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Monday, July 13, 2015

PRAISE—a social network for online music learning

"Community feedback and advanced analytics, combined with lesson planning and monitoring tools for teachers make this social learning platform, PRAISE, a step forward in collaborative online learning." continues Phys.Org.

Photo: Phys.Org

Photo: Carles Sierra
"Feedback is essential for learning," says Carles Sierra, Research Professor at the Spanish National Research Council and coordinator of the PRAISE project. The project aims at filling a gap in online learning by creating a social network for music education with tools for giving and receiving feedback.

Using PRAISE's Music Circle platform, music students can upload recordings of their playing and receive detailed feedback from other members of the community. Advanced tools let reviewers place their comments as annotations at exactly the right place in the audio signal representation.

"Students' peers can say "this crescendo is very nice" or "this passage is very expressive"," explains Professor Sierra. "This timeline of structured comments and this level of granularity have been lacking in online approaches to giving feedback on music."

A social network of learners
As PRAISE is a web-based social media platform, a single comment can spawn multiple comments. These discussion threads help to create a community of people giving and receiving feedback that becomes a social network of learners.

Aside from human feedback, PRAISE's sophisticated tools also provide automatic feedback. Students can play a particular piece, for example, and the software will tell the student whether he or she played the right notes at the right time. Moreover, if the student submits a new recording, areas of improvement or retrogression are similarly flagged.

A teaching tool with marks generation

PRAISE is actually more than just a platform for giving and receiving feedback. Its tools also allow music teachers to create lesson plans and track their students' progress online.

In addition, PRAISE tackles a problem faced by many Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). Since it's physically impossible for a single teacher to mark the thousands or tens of thousands of students who may follow an online offering, many MOOCs rely on peer assessment. This approach is unsatisfactory, however, because students may not give marks in the same way that the teacher would give them.

Source: Phys.Org