We now combine this with an adaptive algorithm which customizes the content and spacing on an individual basis until a learner has achieved mastery of the material. Initial trial results have been extremely encouraging.
Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) July 7, 2009
Spaced Education, Inc has signed an exclusive license agreement with Harvard University for a new learning technology that was developed and used at Harvard Medical School.
The method, called Spaced Education, was developed by Dr. B. Price Kerfoot, Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. It utilizes a simple question and answer format, delivered in short daily bursts to the learner and backed by a proprietary algorithm that adapts the content based on how an individual performs.
"Our early studies showed that traditional online learning generates only limited long-term retention of knowledge and is poorly accepted by learners," said Dr. Kerfoot. "To address these problems, we incorporated two research findings from the field of psychology (the spacing effect and the testing effect) into a new method of online learning based on a question and answer format."
Spaced Education, Inc. has developed and launched the online service and website SpacedEd (http://www.spaceded.com), which puts this learning technology at the core of a social learning community. Learners can sign up for a wide range of courses, many for free, and receive their courses in a simple question and answer format, delivered on a regular schedule via email, the web, or a mobile device.
The company will market its software as a service (SaaS) solution to individuals, educational institutions, course providers and enterprises that want to offer courses based on the Spaced Education methodology.
Proven in more than 10 peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCT) led by Dr. Kerfoot, Spaced Education has been shown to change behavior and to be effective, efficient, and well-accepted by learners:
- 50% increase in clinical knowledge in a study of 480 physicians.
- Learning benefits of Spaced Education persist for 2 years in study of 206 physicians.
- 38% increase in learning efficiency due to adaptive algorithm (compared to non-adaptive method) in a study of 62 medical students.
- 77 to 95% of the approximately 3000 study participants to date request to enroll in more spaced education courses.
- Completion rates greater than 70%.
- Preferred 3:1 over web-based teaching modules (a gold-standard of e-learning) in RCT of 724 physicians.
Certain courses have also changed behavior of participants. For example, in a study of 95 VA primary care providers inappropriate cancer screenings decreased by 26%, a significant potential reduction in cost and patient anxiety.
"In contrast to the standard 'binge-and-purge' approach to online education, Spaced Education presents content to the learner in small packets which are repeated over spaced intervals of time to improve long-term retention," said Kerfoot. "We now combine this with an adaptive algorithm which customizes the content and spacing on an individual basis until a learner has achieved mastery of the material. Initial trial results have been extremely encouraging."
"The effectiveness of SpacedEd's learning technology has been proven with unprecedented rigor at Harvard University - never before has a new learning approach been validated to such an extent," said SpacedEd CEO Duncan Lennox. "Combined with the level of convenience and sheer addictive fun that SpacedEd brings to learning, we believe Dr. Kerfoot's work will fundamentally change the way the world learns."
"Dr. Kerfoot's innovative learning method has been proven to increase retention and change behavior. It is ideal for today's social and increasingly mobile online world, and represents but one example of a variety of timely research initiatives being advanced across our campus, benefiting society and researchers alike," said Isaac T. Kohlberg, Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer at Harvard University's Office of Technology Development, the office that is responsible for all activities pertaining to the evaluation, patenting and licensing of new inventions and discoveries made throughout Harvard University.
SpacedEd is a unique and growing learning community, designed from the ground up for a mobile, social world. Using a simple question and answer format combined with a proprietary adaptive algorithm, SpacedEd delivers "Addictive Learning That Sticks." The SpacedEd service is based on a patent pending method developed and used at Harvard Medical School. Founded in 2008, SpacedEd is headquartered in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact Duncan Lennox at +1 781-583-1503 or visit http://www.spaceded.com.
"SpacedEd", "Addictive Learning That Sticks" and the SpacedEd logo are trademarks of Spaced Education, Inc.