LRTN 523- Assignment 1: People in the Field

Photo source: engaeli

Let me introduce… Dr Daphne Koller

Dr Daphne Koller is a highly regarded Computer Sciences professor at Stanford University who focuses on biomedicine and machine learning (Daphne Koller, n.d.).  She is the founder of insitro, a company that focuses on machine learning and drug discovery/ development (insitro, n.d.). In our class book club chat on September 16, 2022, a facet of the conversation discussed the gap in ed tech being pedagogically driven and the lack of adoption by educators. This led to a discussion about the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, sharing resources, and educators’ involvement in ed tech development to encourage adoption. I chose Dr Koller because, besides AI and biomedicine, she is an educational forerunner developing quality ed tech that is open, accessible, and engaging.

Her list of achievements and publications is long.  Notably, she was listed in 2013 on Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people because, with her business partner, they founded Coursera, an open learning platform.  According to Koller (TED, 2012), they recognised a gap between degree programs and employability; additionally, various access challenges (monetary and otherwise).  The platform provides high-calibre, interdisciplinary, open courses in collaboration with various educational institutions.

“We wanted to create the best quality education for as many people as possible. So, we formed Coursera, whose goal is to take the best courses from the best instructors at the best universities and provide to everyone around the world for free.” (TED, 2012, minute 3:27)

Within the video (Ted, 2012), she demonstrates how students use the platform that encourages innovation, creativity and problem-solving through active learning.

In 2020, Dr Koller founded engaeli.  This platform is designed for higher education and corporate environments with active learning principles (engageli, n.d.).  The secure platform can integrate with many learning management systems (LMS) and other collaboration tools while offering face-to-face, online and hybrid learning options (engageli, n.d.).  It has recently won awards (pictured above). It appears to be an exciting development in ed tech because it was built from the ground up with engaged, active education and learning theory practices as the foundation of the design.  I would be interested to know more about analytics and data collection; however, what I find essential about Dr Koller’s work is that she is an educator who designs meaningful ed tech for educators that can be quickly and widely adopted across disciplines and formats. The gap we acknowledged in our class session.


Daphne Koller. (n.d.). Home [LinkedIn page]. LinkedIn. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from

engageli. (n.d.). Engageli: Where engaged learning happens. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from

insitro. (n.d.). insitro. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from

TED. (2012, August 1). Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education [Video]. YouTube.

2 Replies to “LRTN 523- Assignment 1: People in the Field”

  1. Thanks Gill for your overview of the various aspects of Dr. Daphne Koller’s work and impact in the field of ed tech. Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the areas that peaked your interested such as data analytics and approaches to rapid development you identify above. Here is a resource that you and others might find useful as you continue to explore in this area especially as you examine the range and scope of OER thru to for-profit models. Enjoy!
    Marín, Victoria I.; Bond, Melissa; Conrad, Dianne; Veletsianos, George; Xiao, Junhong; Zhang, Jingjing… Aydin, Cengiz Hakan. (Open) Educational Resources around the World: An International Comparison. EdTech Books.

  2. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for checking in and the resources.

    When reading about Dr Koller’s platforms, I considered the podcast discussion (Between the Chapters: Blogging – 25 Years of Ed Tech: The Serialized Audio Version, n.d.) regarding learning analytics. What information do the platform and the company obtain when they work alongside the LMS? Last year I helped trial an interactive platform called Feedback Fruits. CTET built a separate site for us in Innovate. If it was integrated into Moodle, it meant that student emails would go to the company, and there were issues with data protection, as well as it being a non-Canadian company.

    When I looked at the engaeli website, it has a lot of tech talk about security, but there was what I call “flag play” in some of the verbiage.

    Regarding LMS integration:
    “Leverage user authentication to eliminate the need to manage multiple login credentials” and “Protect student data with secure data transfer” (engageli, 2022).

    I interpret this as integrating with the LMS for login, but what student data are they protecting and do they have access to if integrated with the LMS?

    Regarding data analytics and privacy
    “Only learners with authorised access can enter an engageli virtual classroom. If the learner’s email address does not match the email address in the class list, they will not be able to join the session” (engageli, 2022).

    They are using student emails to access the classes, but if the login is integrated, do they need this? Can they not just access it with a link? Zoom and Menitmeter can. Why is the email needed?

    Based on my experience, these seemed like red flags more than selling points. The platforms sound excellent in terms of usability and what they can achieve. Still, I wonder what information about the students they own, how it could be used, and the safety of the institutions/students’ intellectual property. I’m all for a shiny new piece of ed tech designed by an educator and grounded in learning theory. However, she is a computer programmer with a focus on AI-first, and that needs to be considered when looking at this platform.

    Between the chapters: Blogging – 25 years of ed tech: The serialized audio version. (n.d.).

    engageli. (n.d.). Engageli: Where engaged learning happens. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from

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