Will AI teachers be accepted by students?

Anovel study conducted by the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media found out that an AI teaching assistant must be effective and easy to converse, for students to accept it.

The rise in online education has set aside a new kind of teacher to emerge, the artificial ones. But how students will accept these, AI teaching assistants or not remains to be seen. Researchers are now trying to study students’ insight into artificial intelligence-based teaching assistants. Jihyun Kim, an associate professor in the school and the lead author of this study, said that they anticipate engineers and computer scientists can design the AI-based teachers to easily integrate them into the education experience by understanding how students relate to them.

The AI teaching assistants will be of great help to reduce teacher’s workload, such as answering regularly raised questions by the students. Such questions often emerge each semester and become frequent in online classes that consist of hundreds of students. This can become a hectic task for teachers to manage. The quick and clear delivery of answers can assist students more efficiently.

Jill Watson is a perfect instance in the case of an AI teaching assistant that was built by a researcher from the Georgia Institute of Technology. The researcher who taught over the years fed thousands of questions and answers commonly asked in his online class to Jill. Eventually, Jill was able to answer the students’ commonly asked questions after some supplementary learning and tweaks. The answers were accurate and had no human assistance. It was as if Jill was one of the human teaching assistants of the researcher.

Teachers would be capable to spend more quality time doing more productive things such as meeting with students or developing better teaching strategies that can ultimately help students with learning. By adopting an AI assistant for those simple and recurring tasks, teachers can now use their time in more meaningful ways. We need to understand the students’ perceptions regarding their learning experiences with them to effectively use machine teachers.

This way of research is necessary to find out the effective design for machine teachers that can encourage positive learning experiences. Kim also stated that she hopes their research will help to find an effective way to incorporate AI agents into the education industry.

(This article was originally published in Passionate in Analytics.)

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