Online courses (or eLearning) have become increasingly popular, with more and more students opting to take part in distance learning courses and open education programs. The use of technology has made education more accessible and convenient for students, but there is still room for improvement in terms of personalisation and effectiveness.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to personalise the eLearning experience. Using AI, students can receive tailored instruction that better meets their needs and interests, resulting in a more efficient and effective learning experience. It can also be used to enhance the creation and delivery of course content by automatically generating personalised learning materials, such as: customised quizzes, flashcards, and summaries. Additionally, AI can be used to analyse student data and adapt the content to better meet the needs and interests of individual students.
But how can we best incorporate AI into our online learning platforms?
Examples Of AI In Online Learning
To achieve their maximum potential, learners need specific content that adapts to their knowledge gaps, abilities, and learning goals. Usually, a teacher, instructor, or mentor is responsible for that. However, that’s not possible when you have multiple learners, especially if many of them are remote.
AI-powered adaptive learning uses algorithms that assess a user’s current skill set and identifies gaps in their knowledge to provide customised content. In addition, the system can analyse the way the user interacts with the course and make necessary adjustments.
Much like in adaptive learning, AI can be programmed to automatically identify and gather additional resources for online learners. Specifically, based on the interaction with the learner and their specific interest and goals, the system can suggest relevant material to enrich the learning experience. In addition, this helps personalise the process, as each learner receives unique suggestions.
Keep in mind: for this function to be successful, a comprehensive resource library must already be in place.
24-hour Virtual Support
Artificial Intelligence has brought a plethora of new tools to the world of online learning, such as chatbots and virtual assistants. These tools offer 24/7 support by answering learner questions immediately and at any time. This can be highly beneficial for learner engagement, as trainees don’t have to wait hours or even days for their instructor to get back to them. However, AI chatbots don’t only answer preset questions. They also learn from their interaction with online learners, which allows them to predict answers to questions that haven’t been asked yet.
Natural Language Processing
This function is often used in language learning applications to recognise iterations of phrases and assess pronunciation accuracy. This is a difficult task because it involves a lot of unstructured data. The style in which people talk and write (sometimes referred to as ‘tone of voice’) is unique to individuals, and constantly evolving to reflect popular usage. However, an AI system that recognises natural speech can be very helpful for your eLearning course. These tools can provide real-time feedback on pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. It can also improve accessibility by providing captioning and transcription services for students with disabilities or learning difficulties.
The positive effects of gamification on learner engagement have been proven numerous times. However, as technology continues to evolve, simpler forms of gamification might be losing their charm. Why not use Artificial Intelligence to create a more dynamic experience?
AI-powered gamification can keep the learner engaged by adjusting the level of difficulty so that they never get frustrated enough to give up. It can also predict when the user is likely to lose interest and introduce an activity that will keep their interest – generating personalised content according to the learner’s preferences – maintaining high levels of motivation.
Limitations Of Using AI In Online Learning
While there are many ways to incorporate AI into your elearning, it is important to consider the limitations before you start developing.
1. Reduced Personal Connections
Although using AI can significantly improve the learning process, we shouldn’t forget that technology cannot substitute for the instructor. Learners still need the social interaction that comes from communicating with their tutor and peers. A lack of direct and regular interaction can lead to oversights and a less-than-satisfactory experience.
2. Questionable Emotional Intelligence
Let’s face it; machines used for learning purposes may be smart, but not enough to replace humans. The main reason for that is that AI doesn’t (yet) have emotional intelligence. This makes its decision-making process prone to more mistakes when complicated or unexpected circumstances are in place.
3. Necessity For AI Expertise
The level of AI developed into your online learning platform will depend on your knowledge of technology as a course provider. Your course developers and IT technicians are the ones who are expected to maintain the machine’s functionality and solve problems when they arise. Unfortunately, this is a field of expertise that few have mastered to this day.
4. Ethical and Privacy Considerations
There are important ethical considerations when it comes to collecting and analysing student data. Privacy is also essential to ensure that AI systems are not used to manipulate individuals or discriminate against them based on their personal data. AI systems that rely on personal data to make decisions must be transparent and accountable to ensure that they are not making unfair or biassed decisions.
As Artificial Intelligence keeps evolving, more and more functionalities are introduced and made available for wide use. AI-powered tools and platforms already offer timesaving and efficiency-enhancing features, such as tailored instruction, feedback, virtual coaches, and virtual assistants. There still are challenges to adopting AI in education, such as the need for more training data, enhanced emotional intelligence and potential biases. Despite these challenges, the future of AI in online learning and education looks promising.
If you’re looking to incorporate AI into your business platform, speak with a member of our web team today! We’re always on hand to help you explore the possibilities and identify any challenges you may face.