Category Archives: Teachers

How Machine Learning and AI are Making Online Learning More Beneficial


Online learning (aka E-Learning) is now considered to be an integral part of the education sector. In simple words, online learning refers to the type of learning where the learning process is mediated by the internet i.e. the learners use the internet to learn.

Online learning is gaining tremendous popularity. It is also said to increase the knowledge retention rates from 25-60% in comparison to face-to-face training. Online learning owes much of its popularity and efficiency to machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Gone are the days of one size fits all. ML and AI have made learning to become personalized and adaptive.

Every student has different educational backgrounds and thinking abilities. It is imperative to provide case studies and examples to them that they can best relate to, meaning that the course needs to be customized as per each student for better learning.

Such a high-level of customization can be achieved with a Learning Management System (LMS) that has machine learning capabilities.

Leveraging Big Data

AI provides insights based on the enormous amount of data it has collected and analyzed, which facilitates the creation of customized learning programs, faster than before. Access to these insights and data allows online learning platforms to develop a better understanding of learner behaviors and to predict needs by recommending and positioning content based on past behavior. Adaptive learning that is personalized to the individual is a powerful way to engage today’s workforce.

Personalized and Adaptive Learning

Apart from personalization, AI and ML also facilitate better optimization of course content and delivery. An online course on any cloud-based LMS is not a one-time activity. The course content gets revised based on the feedback that you are getting from the students. The feedback can be in the form of qualitative surveys or comments left by the students and the quantitative data like quiz results, ratings, and other course metrics that the LMS provides the learners.

Gamification

Another big factor is gamification, which makes simple activities from documentation to interaction with customers easier. Companies like BYJU’s, Collegify, and QuoDeck are doing excellent in that front.

QuoDeck’s DIY LMS is one such product which is built on mobile and game-based SaaS platform and brings cutting-edge technology at affordable costs for SMEs, start-ups and educational institutes. Presently, the platform can be deployed within an organization whose employee strength varies from 30-1000 with different work environments.

QuoDeck uses a multivariate model including clickstream data, time spent on the system, distribution of course usage, devices used amongst many other variables to uncover patterns, correlations and other insights. Read the 2019 HR Trends in the Workplace by Kamalika BhattacharyaCo-founder, QuoDeck Technologies.

AI and ML have been exclusively used to improve resource allocation of QuoDeck’s partners, customize learning for employees and to significantly improve their courses efficiency. In the future, the company hopes to leverage AI and Ml tools to provide a pre-designed course based on the learners’ profiles before they begin their e-Learning journey.

Collegify also came up with interesting features that help the students stay engaged on the platform while taking self-paced SAT/ACT test prep courses.

Students can choose avatars, part of a “gamified” work-and-reward approach that speaks to the target age-range and encourages consistent progress. This includes the gradual unlocking of content, in line with our pedagogy of balancing performance with difficulty and avoiding inundating students.

Content is carefully categorized and separated into incremental difficulty levels, which is then driven by AI to respond to and anticipate trends in each student’s learning and performance patterns in real time. This adaptiveness not only ensures students spend their time productively, it ensures teachers, counselors, mentors, and parents also fully understand how best to support applicants both on and off the platform. 

Similarly, Byjus leverages data, ML and AI to offer personalized lessons. The focus is on making learning visual and contextual, rather than just theoretical. This helps students realize what to learn when to learn, how to learn and how much to learn. Its flexible learning style can be adopted according to the student’s learning capabilities. Now, no more mugging up, all you have to do is turn on your phones or tablets and repeat the content till you get a grasp over it.

At present, online learning, in some form or the other, is used by anyone who has access to the web. Among the numerous advantages of online learning, some of the top benefits are mentioned below.

Top Benefits of Online Learning

Easily Available Information

With online learning, information is easily available and at a lower cost. Additional costs like physical space for classrooms, equipment, etc. are reduced. Any learner from any corner of the world can have access to the global contents from anywhere and at any time. This is extremely helpful for the individuals preparing for competitive exams as they can have access to numerous study materials at the comfort of their own homes and for free.

Engagement and Better Memory Retention

The traditional education system is mostly teacher-centric and limited to only writing boards. With technology, this has changed a lot. Now, teaching is no longer only limited to writing boards. The online lessons include various animations and other visual effects to increase the engagement of the students. With better engagement, students not only understand in-depth concepts better but also retain the topics for longer.

