Education 4.0 and the AI Revolution
The ongoing flood of artificial intelligence headlines in education news clearly signifies how such advancements in technology are driving education and learning. Students of all ages are undoubtedly going to be affected by developments in AI and other aspects of Education 4.0.
‘Education 4.0 is a technique of learning that is connected with the fourth industrial revolution and focuses on transforming the future of education through advanced technology and automation. Smart technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics are part of this industrial revolution.’
Education 4.0 offers an opportunity to lead us away from the more traditional “one size fits all” education model, a model that’s ineffective in the majority of cases. Many researchers agree that these next generation education reforms such as Education 4.0 will take a leap forward thanks to Big Data analysis and AI.
This blog is going to focus on AI in particular, looking at how it can be harnessed in education to benefit instructors and aid in student development and career success. Alongside the benefits, we’ll also take a look at the challenges of implementing AI in education, before finishing off with some useful tools that educators and students are already using.
AI Transforming Education
The capabilities of artificial intelligence have skyrocketed in the year since ChatGPT’s release. This is thanks to a confluence of innovations and breakthroughs, such as improvements in mathematical modelling, hardware and computing power, and an increase in high-quality data sets that generative AI tools have access to.
Thanks to this rapid advancement, there are already AI-powered tools out there that are helping to completely reshape how students learn, develop, and prepare for life beyond university and college.
AI can empower educators and career services to support students’ holistic development through adaptive learning, intelligent tutoring systems, personalised learning, and individualised employability assistance.
There are a great number of benefits in implementing AI in higher and further education. Here are the top three:
1. Time Saving
Automated feedback and grading systems can significantly reduce the amount of time instructors and educators have to spend on admin tasks like marking. This alleviates pressure on educators, giving them more time to spend on the creative aspects of teaching.
2. Personalised Learning
AI can personalise education in significant ways. Adaptive learning platforms can use student data - such as performance, strengths and weaknesses, and learning pace - to identify individualised learning paths. These paths can offer appropriate content, resources, and activities that align with each students’ specific needs.
These sort of personalised learning paths could be invaluable to tailoring learning to serve the unique needs of neurodiverse learners.
Plus, in immersive scenario-based training, AI can provide immediate, personalised feedback based upon student performance to help with reflection and the development of skills.
Personalised learning paths and individualised feedback will allow educators and institutions to embrace a more student-centric approach to learning, moving beyond the traditional “one-size-fits-all” model.
3. Serving Student Services
AI chatbots have been put to use at some universities to act as out-of-hours student support. Chatbots can direct students to the right place to find the information they need or send more complex requests to the humans at student services to pick up during the workday.
AI can also help students with careers services. For example, the Open University offers an AI-powered ‘career-readiness’ diagnostic that helps students find a tailored range of tools and support for employability training and confidence-building.
Integrating AI into further and higher education certainly comes with a myriad of benefits and opens up the potential for revolutionising educational models and student services. However, there are challenges that run alongside these advancements, challenges that must be considered in order to realise AI’s true potential whilst keeping technology accessible, safe, and efficient.
There’s already a global imbalance when it comes to accessing technology, often thanks to socio-economic barriers. Without forethought into how access be globalised and equitable, new technologies powered by AI could serve to exacerbate existing inequalities.
Language and geographical barriers also serve to hinder some people’s access to AI technology. Most AI tools perform best in English as they lack sufficient data in other languages, something that should be addressed to prevent additional global imbalances.
Training educators and other faculty on the AI tools that will be implemented into education institutions can be a formidable challenge. But it’s one that’s truly vital if you want to implement AI tools in a successful and scalable way.
Many faculty members may not have the strong background in technology and data that is helpful when integrating AI in education and training can often take a lot of time. And time is a precious resource, with many educators and staff already stretched thin. Taking this into consideration when planning on implementing AI tools will be key to their ongoing success.
