5 Best Practices for Leveraging AI for Education and Learning | campus.sg

artificial intelligence

On November 30, 2022, the launch of ChatGPT marked a significant milestone in the evolution of artificial intelligence. It garnered widespread attention and sparked heated debates. Initially, there were headlines that focused on the negative impacts of generative AI on young people, in particular, with fears that students might pass off AI-generated essays as their own. However, amidst the controversy, the conversation often overlooked the transformative potential of AI in education.

In fact, beyond the headlines, a growing number of forward-thinking educators are harnessing the power of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to enhance teaching and learning experiences. These progressive initiatives demonstrate that when used thoughtfully, AI can be a powerful ally in elevating educational standards and fostering a more engaging, personalized learning environment.

In Singapore, for example, teachers are redirecting the use of ChatGPT towards self-directed learning. Instead of asking the AI model to write an essay, students are encouraged to use it to ask for feedback on their original works. This is just one example of many where AI can enhance learning rather than undermine it.

Let’s learn more about how AI can be leveraged for education and learning in this article.

Personalise Learning Experiences

One of the most significant advantages of AI for education is its ability to personalise learning experiences. Adaptive learning systems, powered by AI, can analyse individual student performance and learning styles to create customised learning paths. This ensures that each student receives the right level of challenge and support.

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On this front, Singapore’s Ministry of Education is leading the way with its launch of an AI-enabled adaptive learning system. This project is part of the country’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy and an implementation of the EdTech Masterplan 2030 vision. The system was initially rolled out in June 2023 and included three topics for Primary 5 Mathematics.

The AI-driven platform tailors lessons based on a student’s strengths and weaknesses, enabling a more personalised learning experience. This ensures students fully understand lessons before they move on to new topics. Indeed, this system helps bridge learning gaps and fosters a deeper understanding of subject matter.

Provide Intelligent Tutoring Systems

Intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) offer a powerful supplement to traditional classroom instruction. These AI-driven systems provide one-on-one tutoring, adapting to the needs and progress of each student. Unlike human tutors, ITS are available 24/7, offering continuous support.

Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, an American non-profit organisation dedicated to learning and education, recently gave a TED Talk discussing how AI can have a positively transformative effect on education if used in the right way. For instance, Khan Academy’s new AI tool, Khanmigo, acts like a virtual tutor for students and can also be used by teachers as their virtual teaching assistant. The tool is specially programmed not to provide actual answers but instead to guide students to understand the topics so they can eventually find the right answers on their own.

Utilise Automated Grading and Feedback

Grading and providing feedback are time-consuming tasks for teachers. AI can automate these processes, allowing educators to focus more on instruction and less on administrative duties. Automated grading systems can handle multiple-choice tests, essays, and even complex assignments, providing instant feedback to students.

This immediate feedback is crucial for learning, as it helps students understand their mistakes and improve quickly. In Singaporean schools, the implementation of AI-powered automated marking systems for English language assignments was launched in 2022 by the Ministry of Education. Besides saving teachers time in grading grammar and spelling, the system also collects information about the most common mistakes so that teachers can focus on these topics that most students find challenging.

Enhance Classroom Engagement

Engaging students in the classroom is vital for effective learning. AI tools can significantly enhance engagement by making lessons more interactive and immersive. Technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) bring subjects to life, allowing students to experience and explore concepts in a dynamic way.

At the National University of Singapore (NUS), AR and VR technologies provided an alternative learning environment for students during their remote learning days when the COVID-19 pandemic was still a major public health threat. In fact, students were able to apply what they learned in a practical setting without risking their health. Nursing students, for example, were able to practice interacting with patients, while design students experienced what it was like to be on a construction site. Indeed, these technologies not only make learning more practical and enjoyable, but they also help students retain information better.

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Prioritise Professional Development for Teachers

To fully leverage AI in education, it is crucial to invest in professional development for teachers. In particular, educators need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively use AI tools in their classrooms. This involves providing access to comprehensive training programmes, including workshops, online courses, and hands-on sessions.

Ongoing support is also essential to ensure teachers can continually improve their use of AI technology. In Singapore, the National Institute of Education (NIE) announced in 2022 that AI topics will become part of teacher training by 2026. Meanwhile, educators can access AI Singapore’s self-paced micro-courses on AI implementation in the education sector. With these curated AI practicums, teachers can gain the confidence and competence needed to incorporate AI into their classroom activities.

Embracing AI in education presents a myriad of opportunities to enhance learning and teaching. With the implementation of best practices in schools, educators in Singapore can create a more effective, efficient, and engaging educational environment. As we look to the future, the continued integration of AI into educational processes promises to transform the learning landscape, preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.