To help launch the behavioral sciences into the 2020s, Behavioral Scientist is putting together a series called “Imagining the Next Decade of Behavioral Science”. The series will consist of ideas from a variety of voices in the field. Here’s our submission; our predictions, ideas, and warnings for how the field will evolve.

Good education is a fundamental human right. Still, it’s a distant dream in many parts of the world. Education for all, then, is a big goal for the decade. The outlook for democratizing education is positive if we turn to new solutions: online learning.

Our sensibilities, however, aren’t primed for new modalities of pedagogy. Human history has been one of brick-and-mortar learning, in real classrooms, with real people. To adapt, we need new habits. Some will be digital and work to counter the attention deficit crisis—ironically, a byproduct of the digital revolution. The prognosis: we need behavioral interventions not imagined before.

Multidisciplinary data will help us design the right strategies to architect learning habits. These interventions will catalyze digital learning, and let us track, analyze and predict actions to continuously evolve our approach, revolutionizing the way humans learn. This is the future of behavioral science.

Changes are afoot; online learning is gaining momentum. The question now isn’t if we need behavioral interventions to help online learners learn better, but when they will take root. We look forward to an exciting new decade—hopefully, one where the right to education, opportunity and equality is actionable.

However, there’s one caveat: while there is potential for behavioral science to change the way we learn, it is important to recognize that these changes cannot be worked in silos. We will need a veritable ecosystem to engineer the right learning behaviors in a digital world. Stitching together multidisciplinary research and practice, through continuously evolving data patterns, is the way forward.

This submission was published by Behavioral Scientist on January 20, 2020. You can find it here.

Rachika Komal is Behavioral Analyst, Product at Harappa Education. 
Soumya Bahuguna is Associate, Marketing & Communications at Harappa Education.

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