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Going Beyond MOOCs

Last week, a startup e-learning company in Australia called Smart Sparrow introduced a new online learning platform that veers away from the path set out by traditional Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Smart Sparrow’s new platform is expected to offer students an adaptive learning model that breaks away from the traditional style of MOOCs, which typically feature video lectures and provide multiple-choice questions to demonstrate students’ understanding of the material. Instead, Smart Sparrow’s software offers a learn-by-doing model that allows students to practice skills and concepts in an interactive virtual environment.

“A MOOC is a way to give a massive audience a similar experience, similar to a lecture,” Dror Ben-Naim, Smart Sparrow chief executive, told The Australian Financial Review. “We think MOOCs are great and amazing but we can make MOOCs much more personalized.”

It is expected that adaptive learning through this platform will give professors and instructors the flexibility to cater lessons towards an individual student, allowing a more customized learning experience.

Ben-Naim said that while the major focus for the platform is currently on the higher education industry, the product could also be used across a variety of other education industries. In Australia and the United States, there are approximately 20 higher education institutions and corporations currently using Smart Sparrow’s technology.