In our efforts to continually infuse Blackboard’s mission with innovation and industry best practices, we spent some time at Dreamforce this monthnow the world’s largest gathering of business technology mindswith numerous technology and education executives discussing solutions to challenges that are plaguing not only education, but many industries across the globe.

This year, there was a large focus on how to gather and employ large amounts of data to go beyond making sweeping business decisions and design highly personalized experiences and decision points for each individual’s successbe it customer, patient, or learner. This thinking and these discussions are directly applicable to several pillars of our innovation at Blackboard and are helping us hone our efforts to meet the needs of today’s ‘new learner.’

This year, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff highlighted during his keynote how cancer has impacted so many. He said, “I know cancer has impacted not only our family, but every family.” In doing so, he wanted to highlight an initiative that is using large amounts of data to make personalized decisions that save livesAthena Wisdom Study. He introduced Dr. Laura Esserman, Director of the UCSF Breast Care Center, who is leading the effort to create a more personalized approach to treating breast cancer. She discussed that while we’ve developed good standardized testing approaches and treatment plans to date, the study is aimed at exploring whether a more personalized approach—driven by the data attached to each woman’s genetic makeup, family history, and risk factors—could deliver better results.

Esserman shared how the Wisdom study team is using large scale cloud platform technology and big data processing to deliver precision medicine and transform the way they not only screen for breast cancer, but also treat it based on each individual’s history and personal details in context with large sets of aggregated data. The Wisdom Study is the first of its kind to create personalized pathways for patients to navigate breast cancer and while the results aren’t fully tabulated yet, the continuous rise in numbers of survivors is a good indicator.

The direct application of a similar approach to learning has not escaped us and it’s something we’re working on rigorously at Blackboard these days. Because what we’ve found is that whether you’re a patient, a customer, or a learneryou’re you. The more we can know about each individual’s learning preferences and needs is essential to developing and delivering education that provides personal pathways for each learner.

With our announcement and launch of the New Learning Experience, we’ve taken steps to create a platform that is open, secure, and fully focused on driving learner success. By capturing individualized learner data in real time, educators, and learners themselves can make more informed decisions about each individual’s learning needs and next steps, rather than using broad assumptions to provide generalized curriculum.

While there is no silver bullet solution, we are encouraged by the early successes of the Athena Wisdom Study and are continuing to find new ways to make progress in shaping education to deliver more engaging experiences across the learner lifecycle. There are still millions of learners who are struggling with the standard systems and reaching their full learning potential within it, so until we’ve provided learners and the organizations who support them, with what they need to provide personalized pathways to all, we will keep innovating.

As always, we’d love to hear from you on how you’re using data to drive personalized pathways in your organization.

Related Posts

Share This Article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Email