Google recently launched a new online education tool called Oppia, which is described as an "open source project that seeks to make an easier environment for those looking to create online interactive activities." These activities will be able to be easily shared so that anyone can learn from them.
Google is calling these activities "explorations" and it works similar to the Google Docs or Google Drive format where multiple people can have access and contribute from around the world without any programming knowledge required.
What is it?
The Oppia program itself acts as a mentor figure that poses questions for prospective learners to answer. It’s unlike other online lessons because instead of having questions in a certain order, Oppia looks at the learner’s responses and from there, decides what question to ask next, what feedback to provide, whether to explore the topic more or to move onto something new. To sum up the main idea, the program doesn’t just reveal the correct answer or mark the answer wrong; instead it’s processed for individual feedback.
Oppia offers a unique, individualized experience for each user as it personalizes the lesson based on gathering data from how learners interact with it. For instance, within a lesson, if multiple learners are not responding correctly (i.e. the question doesn’t seem related or the difficultly shifts suddenly), the creator of the lesson could create a new learning path to learners to use. As the learner’s knowledge base grows, so do the exploration possibilities.
What does it do?
Oppia’s current feature list include personalized feedback, the explorations are able to be embedded on any webpage, it’s easy to improve explorations through the online analytics dashboard, collaborative creation and editing abilities and soon-to-be responsive UI for mobile devices.
At this time it is unclear as to what resources Google will apply to Oppia. Right now, Google has a disclaimer stating, “Oppia is not a Google product.” It appears that Google hopes the company will be taken over in the community forum where people can contribute on a global scale.
Google believes in online, global, easily accessible and collaborative education and wants users to have abilities outside of the usual video, audio and text. Feedback is a huge component of learning and these new ideals mirror other online college programs like NovoEd. The era of learning through observation is being greatly altered through learning by interaction and collaboration. This is groundbreaking for education in the digital age as it brings people together on a global scale. Check out the Oppia website today and see what lessons you can contribute or learn from that may add to your knowledge base and networking capabilities.