Knowledge has grown more accessible through the internet, and information is now a mere click away. Methods of learning are constantly evolving in the age of technological innovation. More specifically, artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising traditional teaching approaches where teachers directly transmit information to the student. The online tutoring market (grades K-12) was valued at $63.57 billion in 2016 and is projected to increase to $120.67 billion by 2021.

AI provide students with an interactive and personalised learning environment to accommodate their individual needs. In times when students require help or assistance to complete assignments at home, academic support is available online. Artificially intelligent conversational tools, or “chatbots”, are transforming the education sector. Pre-programmed with pedagogical techniques, bots behave as virtual tutoring assistants that help students fill any gaps in knowledge. They teach students through lessons that appear in a series of messages, like a chat conversation. The bot repeatedly assesses the student’s level of understanding and teaches the next part accordingly.

Across the world, teachers now rely on AI to help mark assessments. This helps teachers identify learning gaps while reducing their workload. No longer burdened with the stress of grading hundreds of standardised tests, teachers now have more time to work on classroom planning and facilitating fruitful discussions. Presently, AIs are limited to marking multiple-choice assessments. It is expected that, in time, technology will improve to mark more than standardised assessments.

While some educators fear that AI efficiency will eventually replace teachers, this is not the case.  AI can support both students and teachers in creating a learning environment that strengthens teaching and learning practices.  Unlike bots, teachers are more than a source of information.  They make a lasting impact on their students.  With the support of artificial intelligence tools, teachers can focus on making this impact a positive one.

Sources
1. AI and Chatbots in Education – What Does the Future Hold?
2. Could Artificial Intelligence Replace Our Teachers?
3. The Artificial Intelligence Tutor
4. Online Tutoring Market to Grow 12.75% Between 2017-2021

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