The Artificial Intelligence (AI) will allow in a future to recommend to each person what they are the studies best suited to their abilities, tastes, and career prospects, alert you when you are at risk of suspending a subject and to detect a possible abandonment before it occurs, among many other things. "All this will allow to reduce the failure and drop-out rates of the university," explains David Bañeres, a research group Systems, Software and Models Research Lab (SOM Research Lab) of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eLearn Center (eLC), both from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).
"The intelligent use of data will facilitate an education that is exclusive to each person," explains David Bañeres, currently working on a project of the eLC to develop an guardian smart that will cater to the students of the UOC 24 hours of each day of the week. This project is framed within the program Soul University, this research centre is designed to implement artificial intelligence in the university during the next ten years.
"Until recently, universities did not have enough data, especially the face-to-face, so that the application of the artificial intelligence is being introduced more slowly than in other sectors," explains Bañeres, who, however, believes that we are already prepared to tackle great challenges of AI in higher education. For the expert, knowing how to use these data for the benefit of the student is essential to help you throughout your academic career.
there are Already examples of how learning analytics ("learning analytics") enhances the notes of the college students and reducing the dropout rate. At the american university in Purdue, in Indiana, have for years allowing teachers to use student data to provide real-time notifications and solve the academic problems that they may have the first. After the implementation of the project, we detected an increase of the notes outstanding until the 13,84 %, a reduction of approved until 9,38 %, and suspensions fell by up to 9,40 %.Education exclusively for each student
The artificial intelligence is going to allow to predict which subjects complete the curriculum of the students, what are your skills, what subjects must do to reach the goals they have, etc, and, in consequence, "we will be able to offer a more personalized learning, I would almost call that exclusive, for each one," says Bañeres. And it's going to be applied mainly in three levels, according to the researcher.
The first level of application begins when the student is informed about the options training. At that time, according to your profile and the data from other students are collected by the IA, you receive recommendations on what degrees, master's degrees and/or courses are most desirable for him. The second level of intervention is given on the campus, where the management of data will allow to propose how many and what subjects should be studied to make sure the approved. And finally, the third level is given in each course and subject: "artificial intelligence can automatically respond to the questions asked by the students on the matter and, in addition, depending on how they are going to develop the subject, to propose recommendations that help them to study," explains Bañeres.
The idea is that the person is assisted at all times. Your "guardian" can also be used, in addition to everything said, "make an accompaniment to emotional or to plan the study time of the student," says Guillem Garcia Brustenga, head of Analysis of Trends of the eLearn Center. This "mentor" educational will accompany and to help the student in all of your academic journey, from the first administrative issues when you go to the university until enrolment is completed and, finally, to the degree. And even then, their "work" does not end, as it can remain "asleep" until the student decide to return to study or even "to get in contact with him" to recommend new academic training to improve their curriculum, adapt to new work environments, etc ..
And what margin is left for error? What happens if the artificial intelligence is wrong? "It is clear that they are recommendations and as well take it," he answers, Bañeres. It is the student who knows if this quarter has just begun a personal relationship that will limit their time of study, if you have a sick family member to care for, etc, "The machines can be wrong, of course, but it is true that the collection of personal data and statistics to make recommendations very good, as are done in other sectors that are not academic," he says.what My guardian will be a chatbot?
" How to apply this AI is not so relevant", explains the researcher. "If the recommendations make a guardian virtual using a chatbot, great. If the student likes more that is by means of messages and notifications in your email, your social networks, etc," explains Bañeres. For the expert, the chatbots are fashionable, but what is important is not the how, but the messages, the recommendations and the answers to the questions of the student to arrive: "we'll see how it will evolve. Right now, the chatbot is the formula that most are using, but we don't know what other options are invent in the future."
What is important is the creation of an educational tutor who helps the student, that also will be an assistant to the professor", as explained by García Brustenga. "What we can imagine as an application in the mobile access text chat or voice (like Alexa, or Siri)," he adds. In addition, it will be ubiquitous, give support in any place and at any time and "can be kept active beyond a full course," he says to finish.
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