Title: The 100,000-student classroom
Publish Date: Feb 2012
Description: In the fall of 2011 Peter Norvig taught a class with Sebastian Thrun on artificial intelligence at Stanford attended by 175 students in situ -- and over 100,000 via an interactive webcast. He shares what he learned about teaching to a global classroom.
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Time Transcript Action
00:00:16 everyone
00:00:17 both the learner and a teacher, this is me
00:00:21 being inspired by my first tutor my mom, and this is me
00:00:26 teaching introduction to artificial intelligence to 200 students at Stanford
00:00:30 University
00:00:31 now is denied enjoy the class but it occurred to me
00:00:35 that while the subject matter of the classes advanced in matter
00:00:39 the teaching technology isn't in fact I use basically
00:00:44 the same technology as this fourteenth century classroom
00:00:48 note, the textbook the sage on the stage
00:00:54 and the sleeping guy at the back, just like today
00:01:02 so my co teachers Sebastian Thrun and I thought
00:01:05 there must be a better way we challenged ourselves to create an online class that
00:01:10 would be equal
00:01:11 or better in quality to our Stanford class
00:01:14 but to bring it to anyone in the world for free
00:01:17 we annouce the class on July 29 and within two weeks
00:01:22 50,000 people had signed up for it and that grew
00:01:26 260,000 students from 209 countries
00:01:30 we were thrilled to have that kind of audience and just a bit
00:01:34 terrified that we hadn't been finishing preparing the class yet, so
00:01:38 we got to work we study but others have done
00:01:41 what we could copy and what we could change, Benjamin Bloom had showed
00:01:46 that one-on-one tutoring works best so that's what we try to emulate
00:01:50 like with me and my mom even though we knew
00:01:53 it would be one on thousands, here an overhead video camera is recording me
00:01:58 as I'm talking and drawing on a piece of paper, a student said
00:02:02 this class fell like sitting in a bar with a really smart brand
00:02:05 was explaining something you haven't grasped but are about to you
00:02:09 and that's exactly what we were aiming for,
00:02:12 now from Khan Academy we saw that short 10 minute videos
00:02:16 work much better and trying to record an hour long lecture
00:02:20 and put it on the small format screen we decided to go
00:02:23 even shorter and more interactive are typical video
00:02:27 is two minutes sometimes shorter, never more than six
00:02:30 and then we pause for a quiz question to make it feel
00:02:34 like one-on-one tutoring, here I'm explaining how a computer uses a grammar
00:02:38 of English depart sentences
00:02:40 and here there's a pause and the student has to reflect
00:02:45 understand what's going on and checked the right boxes
00:02:48 before they can continue students learn best
00:02:51 when they're actively practicing we wanted to engage them to have them
00:02:54 grapple with ambiguity
00:02:56 and guide them synthesized the key ideas themselves
00:02:59 we mostly avoid questions like here's a formula now tell me the value of y
00:03:04 when x is equal to two, we preferred open-ended questions
00:03:07 onces students wrote now I'm seeing bays networks and examples of game theory
00:03:13 everywhere I look and I like that kinda response that's just what we were going
00:03:16 for
00:03:17 we didn't want students to memorize the formulas we want to change the way they
00:03:21 look at the world
00:03:21 and we succeeded or I should say the students succeed
00:03:25 and its a little bit ironic that we set about to disrupt traditional education
00:03:30 and in doing so we ended up making par online class
00:03:34 much more like a traditional college class than other online classes
00:03:38 most online classes the videos are always available
00:03:41 you can watch them anytime you want but if you can do it
00:03:45 anytime means you can do it tomorrow and if you can do it tomorrow
00:03:48 well you may not ever get around to it, so we
00:03:53 a brought back the innovation up having due dates you
00:03:56 you could watch the videos anytime you wanna during the week but at the end of
00:04:00 the week
00:04:01 you had to get the homework done, that motivated the students to keep going
00:04:04 and it also meant that everybody was working on the same thing at the same
00:04:08 time
00:04:09 so you went into a discussion forum you can get an answer from appear within
00:04:12 minutes
00:04:13 now I'll show you some other forums most of which
00:04:16 which self-organized by the students themselves, from Daphne Koller and
00:04:21 Andrew Ng
00:04:22 we learn the concept a flipping the classroom students watch the videos on
00:04:25 their own
00:04:26 and then they come together to discuss it. From Eric Maisel or
00:04:30 I learned about peer instruction that peers can be the best teachers
00:04:34 because they're the ones that remember what it's like to not understand
00:04:38 Sebastian and I have gotten something from that
00:04:42 of course we couldn't have a classroom discussion with tens of thousands of students
00:04:47 so we encouraged and nurtured these online forms
00:04:50 and finally from Teach for America
00:04:53 I learned that a class is not primarily about information more important
00:04:57 his motivation and determination was crucial that the student see that we're
00:05:01 working hard for them
00:05:02 and they're all supporting each other. Now the class ran 10 weeks and in the
00:05:07 end
00:05:08 about half have the 160 thousand students watched the least one video
00:05:12 each week
00:05:13 and over 20,000 finished all the homework putting in 50 to 100 hours
00:05:17 they got this statement accomplished. So what did we learn
00:05:21 well we tried some old ideas and some new and put them together
00:05:25 but they're more ideas to try. Sebastian's teaching another class now
00:05:29 I'll do one in the fall. Stanford, Coursera, Udacity, MITx
00:05:34 and others have more classes coming it's a really exciting time
00:05:38 but to me the most exciting part of it is the data that were gathering
00:05:43 were gathering a thousands of interactions per student per class
00:05:47 billions of interactions altogether and now we can start analyzing that
00:05:51 and when we learn from that do experimentations
00:05:54 that's when the real revolution will come and you'll be able to see the
00:05:58 results
00:05:59 from a new generation amazing students