Two thousand students submitted the same wrong answer to a question because they had misunderstood the order of two steps in a process. Before the 2,001st person got the answer wrong, course designers quickly inserted a custom error message that flagged the error for students right away, helping them overcome their conceptual error much earlier.
“In a regular Stanford class, if 2 of 100 students got something like that wrong, we wouldn’t even notice it,” Ng said. “But when 2,000 out of 100,000” do, it’s immediately evident. “It’s ironic that in order to achieve personalization at the level of telling students exactly what their misconception is, what was needed was to teach massive amounts of students.”
This is a very interesting finding and it reinforces the idea that open sourcing and open access will lead to improved outcomes of all kinds.