The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Online Education – Training.com.au

Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming a core part of online education.
AI has the ability to make classes feel interactive, without overwhelming people. It’s a great way to supplement the current learning experience you’re providing to your students, supplying them with the necessary learning resources and the ability to add extra teaching ‘staff’ to your faculty.
Speaking about Artificial Intelligence, IBM says, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind”.
It has often been predicted to be one of the major technological advancements of the next decade, and as more and more industries work out how to properly utilise the full potential of AI, it’s likely to become more commonplace.
AI, when implemented correctly, can make complex decisions, recognise patterns, translate between languages and much, much more.
AI ensures each student is getting personalised attention, without needing the number of human staff that would otherwise be required to provide this. Adaptive learning is able to provide personalised learning for each student by processing mass amounts of data and reacting to students’ needs accordingly.
Rather than starting everyone from the same place, or on the same curriculum, AI can assess where there are knowledge gaps, and provide the resources/assessments necessary to help everyone become proficient. Adaptive learning removes the need for a ‘one size fits all’ approach to corporate training and eLearning.
Artificial intelligence can also help give definitive answers to educational providers on the effectiveness of their training and calculate their ROI. This gives those crafting the courses, as well as teaching them, an unprecedented opportunity to assess whether they’re teaching the ‘right’ content to students, or if they need to shape their course differently.
AI can help make courses more effective, compact and personalised – meaning people can upskill themselves in better ways, more often.
AI is set to allow educational staff to focus on teaching, as it can be used for human assessment, setting curriculums and answering student enquiries outside of classroom hours. AI is an enhancement tool for eLearning, rather than a replacement for the human touch, and it’s set to allow educators to provide the best experience possible for students.
Artificial intelligence also makes eLearning more accessible to students with disabilities as well. There are AI systems that can describe photos for the visually impaired, generate closed captions for videos automatically, assist with text-to-speech reading and operate an on-screen mouse and keyboard.
These systems will open up new possibilities for those that have not previously been able to study, either in person or online, meaning that eLearning will become a truly accessible learning path for everyone looking to upskill.
In 2015, Ashok Goel and his colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology taught a course on artificial intelligence, featuring an AI teaching assistant named Jill Watson.
Speaking about the experience to EdTech Mag in the wake of COVID-19, Mr Goel, who currently works as the director of Georgia Tech’s Design & Intelligence Laboratory, says that while developing Jill Watson, this involved a significant time investment, working on lowering that to just 10 hours of human input through a sibling application called Agent Smith.
“We want to use AI to build AI. We’re working to take Jill Watson to the Georgia Tech level, where it can be used for any class here. Eventually, we want to share the technology with other universities and with high schools. Agent Smith means I could go to a busy middle school teacher and offer her the support of a Jill Watson with the investment of just 10 hours of work.”
– Ashok Goel, Director of the Design and Intelligence Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology
The eLearning industry is always looking to evolve, but with a lot of traditional teaching methods being adapted for eLearning, AI is increasingly looking like a way for eLearning to separate itself from other methods of education. The future of online education is looking brighter than ever, and it has become a genuine alternative to on-campus learning, rather than a secondary option.
As the applications and the technology of AI continue to evolve, educational institutions will be able to create personalised, adaptive curriculums that suit any student, no matter their interests or desired outcomes.
This article was created in partnership with Upskilled.
If you’re looking to study online, and experience what online education has to offer, then Upskilled can help. Upskilled offers a range of courses in some of Australia’s in-demand industries to get students job-ready sooner. To discuss how you can make your next career move, or to learn more about the benefits of online learning, enquire about an Upskilled course today.
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Jana works at Upskilled, creating impactful content to help people embrace the online learning space. She enjoys using her creativity and analytical skills to put the best content forward, empowering people to realise their career potential.

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