EduPaL : Smarter Education Analytics and Delivery - overview
The Education industry is at a tipping point. Industry age, assembly-line and one-size-fits-all approach to education is leading to unsatisfactory learning experience and poor educational outcomes (e.g. high unemployment, drop out rates). In growth markets like India, there are significant challenges in terms of access to quality content, as well as reach/delivery. At the same time, the advent of high quality open digital content (e.g. MOOCs), social computing, penetration of mobile devices, and rapidly growing data set/sources, open up exciting avenues for transforming Education.
The Smarter Education group, which is part of the Knowledge Engineering Services department at IBM Research - India is focused on being at the forefront of the technological transformation in education in partnership with Universities. Towards this mission, the Smarter Education team has developed EduPal, a USB device that would enable the delivery of educational content easily and securely to learners, in an asynchronous fashion. EduPaL is an IBM research technology providing Analytics and Content delivery features to enhance the quality of instructor led education. The device can be plugged into any computer and booted, allowing learners direct access to content. Teachers can select engaging educational content for the students that are pre-loaded onto the EduPaL. As students navigate the learning content, users can enter questions and comments. Teachers can select appropriate educational content for students that are pre-loaded onto the EduPaL devices. Students watch the content in their dorms/homes and understand the basics. They can enter questions and comments into the tool as they watch.
Usage patterns and user feedback are synchronized with a central server where the data is mined to provide insights to an educator (e.g., what are the most common questions? Which parts of the content are learners spending most time on? How did an individual learner navigate the content? etc.). Prior to a class, the teacher is presented with insights on the key areas of the content that require attention at the individual and group level. This would enable teachers effectively utilize classroom time to guide the students on more advanced concepts, answer their questions, etc.