E-learning has the potential to revolutionize education.
For one thing, the internet and burgeoning AI technology have made e-learning more accessible than ever before.
But e-learning also offers solutions to some of education’s most pressing challenges, and in the future, it could serve to more adequately provide all students access to quality teaching.
1) E-learning can more meaningfully differentiate curriculum
Everyone processes content in different ways and at different speeds. The pace or style that works well for one student might very well be too fast, slow, or confusing for another.
Teachers have known this for a long time. But in the traditional classroom model, wherein one teacher with limited resources has to teach an entire class all at once, differentiating content to meet the varied needs of each student is impossible.
With E-learning, however, not only is such differentiation possible — it’s an integral component of the process.
E-learning equipped with intelligence can recognize students’ understanding of a concept automatically, and then suggest different paths of learning depending on the current level of mastery.
This will enable different students to master content at their own pace and will ensure that all students in a given class or community are successful.
2) AI can encourage individual tutoring
Content knowledge builds on itself. When you’re learning something new, you start off with the basics, build a foundation, and proceed conceptually from there.
This is why it’s so critical that students are able to ask questions as soon as points of confusion pop up.
But this is also one central problem with the traditional classroom model. In traditional classrooms, if students misunderstand some aspect of a lesson, they either have to wait until the end of the lesson to ask their questions or until their professor’s after-lesson office hours. That results in them missing all of the content that followed that moment of confusion.
E-learning technology equipped with new models of artificial intelligence, however, addresses points of confusion as soon as they arise. Artificial intelligence can act as a virtual tutor and answer questions on the fly.
In my experience teaching, I realized that many of the basic questions students ask are common among students, but asked repeatedly in different forms. AI enables tutors to understand the questions asked across forums and provide easier clarification to all students.