Personalized education, i.e., education that is customized according to the learner’s needs, interests, skills, and strengths and weaknesses, has been a priority in education. But, the extent to which AI can personalize education is something that is not possible for humans. AI is going to permanently change the way we learn and teach by filling the gap between learning and teaching, and thereby improving learning outcomes.
AI can automate administrative tasks, thus leaving educators with more time to spend with their students. One such administrative task is grading, which takes up a significant amount of time, which otherwise could have been used by teachers to interact with their students or on their professional development. AI can help automate the grading system, especially grading of multiple-choice tests. Even AI for assessing written answers is also under development. At present, the assay-grading software is in a nascent stage, but is expected to improve in the coming years.
Further, AI tools can make education more accessible and convenient. Today, students can study without attending physical classes, as long as they have a computer and internet connection. AI can also make global classrooms available to all and thus, ensure universal access to education for all students, even for students who speak different languages or those with hearing and visual-impairments. For example, the Presentation Translator, a free plug-in for PowerPoint, can create subtitles in real time for what is said by the instructor.
A discussion on how AI will redefine education cannot be complete without elaborating how it can improve learning outcomes with the help of personalized education. AI tools can help assess a student and his/her strengths, weaknesses, and interests, and accordingly, prepare customized curriculum. It can evaluate the progress in learning and suggest tests and feedbacks to students accordingly. It can also find out gaps in learning to redirect the learning process to fill those gaps. All these will eventually translate into each student learning at his/her own pace and thus, better learning outcomes.
A large number of adaptive learning programs and software have already been adopted for personalized or individualized learning, which help students to learn at their own pace by responding to their specific needs. This type of custom-tailored education can help students at different levels in a classroom, while teachers can intervene to provide help and support whenever required.
In the coming years, such adaptive learning programs, games, and software will improve and their adoption will increase immensely with the advancement in AI. This will undoubtedly change the future of education and will make it accessible and affordable to millions of students for whom geographical barriers, language barriers, and high cost of education act as roadblocks in pursuing educational goals.