AI in higher education: What it means for students and educators

Students gathering around tablet

AI's role in higher education is gaining more attention, and its influence on the sector is certainly noteworthy. Let's delve into the profound ways AI is revolutionizing the experiences of both students and educators, and how it's reshaping the methods we use to learn, teach, and explore.

There’s no denying it: the future of education is here in the form of artificial intelligence. artificial intelligence (AI) is already impacting the education industry, innovating the way teachers teach and students learn.

AI tools have the potential to break down not only educational barriers, but societal and cultural ones too. They can enable more personalised learning, encourage cultural diversity and universal accessibility, and spark innovation.

For example, platforms like Presentation Translator create real-time subtitles in presentations to support inclusion for international students and those with hearing impairments. Meanwhile, AI tutors like Khanmigo leverage ChatGPT to act as a personal teaching assistant, offering feedback and support to individual students.

These tools are brimming with potential and we’re likely to see more innovative AI solutions over the coming months and years.In fact, Global Market Insights reports that the AI in Education market surpassed $2 billion in 2021 and is forecast to increase by 45% CAGR from 2022-2030.

With that in mind, it’s crucial for educators and students alike to be aware of AI’s potential impact on teaching methodologies and curricula. By staying on top of existing and emerging tools and adapting to new AI technologies, we ensure a positive educational experience that takes a human-centred approach to AI-powered learning.

Let’s explore some of the potential ways AI will influence higher education.

1. Improve the enrollment process for new students

University leaders have learned that artificial intelligence can do much more than generate helpful tips and standard prompts. With the help of technology, they can provide a significantly more streamlined and enjoyable experience for future students and new enrollers.

For example, parents and students often have the same questions during application and enrollment. A modern IVR (Interactive Voice Response) telephony system typically offers callers a range of self-service options related to the admission process, such as program requirements or application procedures.

Also, chatbots can engage prospective students in real-time conversation. The bots guide them through the application process and help them schedule a virtual campus tour. The experience allows them to get a sense of the institution before joining, which is especially beneficial for international students.

On top of this, admissions officers can set up AI-generated emails to automatically remind applicants to submit documents or register for classes. By automating common and impersonal tasks like these, institutions ensure students have a seamless enrollment experience and free up time to engage with students one-to-one on more important topics.

Student attending online class

2. Educators can provide a personalised learning experience for students

Personalisation is prominent in almost every facet of life today: e-commerce, marketing, fashion, and even the educational sector. All students are different.

For instance, some students may grasp a concept quickly, while others may take longer. And it can be overwhelming for educators to understand each learner's needs and adapt their teaching methods accordingly.

But with AI and a modern data stack, they can easily create and implement personalised learning plans for their students based on real-time assessments that track their progress and provide feedback about their strengths and weaknesses.

AI also enables adaptive learning by continuously monitoring learners' progress and providing instant feedback to help them improve in any subject or area of interest.

3. Promote inclusivity and universal access

With the advancement of artificial intelligence, distance is no longer a barrier to higher education. While students can receive coursework via email, AI makes learning more interactive.

Many institutions relied on teleconferencing tools during the pandemic to allow students to learn remotely. As a result, they were able to retain students' interest in their academic pursuits despite the uncertainty surrounding the end date of the pandemic.

AI also ensures that everyone can have equal access to education. For example, visually impaired students can listen to recorded lectures through audio-enabled devices. Students who don't speak the language or are learning from another country can count on translation applications to help them comprehend any class material in their language.

Today, many institutions invest in VoIP meaning they can manage all communication from a single platform, including video calls, voice calls, text messages, and email communication.

4. Students can improve their skills

One way AI benefits students in higher education is by helping them to improve their writing skills. Several AI-powered tools can correct spelling and grammar mistakes in essays in real-time.

For instance, these applications benefit students whose native language is not English. They can improve their pronunciation with the help of speech-to-text tools that convert spoken words into text format through speech recognition software.

Also, the rise of no-code tools has allowed anyone to create web-based applications and collect data from online users without the help of developers or programmers. As a result, educational institutions can leverage these tools to create surveys for their students and automatically analyse them to get insights into student performance and enhance learning experiences.

Two students working on assignment

5. Boost Productivity

AI-powered and machine-learning-powered scheduling applications can benefit students and educators alike. Using an automated school master scheduler, a teacher can plan lessons, assign them to classes, and generate reports about student progress.

Students can create a routine tailored to their preferences using artificial intelligence-enabled calendar systems. This could include setting up automated reminders for upcoming deadlines or tasks that need to be completed regularly, reducing the chance of forgetting or missing important deadlines.

Teachers can also send reminders to students about upcoming tests or assignments using AI-automated emails.

6. Beyond education

AI has many applications that can be applied beyond the classroom. It is extremely useful for customer or client research, which you can use for anything from attracting new customers, Market research, or even something as simple as using the information to send targeted messages to potential customers based on their demographics and interests.

Artificial intelligence is the future of education

Artifical intelligence will continue to have a place in every walk of life, including higher education. Educators must be open-minded about new technologies in order to leverage their potential for education improvement.

Higher educational institutions must invest in training their instructors to use emerging technologies effectively in the classroom and improve learning outcomes for students through new methods of instruction.

Students and educators can benefit from a myriad of AI functions in higher education, which can improve learning and foster engagement. These benefits range from tailoring lesson plans and assessments based on learners' responses to optimizing the educational experience overall.

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