In what way will AI be incorporated into e-learning in the near future? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
E-learning has the potential to revolutionize education.
For one thing, the internet and burgeoning AI technology have made e-learning more accessible than ever before.
But e-learning also offers solutions to some of education’s most pressing challenges, and in the future, it could serve to more adequately provide all students access to quality teaching.
1) E-learning can more meaningfully differentiate curriculum
Everyone processes content in different ways and at different speeds. The pace or style that works well for one student might very well be too fast, slow, or confusing for another.
Teachers have known this for a long time. But in the traditional classroom model, wherein one teacher with limited resources has to teach an entire class all at once, differentiating content to meet the varied needs of each student is impossible.
With E-learning, however, not only is such differentiation possible — it’s an integral component of the process.
E-learning equipped with intelligence can recognize students’ understanding of a concept automatically, and then suggest different paths of learning depending on the current level of mastery.
This will enable different students to master content at their own pace and will ensure that all students in a given class or community are successful.
2) AI can encourage individual tutoring
Content knowledge builds on itself. When you’re learning something new, you start off with the basics, build a foundation, and proceed conceptually from there.
This is why it’s so critical that students are able to ask questions as soon as points of confusion pop up.
But this is also one central problem with the traditional classroom model. In traditional classrooms, if students misunderstand some aspect of a lesson, they either have to wait until the end of the lesson to ask their questions or until their professor’s after-lesson office hours. That results in them missing all of the content that followed that moment of confusion.
E-learning technology equipped with new models of artificial intelligence, however, addresses points of confusion as soon as they arise. Artificial intelligence can act as a virtual tutor and answer questions on the fly.
In my experience teaching, I realized that many of the basic questions students ask are common among students, but asked repeatedly in different forms. AI enables tutors to understand the questions asked across forums and provide easier clarification to all students.
What this means is that students waste far less learning time and never attempt to synthesize more challenging content until they possess the correct foundational knowledge to do so.
3) E-learning clarifies points of confusion privately
Another problem that plagues traditional classrooms is that students are often too embarrassed to ask questions. They fear looking unintelligent.
Adults sometimes discount how powerful such fears can be. No one wants to feel dumb in front of their peers.
The problem is, students need to ask questions in order to understand content. Otherwise, points of confusion that complicate the learning process are never addressed.
E-learning technology takes this into account. E-learning courses allow for students to ask questions privately or in a forum of students engaging with the content at a similar pace or level.
This allows students to focus on learning unburdened by self-consciousness.
4) E-learning cuts costs for students and eases the burden on teachers
The biggest problem related to education for students and families across the globe is cost. For higher education students especially, the costs of attaining a quality education at a brick and mortar institution can be crippling — or, worse, prohibitive.
The costs entailed in giving students access to e-learning environments and resources, however, are much less burdensome.
Adopting e-learning technologies more at scale would enable schools to cut costs associated with faculty benefits, classroom upkeep, and administrative burdens. This would cut costs for students, too.
5) E-learning ensures students engage with material that’s always relevant
In more traditional schools and classrooms, teachers are forced to follow a fairly strict and inflexible curriculum.
In the traditional model of higher education, gathering continuous feedback on the content of the subject is impractical and tough.
With e-learning tools and AI, however, teachers can adapt and adjust the content in real time. This allows teachers to meet students’ needs and ensure the content more accurately reflects the world their students live in. They can infuse their lessons with the most innovative and up-to-date information.
That’s what students need. It’s also what students deserve.
There are, of course, still challenges facing e-learning –– challenges that need to be addressed. Engagement and encouraging course completion is one.
Perhaps this is a product of a lack of accountability or of less tactile means of engagement. Those of us working to improve this space need to work harder to ensure we’re reaching and ultimately benefiting a higher percentage of students.
With the advancements of AI learning models, the future learning systems can and will be able to create an interactive environment for each student. That will allow the chances of students completing the course to increase exponentially and will ensure the learning experience for the student is better.
Nevertheless, the benefits of e-learning –– including the customization of content to pique students’ interests and the cultivation of more actionable data for teachers –– far outweigh these challenges, and possess the potential to drastically improve student outcomes across the world.
This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:
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