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Students Explore Humanities Through Culture, Community & Commerce Pathway

Students Explore Humanities Through Culture, Community & Commerce Pathway

Friday, January 26, 2018

OSPRI: Open-Source Education Technology (I&E 390)

This is part of a series of stories on the I&E Certificate. The I&E Certificate offers five pathways to help guide students to take courses that best fit their interests and complement the rest of their Duke experience. From arts to engineering courses, there’s something for everyone. Find out more about the pathways and the I&E Certificate here.

How can open-source technology improve education?

It’s a question undergoing consideration in Aria Chernik’s Open Source Education Technology course, which pairs a theoretical underpinning about the state of education and open-source technology with hands-on experimentation.

Students from OSPRI course discuss their work at Duke SSRI.In the course, students were asked to identify problems with the current education technology space at Duke.

Then, they were told to solve those problems.

Students formed teams that worked on a different education technology product using open source.

“The classroom has really functioned as a mini R&D lab,” Chernik said. “The students have gone through all the design stages, from prototyping to a finished product at the end of the semester.

Students in Aria Chernik's class develop uses for open source technology in education. Photo by Pilar Timpane/Duke I&E

Because the course has multiple applications, it counts toward three pathways within the I&E Certificate: Culture, Community & Commerce, Technology & Design and Social Innovation & Policy. The course, which draws both Duke I&E students as well as students from other parts of the university, is part of OSPRI, or Open Source Pedagogy, Research + Innovation.

OSPRI’s mission is to explore the intersection of open source and education innovation.

Jihanne Bettahi and Sharon Peng, two seniors who recently took the course, teamed up to solve a personalization problem they saw within education.

Students from OSPRI course meet at Duke SSRI.“Learning is accessible, but not personalized,” Bettahi said, explaining that when people do a Google search for something they want to learn about, they all receive the same information, regardless of their background knowledge or goals in learning about the topic. “But personalized learning is more effective.”

The pair hoped to create a product that uses machine learning to create a personalized content curriculum that provides users with their own scheduling and goal-setting.

Bettahi chose to take this course because she’s an education minor.

“I was interested to see how artificial intelligence and other technology could intersect with education to enhance learning and make an impact,” she said. “This course is a great way to incorporate my interests with my studies.”

Aria Chernik is Lecturing Fellow at Duke SSRI and OSPRI is a Duke SSRI affiliate.


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