Recent policy recommendation: How to accelerate platform economy in the education sector
The platform economy challenges current policies and roles in the education sector. Digitization and platforms are diversifying and reshaping teaching methods, creating new opportunities for interaction between teacher and pupils or students. The student can progress at their own pace, the learning progress can be supported, tailored and monitored in real time and affect learning challenges as they arise. A wide range of actors can also be involved in innovating and producing the best possible solutions through digital platforms.
“Platforms can be used to create increasingly individualized learning solutions and more efficiently distributed learning materials while reducing production and publishing costs. However, there are three big challenges along the way - all of which can be solved, ”says Professor Robin Gustafsson from Aalto University. He is leading the research project Policy Rationales in the Shift to Digital Platform Economy, on the basis of which Aalto University researchers issued a policy recommendation on accelerating the platform economy in the field of education. The research project is funded by Business Finland.
The recommendations are based on an extensive analysis of more than 100 research articles and a workshop with Finland's leading experts in the fields of platform economics, digital learning solutions and education from the private and public sectors.
Challenges hindering the growth of platform economy in the education sector
In the education sector, there are few public and commercial scalable platform-based solutions. Schools, teachers and small actors lack the incentives and resources to participate and develop open, platform-based learning solutions. Current legislation, the financial model and data protection limit innovation, and thefragmented market is not enabling the growth of platforms.
There is no functioning data market for the education sector that would be particularly important to generate knowledge accumulation. The lack of standards and rules and their ambiguity lead to data being fragmentedbetween different parties.
“The data could be used, for example, to develop better algorithms and curricula related to learning technologies and to identify early indicators of learning difficulties. Google already has a more holistic picture of Finnish young people than Finnish learning solution providers,” Gustafsson emphasizes.
There are no shared digital commodities for teaching and learning and the best pedagogical solutions are not shared or sufficiently exploited. There are no commonly defined standards or rules for learning solutions that would guide the development of shared digital commodities.
Google already has a more holistic picture of Finnish young people than Finnish learning solution providers.
To address these challenges, researchers recommend that significant changes be made in the production models of (1) existing learning materials, (2) pedagogical solutions, (3) learning, and (4) teaching. The Finnish state should re-evaluate the role of private and public actors in these four areas and strive to develop their regulation. Regulation should promote co-developed open platform solutions, the development of shared digital commodities in the field of education, and competitive conditions that support data- and platform-based innovation. The recommendations focus on collaboration, common ground rules and openness.
The policy brief is available in Finnish.
How to accelerate the platform economy in the education sector?
We make recommendations related to innovation policy aiming to accelerate the development and growth of the platform economy in the education sector. The key themes of the recommendations are cooperation, common rules and openness.