Sunday, July 21, 2019

2019 #VWEDU: #DTA: Digital coaching is needed for the DTA: Do we have the technology for that?

Digital coaching is needed for the DTA:  
Do we have the technology for that?   

Preliminary analysis of the functions of a digital coach in a MUVE and consideration of how some of those functions could be provided by a digital coach using current technology.  Future articles will cover more functions and more details.  This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
The Empty Classroom

Survey the requirements


Improve study practices

  • Improve study skills, time management, organization of work, motivation.
  • There is plenty of instruction available on such topics. 
  • The role of Digicoach would be to use these for active guidance at the right time.
  • Digicoach would detect the right time from student questions.
  • Or the teacher might tell Digicoach to give specific guidance.
  • Ideally, Digicoach would recognize what is needed from its data, but that may not be  possible yet.

Time management

  • Digicoach advantages: calendars, student progress, records of typical performance.
  • Digicoach can give advice such as:
  • "Successful students in this course spend about 2 hours a week on the homework.
  • That would be .5 hours a day assuming a 6 day week. 
  • I am marking that schedule on your school calendar.  You can rearrange the schedule as needed"
  • Digcoach can monitor homework progress and revise projections as needed.
  • Frequent messages would be annoying, so digicoach would use a silent progress graph unless the student is falling behind.
  • Digicoach can detect time management problems and alert the teacher
  • Digicoach knows the value of distributed practice, so would advise in favor of that.


  • Digicoach gives the student a weekly progress report comparing with successful students.
  • Several learning MUVEs may be available for the same unit: digicoach offers choices.
  • The DTA can asses learning style and offer the MUVE best suited to the student.
  • For group study, Digicoach forms groups with common or complementary interests.
  • Complementary: Students learning Spanish meet with students learning English .
  • Remember, on the internet everyone is 20 seconds away.
  • Digicoach may be able to offer MUVEs with game-baser learning. 
  • Lack of motivation would appear as poor progress.  Digicoach would alert the teacher on that.

Organization of work

  • In the digital campus model, the DTA handles all the courses for the student.
  • In time management support, Digicoach provides a calendar with the class schedule. 
  • Digicoach keeps the student's portfolio, with all class products (in-work and done).
  • Digicoach gives the student periodic reports on the status of each product in-work.
  • Class related work is organized in separate folders for each class.  
  • Completed work would probably be organized by subject.
  • Digicoach does the organization so students are more likely to accept it.

Study Skills 

  • Study skills (Wikipedia)
  • Study skills (search)
  • Suggestions are abundant.  The problem here is Overchoice.
  • The JIT model calls for only the suggestions likely to be useful at that time.
  • Development of a JIT guidance capability requires input from experienced coaches.
  • The DTA can monitor student performance and so detect problems.
  • In the Digital Campus model, the DTA monitors student performance in all classes.
  • The DTA can distinguish between low performance in one course and low performance overall.
  • The DTA can recognize time-management problems because it records study time.
  • The DTA will also note activity during online homework and factor that in as effort.
  • In any case, the DTA notifies teacher and counselor, proposing action if it can.

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