The arrival of AI is transforming our private and professional lives. Why wouldn’t it help us facilitate and improve education as well? As a natural next phase in eLearning, artificial intelligence is already delivering unsuspected new benefits to teachers, students, and corporate trainees. Let’s look at these benefits here!
It wasn’t very long ago that communications technology was considered a major distraction in the classroom setting. Then came the digital age to change how we define education. Blended learning became the dominant teaching method, merging computers and lecturing for good.
And now we’ve taken another drastic step towards fusing them together.
The arrival of AI is transforming our private and professional lives. Why wouldn’t it help us facilitate and improve education as well? As a natural next phase in eLearning, artificial intelligence is already delivering unsuspected new benefits to teachers, students, and corporate trainees.
The future of educational AI is already here. This is how it looks like.
Automatic Grading Frees Up Teachers’ Time
Though automation doesn’t necessarily require artificial intelligence, AI automates by design. One of its many purposes is to streamline manual operations, arduous processes, and repetitive tasks using intelligent algorithms. This would be AI’s first area of application in education at large.
In traditional and online classrooms alike, educators are getting used to outsourcing administrative tasks to their digital assistants. AI, on the other hand, is becoming better and better in optimizing the admission process, overseeing paperwork and record-keeping, and managing finances.
This has long-reaching effects on teachers’ resources and schedules.
Another step forward and a perfect example of this is automated grading, which frees up teachers’ time by letting AI assess homework and grade exams. Instead of spending hours on repetitive tasks, teachers can make productive use of their time and stay fully focused on their students.
Let’s also mention that automated grading eliminates error and bias.
AI Offers Real-Time Guidance & 24/7 Support
Of course, a grade means little without constructive teacher feedback.
But AI can do this as well. At this current phase of technological development, artificial intelligence is intelligent enough to provide real-time guidance to all those in need of immediate help. This includes feedback as well as solutions to student problems, learning material, and other input.
If Amazon’s Alexa can search the internet to find the perfect soufflé recipe, then why wouldn’t the same technology be used for delivering real-time information to students while studying? Need we mention, digital assistants are available 24/7, which makes them even more helpful.
Chatbots are especially convenient for this type of digital mentorship.
Instead of ignoring their points of confusion in learning something new, students can simply text their school’s chatbot and ask for clarification, example, or material for further reading. Addressing these obstacles is extremely important for deeper understanding and retention.
Digital Teachers Are Fluent in Human Tongue
But aren’t conversations with digital assistants a bit too robotic?
Chatbot users don’t mind carrying out dialogues that feel programmed when they are ordering pizza or booking their plane tickets. But when it comes to education, robotic answers may pose a bigger problem. They simply lack the flexibility needed for explaining abstract concepts.
The good news is, AI has come a long way since its early-days algorithm-based conversations. As of recently, conversational AI interfaces have a capability called natural language processing (NLP), which is of key importance for the future of chatbots in the eLearning environment.
NLP enables them to speak our language – to understand their users but also to respond in a similar, human-like fashion. This gives them the flexibility they need to abbreviate or elaborate explanations per demand, as well as to give answers to complex questions in a descriptive way.
Natural language processing also makes educational AI multilingual.
AI Helps Create Personalized Learning Paths
Thanks to machine learning (ML), chatbots and other forms of AI acquire knowledge about the user at each interaction, thus gradually personalizing learning paths. This core ability that separates AI from other machines may revolutionize personalized learning in the near future.
For example, take online courses created with eLearning software.
In schools, digital academies, and corporate training programs, course authoring tools can leverage AI’s learning potential for generating deeper insight into student learning habits, pain points, and interests. This will ultimately help them boost retention rates.
Personalized learning aims to cater to the special needs of students as unique individuals. In order to help them hit their educational targets faster, it considers everything from their learning styles and preferred type of learning content to their schedules and peak productivity hours.
That way, AI can make learning both easier and more effective.
Multiformat Content Improves Engagement
The lack of student motivation is the biggest challenge educators face on an everyday basis. Even though a big part of it has been recuperated thanks to the convenience ensured by the eLearning environment and educational technology, student engagement rates are still low.
Through personalized learning, AI can solve this problem as well.
For example, artificial intelligence can monitor and analyze student progress in a group against their performance when they are studying alone. That way, it can determine the most effective approach and provide students with either social learning experiences or on-demand tutors.
On a similar note, AI can boost engagement with gamified courses and different types of learning content – from interactive videos to attention-grabbing infographics. It can also help create various types of tests and quizzes, based on the learning habits of particular students.
To any learning experience, it can add value, fun, and excitement.
And the greatest part is, AI is still in its early years of development.
In the near future, these uses of artificial intelligence in education will move from their experimental stage into a phase of wide implementation. AI will run every part of the eLearning industry, spurring new, better, and more intelligent applications.
Author Bio: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker.
Kamy Anderson, @kamyanderson
Expert in learning management system & e-Learning authoring tools