Google’s Open Source Educational Tool Oppia: Interactive Learning – Smart, Easy, Online

The educational landscape is continuously proving its never failing potentials to surprise us.  First it was the exploitation of Internet in the domain of teaching, from emailing to chatting to online educational resources.  Then there was this big wave of MOOCs that is still going strong.  We also saw SPOC and MOOR, MOOCs variants or rather MOOC inspired form of online delivery of education and research.  Now Google has come up with an altogether new twist to the learning and teaching experience through its project Oppia.  It essentially empowers the non-techies amongst us to create what Google calls “explorations”, another fancy name for interactive online education centric activities.  The good news is that Oppia is free and open sourced, licensed under Apache 2.0.

The interactivity of Oppia is what makes all the difference.  Learners can get personalized and immediate feedback, thus enhancing the learning process. Along with the interactivity, another high point is that these “explorations” can be easily embedded in any web page, thereby giving the power to anyone to quickly create these interactive educational activities or “explorations” and share it with the world through any webpage of choice.

The feedbacks provided by Oppia are smart in the sense that by asking questions, it can not only evaluate the learners’ level of understanding the subject matter, it can also use that understanding to adopt a pathway in presenting the learning material that is appropriate to the learners’ level.  These explorations can be further improved upon by the community.

The framework upon which Oppia is built is extensible and developers can contribute to further the range of formats and the types of responses that Oppia can handle.  As this tool can deliver different versions of the same lesson through version control, one can develop customized materials for the learners through the control of appropriate parameters- something that has the potential of making lessons or rather explorations coming out of Oppia highly customized for individual learners with different levels of mental abilities, academic backgrounds and real life experience concerning the materials to be learned. 

Get ready to create your new level of learning interactions- deep, personalized, online and as smart as a real life mentor!

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Tarique Haider

Tarique Haider is an engineer by training, a pacifist at heart and a teacher by choice. He believes in a better tomorrow through education and technology. Connect with him on Google+

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