Google has launched a new online education tool - Oppia, which is an open source project as of now. Google aims to make the usage of the tool easy for anyone to create interactive activities online, which the others can learn from. Called explorations, the activities can be built and furnished for numerous people from across the globe, via a web interface, which does not require any programming.
Google recounts its latest venture as...
"Oppia does this by modeling a mentor who poses questions for the learner to answer. Based on the learner's responses, the mentor decides what question to ask next, what feedback to give, whether to delve deeper, or whether to proceed to something new. You can think of this as a smart feedback system that tries to "teach a person to fish," instead of simply revealing the correct answer or marking the submitted answer as wrong."
Oppia does more than just presenting the content, says Google. The data is gathered on how learners interact with it by Oppia and it gives this data to the exploration authors so that they can fix the drawbacks in an explanation. For instance, if an exploration is not adequately responding (like, the abrupt changes in difficulty or the next question which appears is unrelated) when many learners are given an answer, an author could generate a new learning path for it. In this manner, the exploration continues to become better.
Oppia's current feature list:
- A customisable and personalised feedback will be received by the learners after submitting their answers.
- Any wepage can be embedded with explorations.
- An online analytics dashboard is provided which allows explorations to be enhanced easily over time.
- A complete online editor GUI is given.
- An inclusive extension framework which allows simple integration of new interactions and classification rules is provided.
- Learner can be associated with parameters to generate a richer interactive experience.
- Collective creation and editing of explorations with version control is provided.
- Responsive UI for mobile devices (In progress).
However, no indication of the amount of resources dedicated to Oppia is given by Goggle. "Oppia is not a Google product", the disclaimer seems to propose that Google is aiming that a community forms and takes over in the long run. Google's reasoning for why Oppia exists is straightforward: Google believes that online education can be provided via more than just audio, video and text. The key in learning is feedback and as Google says, "one does not learn to play the piano by watching videos of many virtuoso performances."