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Self-paced blended learning highlights ‘average’ student myth

Data from a middle school self-paced blended learning class reinforces the concept that variation from one student to the next is significant

blended-education“If you design something for the average …person, wouldn’t it fit most people?”

Todd Rose – The Myth of Average: from TEDx

This seems like a natural conclusion to draw, but research has shown this is incorrect. As Todd points out in his talk, research was undertaken 60 years ago by the U.S. Air Force into the average size of fighter pilots. The goal was to design a jet cockpit that would be the best fit for pilots.

After collecting data on a range of physical body measurements, a profile of the “average” pilot was made. They then searched their data to determine the number of pilots who would fit this “average” profile. The expectation was that there would be quite a few. The reality was different; not one pilot fit the average profile. There was no such thing as an average pilot.

The concept of the average student is probably equally misleading.

Data from a middle school self-paced blended learning class reinforces the concept that variation from one student to the next is significant. This data is not a “one off” and has been reproduced many times, in many other classes.

(Next page: Self-paced blended learning assessments)

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