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Grand Challenge - 4.0

4.0: Identify and validate design principles for efficient and effective online learning systems and combined online and offline learning systems that produce content expertise and competencies equal to or better than those produced by the best conventional instruction in half the time at half the cost.

Research labs and commercial entities are hard at work developing online learning systems and combined online and offline learning systems that support the development of expertise within and across academic disciplines. Although we have isolated examples of systems producing improved learning outcomes in half the time, we have yet to see this kind of outcome achieved within the K-12 system, and particularly in those schools where students need help the most. In addition, in both K-12 and higher education, we have yet to see highly effective systems that can be brought to scale.

We have evidence that learning can be accelerated through online tutoring, restructuring curricula, and by providing guiding feedback for improvement throughout the learning process. Further, we know that the current “packages” of learning that define semester and year-long courses are generally arbitrary and a result of long-standing tradition rather than of careful studies.

Achieving twice the content expertise and competencies in half the time at half the cost through online learning systems seems very possible, but it will require careful design, development, and testing.

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