AI teaching assistants need to be simple for students’ utility: Study
A new kind of teacher—an artificial one—could emerge as a result of the growth of online learning. It will be interesting to see how receptive children are to a robot teacher. Researchers at the Nicholson School of Communication and Media at the University of Central Florida are investigating how students perceive teachers who use artificial intelligence.
Some of their findings, published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, suggest that in order for students to accept an AI teaching assistant, it must be useful and simple to interact with. The hope is that by understanding how students relate to AI teachers, engineers and computer scientists can design them to easily integrate into the teaching experience, said Jihyun Kim, an associate professor in the school and lead author of the study.
“To use machine teachers effectively, we need to understand students’ perceptions of machine teachers, their learning experiences with them, and more,” Kim said, adding, “This line of research is needed to design effective machine teachers that can actually facilitate positive learning experiences.” ” AI teaching assistants can help ease a teacher’s workload, such as by responding to common questions from students. These questions, which often appear every semester and become numerous in online classes with hundreds of students, can become a huge task for a teacher. The quick delivery of answers also helps students.
An example of an AI teaching assistant is one named Jill Watson created by a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Jill was fed the thousands of questions and answers commonly asked in the researcher’s online class that he has learned over the years. With some additional learning and adjustments, Jill was finally able to accurately answer the students’ common questions without any human assistance as if she were one of the researcher’s human teaching assistants. For the UCF study, the researchers asked respondents to read a news article about an AI teaching assistant being used in higher education, and then they surveyed the students’ perceptions of the technology.
The finding that an AI-based teaching assistant that students were most likely to accept was one that was helpful and easy to interact with points to the importance of an effective AI system, Kim says. “I hope our research findings help us find an effective way to incorporate AI agents into education,” she said, adding, “By adopting an AI agent as an assistant for a simple and repetitive task, teachers will be able to spend more time on things like meeting with students and developing instructional strategies that will ultimately help students learn in meaningful ways.” (ANI)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)