How Startups Are Solving A Decades-Old Problem In Education

by Roshan Choxi, Tech Crunch

In 1984, educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom published research on a new method of teaching, commonly called Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem. Wikipedia summarizes it: “The average student tutored one-to-one using mastery learning techniques performed two standard deviations better than students who learn via conventional instructional methods — that is, “the average tutored student was above 98% of the students in the control class.” The term “2 Sigma” comes from the result of the study, which showed that students who were provisioned with a combination of one-on-one mentorship and mastery learning performed two standard deviations (“sigma”) higher than students in a conventional classroom setting. Several technology startups have launched “online mentorship” products in the last five years. Udacity added “coaches” to their online programs in 2013, while Pluralsight acquired HackHands and Udemy partnered with CodeMentor earlier this year.

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