[IAEP] Data vs Critical Thinking - Can Sugar give schools both?

K. K. Subramaniam subbukk at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 21:13:38 EDT 2010

On Thursday 22 April 2010 07:33:25 pm Caroline Meeks wrote:
> 1. Software that assess students, track and displays results, quickly and
> efficiently without using up a lot of instructional time.
> 2. Software and a content library that analyzes these results and gives
> students the right learning objects/experiences for their current level and
> learning style.
>#1 is straightforward programming.
>#2 is a grand challenge!
Not really. #2 is amenable to statistical methods. See www.assetonline.in, for 
instance. Diagnostic tests are different from grading tests in that they do 
analyze "wrong" answers too and report to teachers and parents about potential 
areas of confusion.

They do have a drawback - they can detect confusion but not prevent them. 
Getting it right the first time requires systems like Montessori that put the 
learner in charge. All statistical methods come with outliers - 'exceptional' 
or 'laggards'. Then you have a problem of dealing with them :-(.

Automation can only take us so far. A teacher instructs and listens. The 
former service can be done through a computer while the latter is difficult. For 
many students with difficult backgrounds, the teacher is the only source of hope 
and guidance. We are still a long way from empathic computers ;-).


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