Coursera: Data Science in Education

Monica Rogati in The LinkedIn Blog on Coursera, which offers free online courses: “Coursera’s approach to feedback and assessment is a very interesting application of data science. Tests are either computer-graded or peer-graded — the latter following industry tested crowdsourcing best practices (clear instructions, gold standards, training, qualification tasks assessor agreement monitoring etc.). Peer grading isn’t just treated as a means for scaling — it is part of the learning process. One of Daphne’s charts showed that students significantly improved on subsequent tests after peer- and self-grading. Interestingly, the better students learned even more from self-grading than from grading others…   

…Of course, scale also offers opportunities for data analytics. Instructors can detect patterns in students’ mistakes, common learning paths, and particularly challenging modules. They can then adapt their material based on these insights. In a particular apropos application of machine learning, Coursera identifies forum answers that are most predictive of submitting a correct homework assignment after submitting one that failed the automated verification tests.”

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