Towards a Roadmap for Scalable Advanced Learning Ecosystems (SALEs)
International Journal on Innovations in Online Education
Fifty-five educators from around the country convened on the Georgia Tech campus in November 2018 to discuss the concept of scalable advanced learning ecosystems (SALEs) (Kadel, R.S., Finding the Right Wavelength: Scalable Advanced Learning Ecosystems, Int. J. Innovations Online Educ., vol. 2, no. 2, https://onlineinnovationsjournal. com/streams/editor-s-choice-articles/0791c5ee61f00a91.html, 2018). The purpose was to identify the overarching issues that would need to be addressed in creating a
... system of learning that was both highly personalized and scalable online. Five themes emerged from the summit: (i) enhanced learner agency; (ii) transformation of instruction, assessment, and the faculty role; (iii) rethinking accreditation, financial aid, and the credit hour; (iv) moving toward a complex and interconnected technical infrastructure; and (v) affordability and determining return on educational investment. This paper illuminates these five themes. The most sweeping theme centered on the individual learner, who will have agency over what, how, when, and where he or she learns. That is, the learner will have some options for what courses constitute a degree or certificate program, whether those courses will be delivered online or in a blended format, what schedule for learning best fits the learner's life, and what environment the learner chooses for completing coursework (from classrooms to coffee shops). To aid the learner in this journey, much attention was paid at the SALE summit to the role of artificial intelligence (AI). AI-based learning applications will continue to develop from being a "cognitive primer" to a "cognitive partner." Whereas most AI applications currently in use are able to deliver information based on algorithms that International Journal on Innovations in Online Education Kadel et al. could be added. In other words, if Student A is given credit for prior learning, she will simply finish her program in three years instead of four. This would open up a spot for Student B to start, ensuring a steady stream of students enrolling at the institution.