Helping MOOC students navigate open educational resources

The MIT-Fujitsu partnership will give students access to thousands of STEM resources.

Open education, open textbooks, massive open online courses (MOOCs) — there’s a common element that ties together many of higher education’s most-hyped online learning buzz phrases.

You’ll find it in the first “O” of MOOC.

But educators adopting that “O,” also tend to inherit the “M,” as in massive amounts of students, information and resources. Managing a large volume of material and finding ways to get such a large body of students to connect with that material can be a challenge.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has partnered with Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc., to begin addressing the problem with a new platform they call Guided Learning Pathways. The project’s team is currently exploring ways to introduce the platform into the MOOC systems of edX.

Announced June 17 at the Sixth Conference of MIT’s Learning International Networks Consortium but in the works since 2010, the platform allows students to access and organize free, high quality learning materials from all over the internet based on the student’s interest and level of understanding.

“Every learner has a different profile,” said Jun Wan, a researcher at Fujitsu. “In order to maximize their learning outcome, we’ve  constructed a guided pathway and with it you can see personalized learning, adaptive learning. There’s a huge amount of these open educational resources, so we needed to make a way to help learners find what they need.”

See Page 2 for how the Guided Learning Pathways platform works. 

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