A prospective student, looking forward to major in English, calls the financial aid office of her dream college. After two rings, an automated voice asks her what does she need help with. On her inquisitiveness about the financial aid procedure, the voice on the other end runs her through the nuances of the process in a systematic manner. Despite the student’s repeated queries regarding the same thing, there is no sign of tiredness or irritation in the voice. The student, eventually, hangs up satisfied and pleased with the agent’s efficiency.
Imagine the same happening during the peak season in colleges. The number of dissatisfied prospective and returning students is minimal, the enrollment rate of the institutions is increased, the frequency of human errors is reduced, the operations department functions with consistent efficiency day and night without getting exhausted or bored.
Sounds impossible? Well, it is not because there is no human agency involved! As you must have guessed, we mean artificial intelligence.
Endless possibilities AI opens up for various stakeholders:
For learners and teachers: To name a few, AI powered systems are capable of complementing in-class teaching, creating customized content, providing personalized, supplemental guidance to students, assisting teachers through intelligent moderation, improving course quality, providing intelligent tutoring systems to support the learners.
For the institutions, AI resolves the short staffing issues, increases the enrollment rates by answering students’ queries deftly, assists with student retention by identifying and providing necessary help to at-risk students. Besides the one-time implementation costs, AI proves to be quite cost efficient for the user-institutions. It works 24 hours, does repetitive and time-consuming tasks without losing efficiency.
The possibilities AI represents are, literally, endless. (Click to Tweet)
What does Artificial Intelligence mean in the higher education space?
AI doesn’t aim to replace the human resources entirely but to make them more efficient. In the higher education industry, the vision is not to totally do away with the traditional teaching or learning methods but to make the whole experience more effective, accessible and affordable.
How does it work?
Artificial intelligence uses data mining techniques to identify critical patterns which can better a learner’s, teacher’s or the institution’s staff’s experience. It can learn students’ habits and propose the most efficient study schedules for them. It helps teachers to find gaps in their teachings and point to where students are struggling with subject matter. It empowers the institutions’ staff to improve student services, in turn, increasing enrollment and retention.
Just consider the radical transformation AI’s superhuman abilities would bring in the higher education landscape in the times to come! While AI might not be a panacea for all the higher education woes, it still makes the whole experience more immersive and engaging, doesn’t it?