Online learning and massive open online courses (MOOCs) have changed our broken education for the better. With these in place, virtually anyone can learn anything from the top faculties of global universities. The system has addressed the inequalities of education and breached geographical barriers. Now, these online courses are becoming more smarter and effective with the onset of AI or Artificial Intelligence.
What is it?
Derek Haoyang Li, founder, and CEO of Squirrel AI, has assembled a smarter alternative to existing online learning environments such as MOOCs. Li has building an AI-driven online educational platform in partnership with a global network of educators and participating institutions, including the National University of Ireland, Stanford University, UCLA, UC Irvine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Remin University of China.
How does it work?
The company employs an AI adaptive learning engine with advanced algorithms, providing students one-to-one educational programs. The goal is to take adaptive learning, which is the employment of personalized learning based on individual progress, into the AI era, says Li, a featured speaker at the AI Summit being held in New York on December 5th and 6th. (Forbes is a media partner to the event.) “If you do not use AI for the base model of adaptive learning, you will fail,” he warns. “You cannot provide it on a very small scale, because there’s a huge volume of data you have to deal with. You cannot compare one student’s profile with millions of student profiles to predict how they will behave.”
How diverse is it?
Squirrel AI’s system can build different learning models for different segments and disciplines and recommends suitable learning methods, exercises or tests for students. The system conducts an assessment of the individual student, develops a knowledge map that assesses what they have mastered and what needs further development, then commences a personalized learning journey, in which every student learns at his or her own pace. As a result, courses focus on areas where more learning is required among individuals, versus pushing entire course loads to a general audience, Li says.
How does it help?
An AI-driven educational platform helps students focus on what they need to learn, as it ensures greater accuracy and focuses on material and test questions on what students need to understand, Li continues. The platform’s algorithms can adjust for students’ learning progress. “There are no ‘good’ students or ‘poor’ students,” Li explains, noting that every student has specific knowledge points of which he or she may have a strong understanding – but no two students are alike. “Even the poor student will master some different knowledge points very easily and quickly.” With an AI engine supporting personalized instruction, coursework can focus on strengthening their understanding of key subjects.