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The education system is all set to experience a transformation thanks to AI

Students are getting more competitive and the education systems around the world are struggling to keep up with them. Artificial intelligence was once looked at as a technology that would supplement the existing systems. It was expected merely to be an addition to upgrade the existing infrastructure in various domains. But now there has been a paradigm shift. AI has grown to be an important technology, an essential one in many cases. The education systems around the world all vary in various aspects including the syllabus covered, teaching methods, testing methods and more. But there are various silos in education systems everywhere. Though there are some common standards and boards where students can easily transfer from one country to another without feeling the difference, there are still gaps that need to be filled. There are still tiny flaws in education systems that need to be addressed in order to promote holistic development in students.
How AI In Education changes

Tedious administration handed over to the machines

When we talk about automation we first categorise those tasks that really need a human to add value and those that don’t. Then comes the category of those that have a certain amount of redundancy that can be automated. In the education sector, administration activities are those that are known to take up a lot of valuable time. Admissions, resource allocation, fee collection and management, notification of the students and parents regarding important announcements and other such activities take up a lot of time but these are the ones where a machine can easily take over. Human errors in these activities can turn out to be expensive in these areas. Processing large volumes of data can be strenuous for the human staff. So AI would help automate this area so that the staff can concentrate on other activities.

Tutoring students the way they want to be tutored

The learning pace, learning styles as well as the individual interests and strengths would vary from one student to another. While a few like to be backed up with a lot of theory to understand the concepts being covered, a few like a more practical approach. So it would not be possible to design a single teaching plan in order to cater to the needs of all these types of students. So with AI integrated into the modern classrooms these systems could act as a supplementary tutor for the students to give them exactly the style of learning that they would like. When they receive additional resources besides what is offered in the classrooms they would also be motivated to dig deeper in order to understand better. Customised approach in education can be a breakthrough if done right and this is precisely what AI helps deliver.

Self-motivated students who are always thirsty for more information

Off-classroom learning is more valuable than we perceive. In fact a majority of the learning and understanding of what is taught in the classroom happens outside the classroom. The support that students need beyond the regular school time is met by enrolling them in tutions and extra coaching centers. AI when integrated into the regular education system, can make it easy for the students to access all the study materials from the comforts of their homes. Even if the student misses a class or two the lectures could directly be made available for access outside class. The system would automatically be able to update the progress based on what happens in class and based on the tests conducted. To take this one step further AI in education can also make it easy to provide virtual tutors to the students in the remote regions where quality education is not available.

Enhance the quality of tests conducted

Framing the questions for the examinations as well as grading the answer sheets are very much time consuming. For framing the question paper teachers would have to refer to multiple sources, rule out questions that were previously covered and take several such considerations in order to create a challenging question paper. This could easily be done by the AI system while ensuring that questions are not repeated. And the system can also ensure the adding a security layer to prevent question paper leaks.
After the examinations are conducted the grading process could also be automated. As of now, the examinations that come with direct multiple choice questions where there are specific answers, are easier to be graded by the machines. When natural language processing powers get better the AI system could also start grading subjective answers much like how a teacher would grade them rather than expecting answers verbatim.

Smarter tracking and timely feedback

The ability to bring everything to one place is one of the main benefits of artificial intelligence and automation in general. Maintaining detailed records of multiple students can be made simpler with integration of a little bit of intelligence in the system. So the system would be able to track the progress in the classroom. Students’ performance in the class tests can be immediately updated and based on this suitable backup courses could also be recommended as and when required. These systems can particularly identify specific areas where the student is lagging and provide recommendations of books and tutorials that can help. There could also be topic specific evaluations conducted to ensure that the incorporated system is actually creating a difference for the students. Teachers would also have access to this valuable information about each student’s strengths and weaknesses. This further helps teachers understand the individual needs of the students. The timely feedback provided thus comes as a benefit to the students as well as to the teachers. Such technological additions to the conventional teaching procedures would only enhance the role played by the teachers and not replace them. This would in fact help enhance the rapport between the students and the teachers. Students would be able to better prepare themselves for the technology driven world out there.

Amit Redkar

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