Personalized Learning

Adaptive technology has made personalized learning possible. At present, most online learning platforms use big data and cloud computing to understand the unique learning style of the students and allow them to learn at their own pace and style.

Flexible Learning

Using online learning tools, learners can learn from the comfort of their own place, style, and time. Any individual from any corner of the world can now learn according to their own convenience. This is extremely helpful for the students as they can now download any resource, be it NCERT books, or sample papers and refer to them whenever they want.

Costing

E-learning alleviates the need for students and instructors to be located in a central place for learning to take place. This saves money that could be spent on traveling, accommodation and other uses that school-based learners cannot escape from. The time that would be spent commuting to class could be used for other duties too.

These were a few benefits of online learning. These advantages prove that online learning surely has the potential to revolutionize the education sector and can surely make learning more effective, engaging, and student-friendly.

By Tanmoy Ray, Counselor at Stoodnt.com

This article was first published on Stoodnt.com

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7 Instructional design principles for professors and teachers looking to create effective eLearning modules

As teachers and professors, was today begin incorporating eLearning as a key part of their curriculum, what are the instructional design principles they must keep in mind to make learning most effective?

Teachers and professors who are talking to Generation Z students in their classroom, cannot afford to only depend on conventional pedagogy. They must incorporate eLearning and mobile learning into their curriculum to ensure learner engagement and retention. It is important to note that instructional design principles for these new-age teaching techniques may be slightly different from what is conventionally used.

If you are not well acquainted with these principles already, here is a list of instructional design principles that you can use when setting up your eLearning courses.

Principle 1: Grab your learners’ attention and don’t let it go

Your content should be structured such that it is interactive and requires learner participation. Methods to do so include:

  • Use storytelling in your content. Quests, treasure hunts and journey of a hero are some examples of stories that are simple and yet, engaging
  • Intersperse content with questions that act as knowledge checks as well as those that seek the learners’ opinions
  • Use interactive content templates that reward the learner for an action that he takes. For example, make learners click on an image to learn more on what the image depicts
  • Offer visual relief through the usage of image-based content or videos. Ensure you include videos of about 5-7 minutes in every hour of content you put out. Use visuals in every 1 of 3 slides.
  • If your LMS offers the use of forums or social learning, make sure you facilitate their usage.

Principle 2: Provide learners with a clear set of objectives that the course will meet

Imagine playing soccer without a clear goalpost or basketball without a hoop. Ridiculous, right? People respond better when they are aware of the end-goal that they are looking to reach. Once you provide objectives to your online course, the learner becomes aware of where she is and how far she needs to go to meet them.

Things to do to provide objectives include:

  • Before providing any instructions, define what the course/ module will achieve and what topics and sub-topics it will cover
  • Do not forget to mention why the course topic is important and how students can apply learnings
  • Clearly put down what the minimum required performance for the online course is. This will include the percentage of content slides that need to be consumed and the minimum score that the learner must get in the assessment associated with the online course/module

Principle 3: Stimulate recall of prior learning

Help students comprehend new information by relating it to something they already know or that they have already experienced.

Methods for stimulating recall include:

  • Use anecdotes that help create analogies between what is being taught in the course and real-life scenarios
  • Ask questions to remind users of things they know where they use the concepts being taught. For example, when teaching Newton’s third law, show a visual of things hitting each other and moving back and ask learners why they think this is happening
  • Ask students questions that assess their understanding of previous concepts. In this case, if a learner is unable to answer a question correctly, she will tend to go back and brush up on her knowledge

Principle 4: Present the content in logical consumable blocks

Use strategies to present and cue lesson content to provide more effective, efficient instruction. Organize and chunk content in a meaningful way. Provide explanations after demonstrations.

Things to make content logical and consumable include:

  • Follow a simple pattern for content presentation – Definition, Description, Explanation and Evaluation. To explain any concept in eLearning this 4-step process works very well. You may sometimes choose to play around with this flow but always include all 4 steps.
  • Before getting into detailed understanding of content, include an index of key terms. This will help your learner comprehend the content better
  • Use examples generously to facilitate better understanding and retention
  • Present multiple versions of the same content. You can bolster concepts covered in decks using video, reference documents, interactive content, voice over media, etc. This addresses different learning preferences for different learners

Principle 5: Provide feedback

Provide immediate feedback of students’ performance to assess and facilitate eLearning.

