Building Courses as Knowledge Trees
Learning is an experience that changes from student to student, regardless of their age. Each person brings to a learning situation all their experiences, and therefore the teaching strategy should embrace and empower this diversity.
What if we would build courses in which each lesson is a node, very similar to how a digital garden works. How to continue from each node will depend on the student choice. The way a student travels through the nodes will be individual. Moreover, the system could empower the students to become teachers. You don't need to be an expert to teach , you just need to know something your pears don't know yet.
How technology can shape education is still an open question, but there is no technical limitation that prevents thinking learning experiences as trees. The biggest challenge is to design those trees in such a way that students
- can keep progressing and do not reach dead ends
- they cover the tree in an efficient way without leaving important knowledge behind
- courses must be cross-domain i.e. it does not make sense to teach physics separated from history or literature
A clear example of a knowledge tree is Wikipedia. Compared to a normal book that is read from top to bottom, mostly in chronological order, Wikipedia allows to jump within topics. And these topics are not limited to just one domain. Therefore, we want to build knowledge without domain barriers that limit the scope and interests of the learners.