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Welcome Beth Porter

Beth joins us from Pearson Education and has spent her career developing products that enhance online teaching and learning. Her education expertise will help edX continue to develop its cutting-edge platform to help educators transform the learning experience and help students around the world develop a lifelong love of learning. Check out our conversation with Beth to learn more about her interests and work at edX.

What are you most excited to work on at edX?

Beth Porter: Because edX is an open source platform, not just a destination for great, free courses, we have the privilege of working with smart, passionate people around the world who want to impact teaching and learning on edX. What an exciting opportunity!

What educational trend do you find most interesting?

BP: I’m really interested in adaptive and personalized learning. No online experience can serve as a perfect substitute for in-person instruction, but adaptive algorithms and data feedback loops can emulate a key component of personalized learning, i.e. real time corrective steering when students aren’t mastering concepts and affirmative messages when students succeed. In pure online learning experiences, students can combine this kind of machine-guided instruction with peer learning through social networks. And, in blended learning environments, students can use class time to dig in on deeper topics and can take best advantage of their instructor’s valuable time.

How do you evaluate what learning tools will be most effective for edX students and teachers?

BP: Through edX’s research mission and with our partners, we can directly test and validate how effective new learning experiences have been, and then feed that data back into the system to innovate at a pace that can’t be replicated in traditional classrooms. That’s a game-changing advance in online learning.

Tell us about some of your passions beyond working at edX.

BP: I love to spend time in the garden. It’s very therapeutic as a solo activity, but in fact everyone in our family gets involved. I enjoy cooking, especially Mediterranean food, and we often host meals with friends at home. I stay fit by lifting weights and playing soccer, and I have been a youth soccer coach for more than 20 years.

Welcome to Beth! We’re so pleased to have you on the edX team.

By Rachel Lapal, Communications Manager, edX