Government Elearning! Magazine

FALL 2016

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Government Elearning! Fall 2016 39 BY JOE BY JOE DIDONATO DIDONATO BY JOE DIDONATO O ne of the "holy grails" of edu- cation has been the quest to solve the "2 Sigma Problem." This was a problem originally posed posed in 1984 by Benjamin S. Bloom, the in 1984 by Benjamin S. Bloom, the famous famous educational psychologist, col- educational psychologist, col- lege lege professor and researcher. In a series professor and researcher. In a series of of dissertations and subsequent studies dissertations and subsequent studies performed performed by Bloom and his students, by Bloom and his students, he he observed drastically different student observed drastically different student achievement achievement scenarios, depending on the scenarios, depending on the type type of instructional methods used. of instructional methods used. Between 1982 and 1984, a series of studies were performed by Bloom and some of his students. In 1984, Bloom used those study results to publish a paper that described student achievement results obtained from the following three forms of learning: con- ventional ventional classroom; mastery learning; and classroom; mastery learning; and tutoring. Below is a brief summary of these three learning methodologies. Most of us are familiar with conventional classroom training. is is where 20 to 30 students are taught by a teacher or instruc- tor. Tests are given periodically to grade each student's performance, and the pace of the class moves at a pre-determined rate established by the teacher, instructor, or Solving the 2 Sigma Problem Mastery is [achieving] 90% on a knowledge test before moving on to subsequent topic.

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