Google announced a new educational tool canned Oppia, which is an open-source project to make it easy for anyone to create online interactive activities for others to learn from. The NextWeb reported that with this tool, called explorations, activities can be built and contributed to by multiple people from around the globe using a simple web interface. Users don’t need any programming whatsoever.
The tool does this by modeling a mentor who puts up queries for the student to answer. Based on the student’s responses, the mentor can decide what question he or she will ask next, feedbacks, and more. One can think of it as a smart feedback system.
Below is a video from the Google blog which explains the tool.
Oppia is a free and open-source software released under the Apache License 2.0. Below are a few of its features:
- Learners receive personalized, customizable feedback after submitting answers.
- Explorations are embeddable in any webpage
- An online analytics dashboard that allows explorations to be improved easily over time.
- A full online editor GUI
- A comprehensive extension framework allowing straightforward integration of new interactions and classification rules
- Parameters can be associated with a learner in order to create a richer interactive experience.
- Collaborative creation and editing of explorations with version control
- (in progress) Responsive UI for mobile devices
A disclaimer on the bottom of the Google blog states that Oppia is not a Google product, which puts a question of the amount of resources Google plans to dedicate to Oppia. This could suggest the company is hoping that a community forms and takes the project ahead.
The NextWeb further added that Google’s reasoning Oppia’s existence was fairly simple. Google believes that online education can be conveyed by more than just video, audio or text. Feedback is the main key in learning. Google stated that “one does not learn to play the piano by watching videos of many virtuoso performances.”