New NGLC Resource: Profiles of Next Generation Learning Video

Closing the feedback loop with the Open Learning Initiative

Editor’s Note: This video, produced by NGLC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is the first in a series called, “Profiles of Next Generation Learning.” Each month, NGLC will release a new video through the NGLC blog.

By NGLC Staff  

At Next Generation Learning Challenges, we know it can be easy to discuss the ways that data might change the classroom. Or the potential for online courses to personalize learning.

But, in practice, what do data-driven, personalized, and interactive learning environments really look like? To students? To instructors?

Through a new video series produced in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we’re inviting the community to find out. The “Profiles of Next Generation Learning” series has been designed to take viewers inside the innovative initiatives, tools, and schools that are rethinking the way students learn and are supported through the use of technology.

This first video in the series profiles Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI), an effort to provide free and open courses online. (Though, they work best when taken as a supplement to face-to-face instruction.)



OLI launched in 2002 and grew out of a need to provide instructors and students with better tools for receiving and interpreting course-related feedback so faculty could juggle ever-increasing diversity and size of their classroom.

The site currently includes 15 open and free courses on topics from Elementary French to Modern Biology.  As students move through online course materials, they receive immediate feedback on how they are performing. Instructors, likewise, have access to a just-in-time learning dashboard where they can get a quick snapshot of how a class is performing. (It’s proven particularly useful in blended environments where faculty can use the results to customize their lecture to emphasize areas of concern.) Course feedback is also delivered to course designers who use data to improve future courses and to learning scientists who use the information to further research about how students learn in online environments.

Thus far, studies have shown that students using OLI courses as part of a blended class or as a supplement to a traditional class do as well or better than their peers in traditional courses.

For more information about the Open Learning Initiative, visit:

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