Ready to have all of your future-or-education prescriptions upended? EdTech industry veteran and learning design expert Anita Delahay just defended her dissertation in Experimental Psychology on a fascinating topic. She found that first- and second-year college students often gained more benefit from adjacent courses than from direct prerequisites. For example, a student in a second-semester biology course may have more of an advantage from having taken other courses (like physics) that taught her scientific reasoning, statistical analysis, and so on, than from having taken first-semester biology.
This research could have profound implications for everything from core curriculum to stackable credentials to competency-based education to how we think about the liberal arts and the future of work.
This one is going to be particularly fun, gang. Anita is an amazingly good serve returner as a conversationalist. Come prepared for a rousing discussion!
Anita recently received her doctorate in learning science and cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was a fellow in the Program in Interdisciplinary Education Research. Her research focuses on knowledge prerequisites to undergraduates’ learning and instructional design features that correlate with successful performance in large, online courses. Prior to starting the doctoral program, Anita spent over fifteen years as a product developer creating engaging online learning experiences focused on nontraditional student success using digital learning models and technologies.