By Ashish Fernando, Founder and CEO – iSchoolConnect
From our households to the health sector, the advancements of AI are everywhere and the education sector is no exception. But, in what ways has it developed things in the higher education industry?
In order to ensure that students all over the world can apply to them, universities in most countries accept digital admission applications and paper applications are rare concepts these days. However, like all sectors, the digital transformation in admissions didn’t stop there. There are innumerable applications of AI in education and here are some of the most prominent ones:
AI in classroom and learning
Several Indian startups these days are using artificial intelligence technologies to provide students with a better learning experience from the comfort of their homes. These AI and machine learning powered technologies were very helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic when more than 1.5 billion students were forced to stay home. These technologies provide a means of personalized study plans and convenient learning. Other more commonplace use cases of AI are the cluster of applications by Google Cloud. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, etc. have made collaborative learning easier. Augmented reality (AR) is also used by several universities abroad in order to help students get more interactive classroom education.
AI algorithms in test-taking
Similar to lectures and routine education, test-taking went online during COVID-19. According to an Educause poll in 2020, more than 54% institutions were already using online or remote proctoring services. This allows students to continue their education assessments from the safety of their homes and be assured that the tests are being assessed fairly and monitored in an unbiased manner. High value global tests such as LSAT, GMAT, SATs are being proctored using AI to ensure unbiased testing environments for students. Not only that, but institutions worldwide, mainly North American institutions which include names like the University of Florida, University of Mississippi, and more, have now conducted millions of tests.
Write your essays using machine learning tech
There are several organisations with an expertise in higher education, that have developed technologies that help students in writing essays, creating resumes, and even writing the Statements of Purpose required for overseas university applications. Assistive software like Grammarly have been in the running for a while now and use AI to check issues with grammar, plagiarism, sentence structure, etc. Other companies like iSchoolConnect use machine learning algorithms to take things a step further. Depending upon the nature of the content, these tools provide suggestions about the presence or absence of multiple parameters that make a resume or an essay impressive, without actually writing them for the student.
Preparing for university and job interviews
What if you could ensure that you ace your university or job interviews? Well, there are AI-powered technologies that can now make it possible. These tools help individuals take mock interviews and then give them feedback on a variety of parameters such as facial movement, gestures, voice pitch, and more. It also gives the users detailed insights into characteristics such as confidence, focus and several other behavioral characteristics. Such sophisticated AI-technologies allow individuals to prepare for these interviews and gain the necessary skills to boost their chances of success in the final interviews. These also help take that edge off during the final interview.
Chatbots to your rescue
This generation’s affinity to the internet and their devices is undeniable. To make sure that they can assist students all around the globe as well as within their institutions, many universities have deployed virtual assistants or chatbots on their websites, mobile apps, and all social channels. These chatbots can understand and answer thousands of questions posted by students and can respond accurately within a split second. Some of the best examples of that are the chatbots employed by New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University, and many others.
From online learning to virtual assistants, the digital transformation and use of AI in the higher education sector has been growing rapidly over years and skyrocketed during the global pandemic. In the Indian market, this transformation began when companies made personalized learning options available for the masses. However when COVID-19 hit, institutions worldwide turned to AI for online proctoring solutions. Today, AI and machine learning technologies not only help students with their essay-writing and other educational processes but also with unique job and university interview preparation analyzers. Another astonishing example of AI in higher education would have to be the virtual assistant. To see the implementations of that, all you need to do is head to the websites of New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University, etc. and test out their amazing chatbots. The influence of AI is undeniable, but the question is: How far does it extend?