Can skills grouping help adults learn better online? Startup Thinkful gives it a shot

New Reblog OF GigaOM


If you sign up for a class on Coursera, complete lessons on Codecademy, or use another online learning platform, chances are, you’re mostly going it alone. Yes, students interact with each other on online forums, through peer grading and, occasionally, in offline meetups. But, for the most part, students travel at their own pace with minimal accountability to a group — and, in those models, many students ultimately drop out.

To help keep students engaged and able to progress at their own speed, startup Thinkful is bringing skills grouping or student tracking – an often-debated practice in K-12 education — to the adult world of online learning. Backed by Peter Thiel, the startup charges students $300 a month for a customized program that combines one-on-one tutoring with existing online learning resources from sites like Khan Academy, Treehouse and Codecademy. In an effort to boost completion rates and…

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