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C Varenhorst

Crosstalk Seminar with Candace Thille, director of CMU's Open Learning Initiative

December 1, 2009

Evidence Based Design –

The Open Learning Initiative

Monday Dec. 14, 2009
1:30pm – 2:30pm, 4-270

Candace ThilleMs. Thille will demonstrate how OLI uses the web to deliver online instruction that instantiates course design based on research from the learning sciences and how those learning environments, in turn, support ongoing research.

Abstract: One of the most powerful features of technology-enhanced learning environments is that they enable us to embed ongoing formative assessment and feedback into instructional activities. Using intelligent tutoring systems, virtual laboratories, simulations, and frequent opportunities for assessment and feedback, The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon builds learning environments that support instruction- or, more precisely, to support the kind of dynamic, flexible, and responsive instruction that fosters learning. As students work through the OLI courses, we use technology to collect real-time interaction level data of all student use. We use this data to create four positive feedback loops:

  • feedback to students
  • feedback to instructors
  • feedback to course designers
  • feedback to learning science researchers


About the Presenter:
Candace Thille is the Director of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University, a position she has held since the program’s inception in 2002. She is also the co-director of OLnet, an open educational research network, a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon and the Open University, UK.

OLI logoHer current focus of research and development is in applying results from the learning sciences to the design, implementation and evaluation of web-based learning environments. Candace also serves as a redesign scholar for the National Center for Academic Transformation and was elected a Fellow of International Society for Design and Development in Education in 2007. She currently serves on a working group at the U.S. Department of Education to draft the National Education Technology Plan for the Obama administration.

Click here to read Candace's chapter on building open learning in Opening Up Education, eds. Kumar & Iiyoshi

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