Big data opportunities in learning: an interview with Ben Betts


Ben Betts, founder of the Curatr social learning platform, says big data enables our approach to learning to become a bit more scientific which in turn opens up a lot of opportunity to generate useful data.

LearnPatch caught up with Betts at the 2012 Learning Live conference where he ran a session on curation in learning. When we start to engage people to collaborate online we are doing a couple of different things, he says. First, people are talking and generating content from a learning point of view and second we are creating insane amounts of data.

At the moment not much of this data is quantitative, its nearly all qualitative – we have a lot of text and bookmarks and things like to wade through. But we are starting to see paths through that data.

Betts says he is excited by the next iteration of Scorm’s Tin Can API  and in particular statement generation, which analyses verbs – what someone is doing or has done.

Imagine, he says, we have a world where lots of people are creating, tagging and remixing content. But if these tags provide insights into what types of things people are doing or have done the data provides a great picture of who is actually doing what.

This is great for the organisation but it is also great for the individual as this information can be shared outside of the walls of the organisation. For example, using the data to power a Mozilla Open Badge.

Listen to the interview

[Picture Credit: Carsten Mueller]



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