OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Thursday, October 12 • 9:45am - 10:10am
Table 19 - Learning by Doing: Minimizing Resources Without Minimizing Outcomes through Strategic Design

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This presentation will focus on how to address barriers to scaling while not compromising quality. AlgebraByExample will be presented as an example.

There are two primary barriers that can prevent scaling: cost and complexity. Open education resources minimize costs to use materials, but if OERs require considerable up-front investment in professional learning, or significant adaptation to fit within a teacher's practice, cost and complexity once again become a barrier. But simplifying materials to minimize other required resources can compromise quality and outcomes.

The Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) has addressed this challenge by designing for learning by doing. Knowledge required for using materials is kept to a minimum. But as teachers engage with the materials, they become attuned to the benefits of targeted evidence-based practices. This results in similar yet more authentic learning than one might expect from PD, and without the associated costs.

We present, for example, AlgebraByExample. Created through a SERP partnership with a set of districts and Temple University, this set of 42 strategically-designed algebra assignments were developed with cost and complexity in mind. AlgebraByExample assignments are designed to focus on common misconceptions and errors that students make through the incorporation of worked examples and question promptsäóîproven strategies in cognitive science research to improve learning. There's no associated training, and the assignments fit naturally a teacher's daily routine (every math teacher uses assignments), so it's no surprise that there's little hesitance to adopt the materials. Beyond impacts directly on students, teachers have reported that using AlgebraByExample has led to incorporating worked examples and student explanation into their general practiceäóîall without being explicitly trained, coached, or even told to do so.


Allie Huyghe

SERP Institute

Thursday October 12, 2017 9:45am - 10:10am PDT
Royal Ballroom