EPGY Status Report Mike, Ruhi, Monisha, Masa Stanford University ED 391
EPGY Background • EPGY: Educational Program for Gifted Youth • Started in late 1980s by Stanford Philosophy Professor Patrick Suppes • Enrolls about 3000 students/year, growing • Provides courses to “gifted” children, mostly in high school math and sciences • Most students take the courses at home
Project Background • EPGY would like to address the school market • Interested in Title 1 funds for low-income schools => less gifted, motivated kids • Current schools it is serving • local • Belle Haven Elementary, Menlo Park • Las Lomitas Elementary, Atherton • Brandeis Private School, SF • upcoming: Enola Maxwell Middle School (SF); Garfield Elementary (Redwood City) • remote • schools in Beaverton, OR; London, England
Ed 391X Project • Study the possibility of strengthening EPGY’s offering to the school market • market opportunity • software’s appropriateness for less gifted, less motivated kids • possibilities for grouped instruction (rather than individualized instruction) • in person • synchronous online • possibilities for per student cost savings • other stuff?
Market Landscape • Over 6 million K-12 public school students, 1048 school districts in U.S. • Since 1996, there has been an increase of about 100,000 students per year. • Problems: • Shortage of teachers • many schools failing • drop-out rates rising • inconsistent teaching of difficult subjects • unequal access to courses • A large K-12 online education movement is accelerating across the country
The Promise of Online Learning • Addresses some of the challenges in previous slide • Offers potential for better results and cost savings • Offers a way to study developmental and individual learning styles, performance accountability • Several states already have fully developed programs • Studies suggest that virtual education is no longer experimental
Potential Beneficiaries of Online Programs • Students who experience scheduling conflicts or inability to attend school on a regular schedule • Court School Students, who attend prison schools • Adult Education Students • Career and technical education programs • Students who have special needs not met by the local district • AP or Honors classes • remedial classes • special education • English Learner Programs • Home School Students • Teacher Professional Development
Online Pedagogy • Because of the newness of online learning we are still learning what makes for effective pedagogy. • Online learning is subjected to more intense scrutiny that normal classroom delivery, but it can be more easily tracked. • Online environment should be designed with specific outcomes in mind and should be monitored for efficacy.
Recommendations for Effective Online Program • Student recommendations • Course content needs to be interactive, using multiple media • Timely feedback from teachers is necessary • Face to face meetings are important • Adult recommendations • Create quality online courses • project-based assignments • interface that encourages interactions. • Face-to-face meetings are important. • A variety of student support mechanisms is needed.
Approaches for Curriculum and Content Development • Buy • Build • Hybrid
Course Pacing • Self-pacing offers advantages as well as challenges • Self-paced courses make teaching/support harder • Ability to facilitate student-to-student interaction is also affected by pacing • Course pacing options: • one timetable • completely self-paced. • students select from choices of pre-defined timetables
Challenges to Online Learning and Teaching • Weak content and curricula • Weak online pedagogy • Limited forms of online assessment • Lack of technology standards • Instructor is not prepared to be a virtual instructor • Not all learners are prepared for online learning
Existing Online Education Programs for K12 • State-based: 14 statewide online programs • University-based: introductory and correspondence courses available to high school students • School district-based • Virtual charter schools and private schools • For-Profit Corporations: supply virtual education either on a course-by-course basis or as a school
Government Educational Technology Initiatives • Federal technology literacy grants • Digital California Project • The Education Technology Grant Program for High Schools • Statewide Commission on Technology and Learning • California Learning Resource Network • Digital High School Program • Many others
Market Landscape Final Thoughts • Virtual education is here to stay. • More and more services core to the operation of the school and to learning will become web-based. • Online learning offers the potential for consistent and high-quality curriculum for a large number of students. • Virtual education can also address equity issues.
Software Evaluation… • Positives • Lesson on entering formulas • Problem set up • White board for fraction section • Need Improvements • Interface • Lack of help, no visible exit signs, no undo or back • No marker on time left • Could be more collaborative • Messages given from the system are not clear, nor encouraging
Software Evaluation… • Questions to Ask • The problems are tedious and difficult • No scaffolding for the level of difficulty • The software is unprofessional • The handwriting on the black board • The grammar of the lecture • The background noise during the lecture • How can we encourage the students to take notes • Print screen • Photoshop tool be able to use the screen as scratch paper
Observations From School Visit • where: Las Lomitas Elementary in Menlo Park, grades 1-3 Math • Kids were *really* engaged with the software, seemed to learn lots • The math gets *quite* advanced very quickly • They should provide the kids with checkpoints to take stock • appreciate what they’ve learned • think about what they’ve accomplished • apply what they’ve learned
What’s Left To Do • more visits to schools • re-interview lead elementary math tutor • interview teacher who taught kids who used EPGY math courses • interview EPGY marketing person • create Flash demo to show our proposed software changes