As universities increasingly use AI-powered educational technology tools And AR/VR platforms to improve teaching, researchers led by the IT project on campus have launched a new initiative to examine how next-generation technology will shape the future of learning.
According to a announcement Presented at the annual Educause conference earlier this month in Chicago, the new eLearning 2.0 project will explore the potential of emerging edtech technologies to transform the way educators approach teaching in the years to come. The initiative will be sponsored and supported by educational technology company Class Technologies.
“The emergence of AI and new virtual classroom technologies will be important catalysts for change across all sectors of American higher education,” said Casey Green, founder of the Campus Computing Project, in a statement announcing the project. “Campus leaders are hungry for data and guidance that will benefit their institutions, faculty and students. We are launching the eLearning 2.0 project to provide up-to-date data and insights to help academic institutions navigate an exciting, high-impact future.
Green said. Government Technology that the project will draw its findings from conversations with a broad national network of higher education campus leaders, adding that the study will be completed and published in January. He said the research aims to generate new data on how AI and other emerging technologies in the classroom will contribute to better institutional outcomes and how these tools will affect academic integrity, program planning, advising , career guidance and instructional design.
Noting that the topic of AI tools was the elephant in the room in many, if not all, panels at this month’s Educause conference, Green said the focus of AI education technology tools and policies affecting them in the higher education sphere remain uncertain.
“This is uncharted territory with enormous potential and some potential problems as well. We hear a lot about the problems. We hear a lot about the potential,” he said. “We don’t know the direction AI education technology tools will take, but we know something is happening here.”
While much of the debate is over how AI tools – particularly generative AI tools like ChatGPT – should be used ethically in colleges and universities, Michael Chasen, CEO of Class Technologies, noted that education technology developers have been working in recent years to develop new AI-based platforms. which can assist with lesson planning, grading, and instructional design and allow instructors to focus more on the teaching itself. He added that the use of AI tools in general is already increasingly pervasive in the higher education landscape today.
“We see AI as a way to really help instructors,” he said. “We provide teachers with an AI teaching assistant that automatically transcribes the entire class and all classroom materials. »
Green said the study will also take a closer look at other educational technology trends, such as the emergence of HyFlex and blended learning models combining digital tools for distance learning and in-person learning, which have gained popularity since the pandemic forced universities to offer more remote learning options. He added that the study will also examine how classroom technologies such as learning management systems and video conferencing tools have improved for educational applications, as well as the role such tools will play in the higher education in the years to come.
“It’s about looking at what’s moving forward,” Green said. “Learning management systems do much more and they do it much better. …Video has also emerged as a stable and increasingly essential resource, and of course over the last 12 months there has been this whole AI thing.”
Additionally, Green said, the study will examine how colleges and universities used federal COVID-19 relief funding in recent years, which he said varied among institutions based on their size and of their technological capabilities before the pandemic.
“Schools that made decisions years ago in terms of infrastructure resources, technology, and adoption of learning management platforms and technology resources for students have done quite well; others had to scramble,” he said. “Some campuses had strategies to (close the digital divide). Some campuses have created strategies for this in partnership with technology providers that did not exist in February 2020.”