What do you think of when you hear about Artificial Intelligence? While many of us imagine the robots of science fiction, virtually indistinguishable from human beings, we are still a long way from developing that sort of artificial, human-like intelligence. Nevertheless, there have been some remarkable advances in machine learning in recent years. AI is not only likely to have a significant role in the future of E-Learning, it’s already having an impact in several ways. Here, we take a look at how AI is contributing to eLearning, here and now.
AI in eLearning can utilise your learning history to determine what sort of learning activities you prefer. Within a personalised learning programme, it can then adjust your learning schedule, so that you’re automatically offered opportunities to take part in the types of activities you tend to prefer. Similarly, if your learning history reveals gaps in your skills or knowledge, the programme can suggest particular activities which will tackle them. This process uses algorithms like those employed in targeted advertising, but it’s arguably a lot less annoying, and rather more useful.
Nonhuman teaching assistants
Artificial intelligence in LMS’s can create a nonhuman classroom assistant to respond quickly to frequently asked questions. This can be particularly useful as a complementary feature on instructor-led training programmes, where it can allow learners to find instant answers to many of their queries, without having to wait for a trainer to become available to discuss them. This can save a lot of time, both for learners and instructors. For learners, points of confusion can be clarified early in the learning process, preventing them from wasting time by heading down the wrong path. For instructors, they can spend less time answering high numbers of similar, simple queries, and more time discussing complex issues. AI teaching assistants are likely to increase retention on courses, because learners receive rapid responses to their questions, boosting the level of interaction available. Learners may even be more likely to ask questions if they know they are likely to be dealt with quickly by their AI assistant, rather than taking up their instructor’s time.
Keeping content relevant
AI can also be utilised to keep learning content up to date, by identifying elements which should be removed or directing learners to relevant websites with updated information. This process makes sure that learning content reflects the world in which employees work and live. The more it resonates with the real-life experiences of the learners, the more the learning content becomes something with which learners can connect and actively engage.
In the future, we may see more use of Artificial Intelligence in eLearning. Dedicated, personalised AI assistants could be a real advantage for learners. Right now however, we are already able to reap the considerable benefits of machine learning, in directing learners efforts to their preferred activity types, keeping learning content current, and answering common queries. AI is here in eLearning, with the potential to make our learning increasingly efficient and effective.