At SXSWEDU on Tuesday, March 10th Dr. Marni Baker-Stein shared the news that the UT system has developed a total experience system for teaching and learning online in a competency format. She said “UTx is a launchpad for cutting edge innovation in learning across 15 institutions in the UT System.”
The first of such programs to be available on TEx in a competency based format is the Bachelor of Science degree in BioMedical Sciences from UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Baker-Stein went on to explain that learners can expect to find high-fidelity production customized to meet the needs and strengths of every student. Education can finally break through the iron triangle of cost, access, and quality. When designing the courses for TEx every decision will require thinking of the student first so that the offerings are designed for mobile devices, personalized, competency-based, and student centered.
In collaboration with two companies, Robots & Pencils and Big Tomorrow, the UT System has developed an “experience layer” that essentially calls data from a variety of systems to present a rich user experience to the student and educator. The design process had them critically evaluate the student journey and map it such that the UX layer would be compelling. Baker-Stein said “Think Netflix, think Minecraft… it integrates with the SIS, LMS, Social Networks…. it connects students to tools external to the toolkit including open content and apps, what exists and what is yet to be.” During the Q&A period she mentioned that TEx draws upon the stack of existing learning experience tools and apps from all over the edtech world.
They have built this away from outdated delivery models and their collective goals is to develop prototypes that are scalable and replicable.
Marni Baker-Stein, PhD, is the Chief Innovation Officer in the Institute for Transformational Learning at the University of Texas System office.