as what they are a wonderful source of knowledge.