I'm Kieran Mathieson, geek, educator, and innovator. This site is about my work on learning.
Having skills improves people's lives. If you can write software, analyze data, etc, you can earn a good living. You can buy a house in a good neighborhood, and send your kids to good schools.
Researchers know a lot about how students learn skills. Unfortunately, universities don't use that knowledge. Graduates aren't as skilled as they could be. This matters. It affects people's lives.
My project is CyberCourse (http://cybercour.se), or Cyco for short. It's a philosophy, set of practices, and open source software to:
- Help authors write Cycourses, textbook replacements that emphasize problem solving. Cycourses use patterns (schemas), big ideas, formative feedback, etc. If you're into learning research, you know these terms.
- Help instructors run flipped, blended, skill-focused courses. Students do many exercises, get human feedback on every one, and get one-on-one help from experts.
- Help graders give consistent formative feedback. They could be advanced students, retired teachers... anyone with the skills, anywhere in the world.
- Help students learn how to complete tasks, by themselves. That's the bottom line.
Is it practical? Most professors won't spend time making a good Cycourse. Perhaps 1 in 20 will, given the opportunity. The opportunity comes from a business model where authors can sell access to Cycourses. Students buy access, instead of textbooks. Because Cyco is open source and community supported, authors control 100% of the revenue. They can afford to charge low prices.
- Students learn skills that improve their standard of living. They spend less on Cycourses than on textbooks.
- Authors (the 5% of professors who write Cycourses) follow their passion for learning, and still pay their bills.
- The other 95% of professors don't lecture. They help students one-on-one, with writing, statistics, etc. That's what they trained to do, and what they like to do.
You can download and install the Cyco software yourself, or try a demo. Go to http://cybercour.se to see the magic.
Cyco extends the venerable CoreDogs, which you may have heard of. CoreDogs is an intro course on Web tech, released in 2008. Cyco is the fulfillment of what I started with CoreDogs.
Cyco is going well. The software is "Wow!" but it needs a community of geeks, teachers, and authors to really take off. If you like what you see: