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Question: Is the market (and are people) ready for this type of technology?
If we consider the people who are passionate about digital learning and believe that it is possible to create a meaningful and effective online learning experience, Sahra-Josephine divides them into learning experts and content experts:
“Learning experts take pride and enjoy building a learning experience from scratch. We thought that most of our users would be like that, but we read the market wrong… if you are an expert in biology or money laundering, it doesn’t mean you are a learning expert. Our clients consistently ask for more and more support.”
This is something that surprised us, and shed light on the fact that most clients needed a solution that went beyond an online toolbox containing various independent course-creation features. Furthermore, there needs to be a change in mentality when it comes to educators and facilitators thinking that they know the answer, to be much more inclusive in the ways in which they create or co-create learning experience.
Sahra-Josephine brings up an important aspect of both creating and automating online learning experiences: bias.
Sahra-Josephine brings up an important aspect of both creating and automating online learning experiences: bias. She talks about the human bias all of us have when focusing on certain topics as opposed to others when selecting or creating content. Sahra-Josephine reminds us that algorithms themselves can also be biased has they are innately programmed by humans. Taking bias into consideration, Sahra-Josephine is certain that both the market and people are ready for the self-building course:
“I do think the market is very much ready for this tech as long as we don’t force people to use it that want to create the learning experience on their own. I also think it will require a mentality change… there is a shift happening from teachers or facilitators thinking that they know the answer to being much more inclusive in the way that they create or co-create learning experiences.”
We conclude our interview with the billion dollar question: How close is CanopyLAB to the actual self-building course?
“So as I said we are building it in 4 steps. The first two steps, namely auto-tagging and the recommendation of exercises are in beta. We are releasing step three in the end of January 2020 and we plan to have the full self-building course by the end of 2020.”
If we return to the self-driving car analogy, someone has to actually be in the driver’s seat. This is not really different in the case of a self-building course; the technology is not built to replace all course-creating responsibilities. You will be asked to be present and give some sort of hint as to where the course is heading. Instead of typing in the address on a GPS, you simply supply the content – for now.