Scaling Expert Feedback: Two Case Studies

Scaling Expert Feedback: Two Case Studies

David Joyner

Traditionally, higher education has relied on a linear relationship between enrollment and staff; rising enrollment numbers dictate increases to the expert staff, especially for student evaluation. This relationship is expensive, and so, efforts towards learning at scale have largely deemphasized the role of expert evaluation and feedback. However, two organizations – one academic, one commercial – have used different models to scale up class size while retaining expert evaluation and feedback. In this paper, we analyze the differing methods these two organizations have used to increase enrollment while preserving scalability and affordability. We observe that the academic program has scaled expert feedback by relying on the unique characteristics of its student body, while the commercial program has scaled expert feedback by developing a novel, network-based model. The success of both programs demonstrates the possibilities of learning from experts at scale.