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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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How can professors use technology to boost learning?

An overview on how much technology professors use while delivering education, and how they can mitigate their unsolved needs using available product solutions.

Last week I paid a visit to my engineering college, just so that I could reminisce about the good old days. It had been a decade since I had last visited my alma-mater. I expected things to have changed – both inside and outside the classroom.

Outside the classroom, new structures had been built where the old buildings stood. There were new amenities in the campus, the likes of which I would have only dreamt of as a student. Expecting teaching methodologies to have changed as well, I sat through a couple of lectures. Strangely, the classroom continues to function the way it used to.

In the age of mobile learning and eLearning, professors continue to follow head to head classroom learning using pen and paper. In today’s world that runs on technology, where an assessment can be conducted through online courses, I saw students writing assessments on paper and submit them offline. Instead of using a learning management system (LMS), professors only depend on the content that they deliver offline. Instead of using mobile instructional design principles, they use chalks and blackboards.

What do professors need?

Let’s put down a simple list of features/facilities that would bolster their teaching process.

  • A platform or LMS that will enable them to transform existing offline learning into eLearning modules, to enable them to deliver content from any place in the world, to a student who is located at even a remote location
  • A mobile learning system that will enable them to deliver the content on not just the desktops, but via mobile learning. This need not be different from the aforementioned LMS
  • A system that will enable them to incorporate gamification and game-based learning to enhance the student’s experience – provide a fun to do way of learning.
  • A system that will enable easy creation or upload of content eliminating dependencies on third party software products for content authoring.

Is there a solution available? Yes, there are multiple platforms available that professors can use – Docebo, QuoDeck, etc. Some of these are available for free on the internet. Give them a try today to see how

By  Yashodeep Talele, Software Developer at QuoDeck