Online Education: A Unique Opportunity for Cognitive Scientists to Integrate Research and Practice


That there is a rapid expansion of online education is much better understood than what its consequences will be. This symposium considers that one key feature of “real-world” education that takes place on the Internet is that it provides a high level of experimental control and automatic data collection & analysis, which can support cognitive science research that was previously only possible in laboratory settings and small-scale educational environments. The presenters discuss the unprecedented opportunities online learning provides for conducting research in ecologically valid contexts: linking existing laboratory experiments to relevant online contexts, personalizing adaptive instruction, embedding in vivo research studies of education, and using the vast amount of high quality data available. The product of such work is not only theories and empirical discoveries that better characterize learning, but also the opportunity to directly translate these into practical benefits to students through concrete improvements to educational resources.

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