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Making AI an enabler for student-learners

AI relies on vast data, including personal data, which can also be a security risk fraught with ethical issues, writes V N Lakshmi Prasad
Last Updated : 10 August 2023, 13:01 IST
Last Updated : 10 August 2023, 13:01 IST

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Contemporary student-learners worldwide are measurably different regarding learning as a process. This is due to the advent of digitalisation in every sphere of knowledge coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT. How can a student-learner adapt to the dynamic learning environment by taking maximum value out of AI?

The answer depends on the value creation (or value destruction) offered by AI to student-learners in their learning process.

How can AI be an enabler for student-learners?

Some of the ways AI, when imbibed, can add value to student-learners could be as follows.

Beyond classroom experience: AI can provide or recommend student-learners with additional resources for knowledge exploration in terms of student resources like articles, books, videos and even relevant online courses. This surely helps the student-learners to learn beyond the classroom.

Anytime tutor availability: The highest value-providing factor to any student-learner is the tutor's availability. This is ensured by AI-based tutoring systems, which, apart from being available at any time, also respond to queries and clarifications by students.

Student-learner analytics: AI will keep track of student progression by capturing and analysing the student’s learning preferences, styles and behaviour. This will ensure that the student-learner maintains his own pace and learning priorities.

Tailored assessments: All student-learners are not the same with regard to academic performance. So, there is a need to tailor assessments or assignments based on student-learner capabilities. AI can provide tailor-made assessments by capturing the student learner's performance level, ensuring steady learning progression.

Virtual collaborations: AI helps student-learners communicate and interact virtually with similar-minded student-learners, thereby paving the way for online collaborations. This ensures a better learning environment for the student-learner.

Career facilitation: AI tools are available for career support and guidance. These can track job market trends and changing skill requirements and provide insights into these. AI career guidance tools will analyse and align the student learner's skills, interests and capability to the job specification and guide him towards the right jobs and career.

Time management: AI tools support the student-learner in creating schedules, reminding deadlines and priorities. This leads to better time management. 

So, is AI a panacea for student learners? Let’s look at AI’s pitfalls in short.

AI recommendations or suggestions to the student-learner could be biased in case the AI algorithms perpetuate the biases in the data on which they are trained. There is no way for the student-learner to know how the AI has arrived at the recommendation. It is a block box. This aspect surely undermines and affects critical thinking on the part of student-learners.

AI tools rely on vast data, including personal data. This brings privacy, security, transparency and ethical issues to the fore while using AI for student learning.

To conclude, student-learners must trade-off between value-adds and value-minuses in their context while using AI to learn and make informed decisions.

(The author is an associate professor at the School of Business and Management, CHRIST (Deemed-to-be University)

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Published 10 August 2023, 13:01 IST

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