The Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Education

Slowly but surely, artificial intelligence (AI) has infiltrated every area of our lives, from clothes shopping to TV viewing to dating. But what is its impact on education? Will it help teachers, or make them obsolete?

In fact, AI does not detract from classroom instruction but enhances it in many ways. Here are some of the benefits of AI in our educational systems.

Personalization. It can be overwhelmingly difficult for one teacher to figure out how to meet the needs of every student in his/her classroom: remedial students, advanced students, ESL students and the disabled all need to have the same access to learning. AI systems easily adapt to each student’s individual learning needs and can target instruction based on their strengths and weaknesses, meaningless work for teachers and a more meaningful learning experience for students.

Tutoring. Yes, it’s already happening: thanks to AI, machines are taking on the role of humans in many capacities, including tutors. As with human tutors, “Intelligent Tutoring Systems” can gauge a student’s learning style and pre-existing knowledge to deliver customized support and instruction.

Grading. This is arguably one of the most tedious teaching tasks and takes time away from more meaningful and purposeful pursuits, like lesson planning and professional development. Machines are now so far advanced that they can do much more than simply grade an exam with an answer key; they can compile data about how students performed and even grade more abstract assessments such as essays. 

Feedback on course quality. AI can identify instruction gaps in the course content based on student performance on assessments. For example, if a significant percentage of students answer a question incorrectly, AI can zero in on the specific information or concepts that students are missing, so that educators can deliver targeted improvements in materials and methods.

Meaningful and immediate feedback to students. In an age when most communication occurs online or via text message, students are increasingly hesitant about taking risks in front of teachers and peers. They shrink from receiving critical feedback in such a public forum. With AI, students can feel comfortable to make the mistakes necessary for learning and receive the feedback they need for improvement.

As educators, we all have fears about instituting large systemic changes, and sometimes those fears are well grounded. However, we cannot afford to ignore the possibilities that AI offers us for dramatically improving the student learning experience.

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