A mentor sits on a bench with his student on a university campus. He knows exactly what his student's strengths and weaknesses are. He knows when to give him more challenging work and when to back off. He tailors his teaching to the student he's working with.
This personalized learning worked for students in medieval times at the first European universities, and it works best for students today, said Tim Renick, vice provost and vice president for enrollment management and student success at Georgia State University. But individual attention is often limited to students who can afford tuition at private universities, and just 66 percent of them graduate in six years, according to National Center for Education Statistics data from 2006-2012.
"Technology affords us the opportunity at a large scale to begin to deliver some of that personalized education," Renick said.