Using and Designing Platforms for in Vivo Educational Experiments
4 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 14, 2015
In contrast to typical laboratory experiments, the everyday use of online educational resources by large populations and the prevalence of software infrastructure for A/B testing leads us to consider how platforms can embed in vivo experiments that do not merely support research, but ensure practical improvements to their educational components. Examples are presented of randomized experimental comparisons conducted by subsets of the authors in three widely used online educational platforms – Khan Academy, edX, and ASSISTments. We suggest design principles for platform technology to support randomized experiments that lead to practical improvements – enabling Iterative Improvement and Collaborative Work – and explain the benefit of their implementation by WPI co-authors in the ASSISTments platform.
Keywords: Intelligent tutoring system; MOOC; randomized controlled trial; A/B testing; crowdsourcing; collaborative work
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