In the early 1970s, Education Psychologist Benjamin Bloom developed a set of principles that support the effectiveness of individualized tutoring and instruction in the classroom. Known as Mastery learning, the approach involves organizing the curriculum around a student’s progress and combining this with targeted feedback to create opportunities for corrected practice and enrichment activities.

Converting these theories into practice hasn’t been easy, even though developing a one-to-one tutoring system has been a coveted dream of education development researchers since the seventies and eighties. AI has opened new doors that could finally make Mastery Learning a possibility. 

AI learning systems are not at a two-stigma effect (i.e., two-grade levels) of human tutors yet. However, evidence suggests that Intelligent Tutoring Systems (as these learning approaches are known) perform better than individual tutors for many students.

Mastery Learning, however, is just one example of the various applications of artificial intelligence in the education industry. The following are seven other ways AI is changing how students learn.

  • AI automates basic activities in education, such as grading 

Grading is one of the most tedious and time-consuming activities for teachers, whether in advanced learning institutions or even basic school. Teachers often find that grading alone can take up more than a third of the time. This time could be spent interacting with students, preparing for class, and working on professional development.

Thanks to AI, it’s now possible for teachers to automate grading for nearly all kinds of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank test types, with a few researchers already working on systems to grade student writing.

  • AI can produce smart learning content 

Producing teaching content is another task that takes a substantial chunk of the teacher’s time. AI can help here too. AI allows teachers to develop customizable digital learning interfaces, digital textbooks, study guides, and bite-sized lessons. These resources make learning more convenient for both the teacher and the student.

Additionally, AI can help with information visualization and learning content updates. New ways of perceiving information, such as visualization, web-based study environments, and simulation, are vital in modern learning. Concerning updates, AI can help generate and update content to ensure that students learn relevant, up-to-date topics.

  • AI can provide additional support for learners 

While there will be areas where human intervention is required, AI machines of the future may chip in and offer a few lessons to support human input. Indeed, some AI solutions already exist that can help students through basic mathematics, writing, and other subjects.

These programs can teach the basics, such as counting at a younger age. Machines can also help students learn shapes without much intervention from the teacher. Support at a more advanced level would obviously take some time to materialize as current machines aren’t designed for high-order thinking. But, you can’t completely discount it happening in the future.

  • It’s essential delivering feedback 

We’ve already mentioned that AI can help with grading and even producing smart learning content. At a more advanced level, the technology can even provide feedback about these two areas (grading and smart learning) such that teachers receive alerts when there might be an issue with a specific student’s performance.  

These AI systems allow the student to get the support they need and teachers to find areas where they can improve interactions with students who may be struggling with a particular subject matter. Indeed, a few schools are developing AI-powered feedback systems that can even help students choose majors based on areas where they succeed and those they struggle.

  • AI could permanently change the role of the teacher  

The teacher will always have a part to play in the classroom – there’s no double about it. However, that role is bound to change as AI and technology, in general, find a way into our classrooms. As we’ve already seen, AI will likely take over a few repetitive tasks, such as grading and identifying areas of weakness among learners. But that’s just the beginning.

There’s evidence that AI will find a more prominent role in many other areas traditionally reserved for the teacher. For instance, AI systems are likely to become so advanced that students can ask questions and get answers in real-time. Slowly, you can see that the teacher’s role will change substantially. Most experts predict a facilitator role for the future teacher.

  • It could change how colleges find students

This isn’t a new thing per se. Many colleges already use smart computer systems to sift through applications to select the right candidates. A few schools even use the same systems to match students to courses, identify students’ personal needs, and generally find ways to make the college experience more rewarding for the learner.

This is something that will happen even more in the future. Many schools will set up data mining systems to help them identify the right students and, more importantly, determine each student’s specific needs. Who knows? Maybe soon we may have advanced AI systems that, similar to Netflix and Amazon, recommend the best schools and programs depending on students’ interests.

  • AI’s role in helping special-needs students 

Finally, the adoption of AI also opens new opportunities for special-needs learners. These children mostly have one type of learning disability. Some have impairments in social skills, such as language and communication, while others have trouble reading, writing, and math. The traditional one-size-fits-all approach to learning isn’t usually very suited to them.

AI will help special needs students in several ways. For one, AI ensures personalized education for every child. Intelligent learning environments can also be customized to focus more on areas that matter most to these students. Above all, intelligent systems can stay longer on a topic to ensure that the student grasps the subject matter just as well as the other learners.

What Next? 

Evidently, AI is already having a substantial impact on the education sector, with evidence showing there could be more changes on the way. Therefore, now is the time for educators and administrators to familiarize themselves with artificial intelligence if you aren’t doing so already. 

United Perfectum is here to help. Whether you’re looking to implement AI in your school or just wish to learn more about this ground-breaking technology, we’re a phone call away.