# khan Academy - Rationality series?

post by Goobahman · 2011-12-12T01:54:15.428Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 10 comments

Does the LW community think it might be a good idea to approach Khan Academy about including a series on Rationality, based on some of the LW sequences?

Khan Academy already has a great reputation as a centre for learning, and has large amounts of traffic going through it. Perhaps we could take advantage of that?

What would be the pros and cons?

How would we go about doing it?

Has anyone made a video series of any of our sequences that we could offer?

13.12.11 update:

It sounds like this is a really good idea that just hasn't seen action yet. I'd actually really be interested in helping make this happen, and whilst I probably personally lack the skills to do it all, I'm sure that between the contributors here we have enough contacts/expertise to put something forward.

comment by Dreaded_Anomaly · 2011-12-12T04:00:43.624Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A specific proposal:

There is already a video introducing Bayes' Theorem in the probability section, and a similar example is addressed in another video. This could be expanded greatly; possible topics include the odds formulation with likelihood ratios, updating, a discussion of priors, and Bayesian inference. (The last one might be better off as a series in the statistics area instead.)

We can also aim for more than just video lectures, although that would be a very good start. Khan is developing adaptive software which randomly generates exercises and tracks the student's progress with the concepts those exercises test. Creating such exercises for Bayes theorem would help people develop an intuitive understanding of how to use it, far beyond what they could get out of just watching the videos.

Replies from: jpulgarin
comment by jpulgarin · 2011-12-12T08:39:29.275Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Creating good exercises for traditional concepts that form the building blocks of rationality is probably the best way to go about this. Once you've shown that you can create engaging exercises, and have formed relationships with people at Khan Academy, your suggestions will have more weight and you can create more experimental type exercises. Sal can only create about 10 videos a day, and the requests he gets from teachers using Khan Academy in actual classrooms (or from the people giving him funding) probably trump those he gets from people on a rationality blog.

For anyone reading this who wants to create an exercise teaching Bayes' Theorem, first read the Github Wiki. You can also get help from Khan Academy employees and volunteers in the HipChat room.

I'm an ex-intern at Khan Academy (who worked quite a bit on the exercise framework) so feel free to email me any questions or to get me to look at your pull request. My email is jp@julianpulgarin.com.

comment by RomanDavis · 2011-12-12T20:55:00.332Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I just wish they had kept on with the video version of the sequences, instead of quitting after two.

Replies from: magfrump
comment by magfrump · 2011-12-13T00:58:33.424Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Where was this project started? I might be interested in picking it up in the medium-term (one to six months).

Replies from: RomanDavis
comment by lukeprog · 2011-12-12T09:28:11.408Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I got far enough along on trying to make a Khan-academy-style rationality video myself to track down the best software to use for what I wanted, bought a drawing tablet, and wrote a script for the first episode. But now I won't have time to do it.

Replies from: Vaniver
comment by Vaniver · 2011-12-12T15:19:45.273Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is the script finished enough to post? I imagine we have at least one actor here with a nice voice.

Replies from: lukeprog
comment by lukeprog · 2011-12-12T18:34:46.239Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I ended up not liking the script and wanting to rewrite it.

comment by Dr_Manhattan · 2011-12-12T01:59:17.984Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Awesome idea. Briefly crossed my mind at some point, then I forgot!

Replies from: Mercurial
comment by Mercurial · 2011-12-12T03:00:11.741Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ditto. I'm in academia and had wondered idly about creating Khan-like videos for rationality training for my future graduate students. But then I forgot too!

Given that Anna and Eliezer are putting a Rationality curriculum together, it might be good to get their input on this.