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Title: Enriching online education through differentiated learning
Authors: Montebello, Matthew
Cope, Bill
Kalantzis, Mary
Keywords: Distance education
Online social networks
Virtual reality in education
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: HEAd
Citation: Montebello, M., Cope, W., Kalantzis, M., Searsmith, D., Amina, T., Tzirides, A.O., Zhao, N., Chen, M., Haniya, S. (2018). Enriching online education through differentiated learning. 4th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’18), Seville, Spain.
Abstract: Online education has been going through numerous transformations as new and innovative technologies influence and shape new e-learning portals. Differentiated e-learning promises to add value and enhance the educational services provided by an academic institution. In this paper we present our online learning model that advocates and endorses differentiated learning as an e-learning affordance that has been facilitated through the development of new learning technologies. We demonstrate how the online portal enables and supports multiple instances whereby differentiated learning is applied and practiced, including through the use of a novel analytics tool that sums up the overall learner effort in one visual. The paper advances the notion of “productive diversity” in learning, replacing the templated sameness characterizing the communicative practices of “didactic pedagogy,” including textbooks, lectures, tests. Today’s computer- mediated, networked learning environments can support differentiated learning on a number of dimensions, where students are able to work at their own pace, choose their own topics within a general disciplinary rubric, and offer each other feedback in such a way that differences in perspective become a valuable resource for learning. The paper concludes by demonstrating a technology that attempts to translate these principles into practice—the CGScholar platform, including the high-level progress visualizations it offers in its learning analytics.
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