Types of feedback include:

  • Confirmatory feedback – Informs students they had done what were supposed to do. For example, you could thank them for answering a survey question
  • Corrective and remedial feedback – Informs students of the accuracy of their response to something. For example, informing them that they had answered a question correctly
  • Remedial feedback – Directs students in the right direction to find the correct answer but does not provide the correct answer
  • Analytical feedback – Provides the student with suggestions, recommendations, and information for them to correct their performance

Principle 6: Assess performance

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional events, you must test to see if the expected learning outcomes have been achieved. Performance should be based on objectives that have previously been stated.

Methods for testing learning include:

  • Conduct a baselining exercise with a pre-test before exposing the learning content.
  • Conduct a final assessment at the end of the online course. The average score on this will be higher, for well-presented and consumed content, than the average pre-test score. This score can also be looked at on a stand-alone basis to assess the student’s mastery of the subject
  • Embed questions in the content through individual questions or small quizzes
  • Include objective or criterion-referenced performances which measure how well a student has learned or understood a topic
  • Identify normative-referenced performances which compares one student to another student

Principle 7:  Enhance retention

To help learners develop expertise, they must internalize new knowledge.

Methods for helping learners internalize new knowledge include:

  • Use games to get learners to engage with the learning content/questions repeatedly. Try and use simple game mechanics such as those used in slot-machines or snakes and ladders
  • Use metaphors
  • Create concept maps or outlines
  • Create job-aids, references, etc. that the learner can use outside of when she is accessing the online course

Help us add to the list if you think we’ve’ missed out on any points in this article.

By Yashodeep Talele, Software Developer at QuoDeck

5 self-improvement goals for teachers for 2019

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together & motivating them, the teacher is the most important” – Bill Gates

Do you find it difficult to grab your students’ attention? Are you looking for ways to engage with them and get them to score better on assessments? Well, technology is the solution here. In today’s technology-led world, you would become obsolete if you did not figure ways to include technology inside, and outside the classroom. Let’s dedicate 2019 to just doing that – in 5 simple steps.

The beginning of a new year is a good time to set objectives. This year, let’s focus on using technology to enhance ourselves.

  • Learn technology – become the expert at education technology

The internet has multiple tools that you can use as an educator. Begin your journey with Google’s tools such as Drive, Gmail, Docs, etc. Once you have the hang of it, you should move to more e-learning focused technologies such as Canva, Course Lab, QuoDeck, etc.

These tools are simple to use and can catapult your classes into the next level on engagement. You can use these for free.

  •      Get on Social Media – tweet your thoughts away

Social Media is the most important piece of the pie, with Twitter being on the top of the list, currently being used by more than 335 million users on monthly basis. Why not put it to use? Connect with people worldwide and share your experiences. Know what’s happening and what’s trending in the field of education technology. Be seen by your students as someone who understands them and believes in technology.

  • Pedagogy – brush up on your teaching techniques

There’s always room for pedagogical improvement – be it theory, getting back to basics, or just adding a new technique to your arsenal. Bringing changes to the way they teach should be a recurring feature in every teacher’s to-do list. Introduce game-based learning in your classroom, bolster text books with educational videos, gamified assessments etc. Make sure that when you plan on using learning games, you plan for rewards as well.

  • Adjust your mindset

If you wish you see the change in the way you teach, you need to first change the way you think about it. To keep up your exposure up to date, you must read books, blogs and articles on methods to transform your teaching and you will start noticing a difference in the way you process the daily challenges of teaching. Connect with other teachers, make groups and share knowledge of the changes that have been made. Practice this in your routine.

  • Bring freshness to your content

Most teachers are comfortable using PowerPoint or Keynotes for their presentations. But what we forget is that all of it doesn’t appeal to the students. What they would be really interested in are games and entertainment. Choose interactive slide presentations along with game-based learning to get your students to learn what you want them to learn. There are simple tools to help you do this. This will result in academic accomplishment along with you becoming a better educator in your students’ eyes.

Ask yourself – How are you growing as a teacher? Have you given a thought to this? If not, now is the right time to do so. These 5 goals are just a starting point.

Do you have your own strategy that has brought changes in you and your students? Tell us all about it. Talk about the kind of tech-related professional development that has been most valuable for you, and why. We would love to hear from you.

 By  Vinaya Souz, Head – Marketing at QuoDeck