Perhaps one of the most common concerns surrounding AI in education relate to how certain tools - like ChatGPT - could and are being used by students to create assignment work for them. There are plenty of articles discussing this topic, and we wanted to highlight another part of this conversation that should be considered when thinking about AI and possibilities of cheating and plagiarism.
Such unsurety surrounding submitted work can result in a lack of trust between instructor and students, having a damaging effect on that bond. It’s debatable how to tackle this unique challenge, but it’s certainly something that has to be considered when thinking about AI in education.
Relationship building with students has always been vital in education, but even more so in this time of rapidly developing AI technology. By focusing on establishing trust within the relationship between educator and student, you’re more likely to foster engagement and motivation.
Educational institutions handle vast amounts of sensitive student data, including grades, attendance records, and personal information. They’ll also hold similarly sensitive data about their staff. Students and educators alike may have concerns surrounding AI and potential breaches of data security.
Another concern both students and educators may have about data resides in data ownership. Determining who owns the data generated or collected by AI systems in an educational setting can be complex. Is it the students, the institution, or the AI service provider? Clear ownership and usage rights need to be defined.
Any technological advancements or developments come with their own unique hurdles, even ones we now consider invaluable to learning had to overcome their own challenges. For example, the integration of computers into the classroom came with plenty of issues and oppositions, but now they’re almost inseparable from the majority of classes and degrees.
AI in Education: Worth the Risks?
The landscape of education is evolving at an unprecedented pace, driven by rapid technological advancements. Including AI across your institution represents a proactive and forward-thinking approach to nurturing the educational journey of students, as it not only enhances the quality of education, but also equips your institution with the tools to reach and surpass its strategic goals.
Embrace these challenges today as an investment in the future success and growth of both your students and your institution.
Popular AI Tools in Education
- Grammarly - Probably the most well-known on this list, Grammarly is a grammar checker that can be integrated into Google Workspace and browsers to automatically check spelling and grammar.
- Gradescope - Gradescope is an AI-powered grading assistant. By grouping similar assessment responses together it allows instructors to grade groups as one and instantly transfer feedback to students with similar answers. It currently supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) problem sets and projects, worksheets, quizzes and exams.
- Peerceptiv - Peerceptiv is a data-driven peer learning tool that allows students to engage in double-blind peer reviewing. Peer ratings and other data feed into Peerceptiv’s grading algorithms to provide students with a grade that is as accurate as traditional instructor grading.
- ClassPoint AI - ClassPoint AI is a PowerPoint based tool that instantly generates questions from content on any PowerPoint slide - allowing educators to create quizzes on class content quicker than ever.
- Quillbot - Quillbot has a number of different AI tools useful for educators and students alike: a paraphrase tool, a grammar and plagiarism checker, a summariser, citation generator, and more.
- Education Copilot - Education Copilot is an automated lesson planner that can generate templates for lesson plans, writing prompts, project outlines and more. Intended to help educators streamline their planning and preparation, saving them time.
All of the above tools, and the many more that are out there, can be implemented into further and higher education curricula or student services. Many will aid students in developing skills they’ll need for future success, and others can serve as tools they can take with them into future careers.
Bodyswaps’ immersive soft skills learning also utilises AI to help students prepare for life outside and beyond education. Allow us to tell you a little more about how exactly we use AI:
Bodyswaps and AI
In every Bodyswaps module, learners interact with AI-powered virtual humans whose conversations are driven by the user’s answers. We’ve recently taken our first step with Generative AI - boosting our Job Interview Simulator, which will now provide AI-powered feedback and model answers based on learner performance during the interview scenarios.
We’re dedicated to ensuring our steps with AI are always focusing on learner outcomes, as well as mitigating risks of bias.
Interested in how AI-driven immersive soft skills training could benefit your students? Check out our new Discovery Package where you’ll receive tailored guidance for deploying Bodyswaps at your institution. But be quick, the offer runs out at the end of 2023!