E-learning has established itself as one of the best learning methods in the current date. It is said to increase the knowledge retention rates from 25-60% in comparison to face-to-face training. The rise of cloud-based LMS (learning management system) has made it possible for several instructors to impart their knowledge and wisdom to willing students worldwide.
Concurrently, there have been massive breakthroughs in the realms of artificial intelligence and machine learning and these technologies have influenced all major fields and applications in a positive way.
Learning management systems are no exception. There can be several possibilities in which AI and ML can enhance the eLearning experience. But, before jumping to them, let’s understand the basics of Artificial Intelligence first.
Here is a quick comparison between AI and Machine learning -
Whenever people come across the theory of Artificial Intelligence, they immediately think of Jarvis or Ultron (from Iron Man) or even the Terminator and the impending doom resulting from the rise of intelligent machines; thanks to Hollywood.
Such intelligent machines are called “General AI” and as per are still impossible to achieve. But we have already achieved “Narrow AI” and are even using it in everyday applications, although many of us are not aware of it.
Alexa, Cortana and other virtual assistants are popular AI applications and are rapidly growing. Even Facebook and Google use AI and machine learning to recognize pictures of your friends in your photos and prioritize email importance respectively.
For instance, in an experiment, Facebook researchers trained their AI-powered image recognition networks with 3.5 billion Instagram images with 17 thousand hashtags in total. Their computer vision system achieved 85% image recognition accuracy on ImageNet after training with just one billion images and 1,500 hashtags.
So what is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?
Artificial Intelligence is simply the capability of machines to learn on its own from a set of data and take appropriate decisions without being explicitly provided with an algorithm; just like the humans (or even better).
Machine Learning is one of the approaches to achieve Artificial Intelligence. Through machine learning, a machine can be trained to develop its own algorithm to learn from a set of data and understand patterns and trends.
This video can help you in further understanding the difference between the two:
How E-learning will benefit from AI and Machine Learning?
Machine learning allows any software application to behave more intelligently and automatically improve on its own. AI machines utilize decision tree learning,artificial neural networks,Bayesian networks and other such machine learning algorithms to undertake different tasks.
These machine learning tasks can be broadly classified into “Supervised Learning” and “Unsupervised Learning.” E-learning landscape can drastically grow with the integration of AI and ML in the Learning Management System (LMS) applications.
Making an online course on any cloud-based LMS is not a one-time activity. The course content needs to be revised based on the feedback that you are getting from the students. The feedback can be in the form of qualitative surveys or comments left by the students and the quantitative data like quiz results, ratings, and other course metrics that the LMS provides you.
This data needs to be processed and analyzed by the instructor to understand the patterns and trends so that the course’s effectiveness can be increased. It is a tedious and time-intensive task, but quite critical at the same time. No wonder, many instructors are not able to do it perfectly.
But AI enabled learning management system can utilize artificial neural networks or even deep learning algorithms to process the data and optimize the course content without manual intervention; possibly much faster and accurately than humans.
The intelligent LMS will be able to quickly learn about the areas in which the student is still weak, and understand how the course can be improved automatically based on the patterns and data of every student.
Every student has different educational backgrounds and thinking abilities. It is imperative to provide case studies and examples to them that they can best relate to, meaning that the course needs to be customized as per each student for better learning.
Such a high-level of customization can be achieved with an LMS that has machine learning capabilities.
Besides optimizing the course content and personalizing it as the course progresses for each student, AI-enabled LMS can take care of the tedious routine tasks like grading of students, on-boarding of students, providing initial instructions and so on.
This way the instructors can spend more time on things that matter the most, i.e. creating new courses and even learning new things themselves.
Artificial Intelligence is all about data and pattern-identification. Once an AI-LMS has collected wide sets of data and statistics of several students across various courses, it can even identify the gaps in the learning of students that have not yet been covered by any of the current courses.
This way you’ll be able to identify the needs for new courses that would cover those learning gaps.
Intelligent LMS can help you out in creating a detailed profile of your potential students that will benefit the most out of your courses. Such high-level of details would enable you to refine your marketing messages and enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns so that your reach and conversions increase significantly.
Cloud-based LMS with the capabilities of artificial intelligence can act as a round-the-clock doubt solver with the help of a knowledge base from which it can learn. Think of it as your own virtual teaching assistant that helps your students on your behalf.
AI-powered robot assistants like Zenbo, Cloi and Temi have already spawned the market and are gaining access into homes for assisting in routine activities, empowering smart homes and even as nannies for babies.
Cloud-based LMS can be easily integrated with these robots to teach students in their homes rather than sitting in front of a laptop or mobile. Students can also interact vocally with these robots to get their doubts resolved instead of typing on their laptop screens.
This would create a higher learning synergy and an immersive learning experience that is bound to increase the efficacy of the courses.
Today, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are shaping E-learning. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are not mere buzzwords; they are revolutionary technologies that here to stay and change the landscape of human civilization. E-learning can hugely benefit from these technologies and that can change the way we learn new things through online courses.