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Friday, November 02, 2018

How artificial intelligence and virtual reality are changing higher ed instruction | Higher Ed - Education Dive

From more realistic simulations to better student outcomes tracking, we report from Educause on the future of some of the newest learning technologies, inform Natalie Schwartz | Education Dive.
Photo: Erik Stein via Pixabay

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are rapidly expanding opportunities for teaching and learning, and they are giving college administrators new and different ways to track student outcomes.

To learn more about the impact of these technologies, we attended a handful of panels on the topic led by higher education and technology leaders at Educause's annual conference in Denver this week. From teaching with VR to tracking student success with AI, we explore how colleges and universities are using new technologies to conduct research, teach students and create smarter campuses.

Learning with virtual and augmented reality
Virtual and augmented reality tools can provide students with experiences that would be otherwise too expensive or even impossible to replicate in the real world, from exploring the inside of a cell to traversing faraway planets, said D. Christopher Brooks, director of research at the Educause Center for Analysis and Research...

AI's growing role in the classroom AI has become a bit of a buzzword, and the hype surrounding it has created divisions in higher education. Some believe AI will become a critical tool in improving student outcomes, while others believe it may result in formulaic teaching and put learners' privacy at risk.

Breaking through faculty resistance to AI involves helping them understand that it will not replace their core responsibilities but instead "supplement the work we already do," said Jennifer Sparrow, senior director for Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State.

The university has developed a number of prototypes that implement AI for uses such as helping create courses, assembling textbooks from open-source materials and automating quiz and test production. These tools aren't meant to be a finished product but rather create a starting point that faculty can tailor to their needs, Bowen said.

Looking to the future, faculty may be able to gather data about how much class time was spent on a certain topic via data gathered from audio recordings, much in the way Fitbit users can now dissect stats from their runs, Bowen added. 

Source: Education Dive