Precision Education: Engineering Learning, Relevancy, Mindset, and Motivation in Online Environments

Precision Education: Engineering Learning, Relevancy, Mindset, and Motivation in Online Environments

Huda A. Makhluf (National University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1622-5.ch009

Abstract

Higher education is a pathway to social equality and mobility. Unfortunately, a great number of students who enter Higher Education are not ready to succeed in rigorous college-level courses and fail as a result or drop out. Our nation has entered a transformative period in higher education brought about by the demands of an evidence-based approach that uses rigorous scientific methodologies designed to capture valid and reliable data to drive student success and improve outcomes. Math literacy especially remains a significant challenge for student success in college, in particular for STEM students. Herein, the author describes an innovative solution that leverages technology and data analytics to expand student success, with a special emphasis on engineering an environment for effective learning, mindset, and motivation.
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Introduction

Setting the Stage: The Challenge, the Solution, and the Process

To set the stage, higher education is grappling with several issues: equity gaps, defining the meaning and value of a degree, and leveraging innovative technology to ensure student access, success, and affordability in an ethical and unbiased manner. National University (NU), headquartered in La Jolla, California, is a nonprofit institution founded in 1971 by retired U.S. Navy Captain David Chigos. NU is the largest private nonprofit university in San Diego and is a pioneer in the digital space. To meet the evolving demands for education in the 21st century, NU has been offering online education for the past two decades.

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Background

It is important to note that none of these innovations would have been explored or realized without the presence of online teaching and learning as a pedagogical and technological backbone. Quality Matters (QM), a leading quality assurance organization for online learning, in collaboration with Eduventures Research an advisory company, believe that distance learning is becoming a fundamental component of higher education (EVOLLUTION). Together they deployed a survey to track the “Changing Landscape of Online Education” with the CHLOE Survey, (Garrett, Legon, & Fredericksen, 2018). They found that online learning is an integral and vital endeavor at the heart of many institutions, their missions, and their strategic plans. Looking closely at the basic building blocks of online learning in the online course, these organizations reported that institutions that established instructional design teams and relied on their design acumen, saw significant student engagement with faculty and students. Remarkably, institutional course design practices and faculty professional development has shaped the student experience and engagement with content, peers, and faculty. Innovation in the online space such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) with all its risks and rewards is keeping online learning at the forefront of a major transformation that is revolutionizing the educational landscape.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Micro-Competencies: Knowledge, skills, abilities and content specific outcomes divided into small units or micro-measures, typically identified for assessment.

ePortfolio: A digital portfolio (one that is hosted on a website) allows the end user to upload artifacts: documents, project examples, resumés, and show evidence of skills connected to workforce competencies.

Precision Education Model or Precision Learning: According to the Precision Institute at National University, Precision Education is organized in the same navigational framework used to create Google Maps. The system uses artificial intelligence to select learning units that have been deconstructed into micro-competencies and are assessed through frequent knowledge checks. These pathways customize and personalize the content “as just in time.”

Cloud-hosted platforms: The hardware and operating environment of a server in an Internet-based datacenter.

Growth Mindset: Coined by researcher Carol Dweck in 2015, growth mindset it the belief that a person’s most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work and is not determined by intellect or IQ.

Fundamental Attribution: According to the field of social psychology, fundamental attribution error, also known as correspondence bias or over attribution effect, is the tendency for people to under-emphasize personal characteristics and ignore situational factors in judging the behavior of others.

Engineering a Mindset: The intention that mindset, attitudes, or beliefs along with emotional self-efficacy and success can drive an individual to successfully accomplish academic tasks.

Badging: A digital badge is a type of micro credentialing that indicates accomplishment or mastery of a skill. The badge can be displayed, accessed, and verified online. Badges can be associated with a specific skill or competency that is recognized in a particular industry.

Mindset: A believed set of assumptions, attitudes, and schema.

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