Open Learning Initiative

    Oded Meyer

    The Open Learning Initiative (OLI), an online learning platform developed at Carnegie Mellon University with funding from the Hewlett Foundation, is now an integral part of statistics courses at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown.

    With guidance from Oded Meyer (Mathematics and Statistics), who helped to develop the Open Learning Initiative system at Carnegie Mellon, Parina Patel (SFS) created online content for her undergraduate and graduate statistics courses.

    In a hybrid model that combines the irreplaceable experience of face-to-face instruction with the flexibility and interactivity of an online system, students learn material in large lectures and then practice applying those concepts using OLI in their lab sessions. OLI, which allows each user to work at his or her own pace, gives immediate and targeted feedback to students as they progress through the interactive material. Instructors then can view information about where students are struggling, and target their instruction to address those misconceptions.

    To read more about Parina Patel's OLI project, visit this page on the Teaching Commons. Parina Patel is currently working to develop more content for her statistics classes, and hopes that other Georgetown instructors will be able to adapt it for other courses as well.

    No machine in the world will ever be able to substitute for an enthusiastic and inspiring teacher. The advantage of OLI is that it does not replace the teacher,
    but works in conjunction with the teacher. With OLI, class time can be used by far more effectively.

    Oded Meyer (Mathematics and Statistics)

    Oded Meyer describes the Open Learning Initiative, how OLI can be used in courses, and its advantages for students and faculty.