Enhancing Online Courses With Artificial Intelligence Powered Experiential Learning

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Date
2022-09
Authors
Farrelly, Glen
Clapperton, Robert
Dixon, Richard J
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations [PRESENTATION] // For instructors of online, paced and self-paced courses, it can be a challenge to find ways to enliven the course material. Techniques used for in-person courses, such as hands-on labs, role-playing, and practice exercises, may be difficult or impossible to replicate in online courses where students progress at their own pace and schedule. In addition, with challenges brought by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and cutbacks to post-secondary education funding, it is important for educators to offer effective learning opportunities that scale well and are resilient to restrictions imposed on account of pandemic conditions. // Over the past three years, Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business has partnered with Ametros Learning to address these challenges through developing courses that use artificial intelligence (AI) to power educational simulations that deliver experiential learning opportunities for students (Kolb, 2014). The AI-powered simulation platform requires students to assume roles in realistic and relevant scenarios and perform a series of interactive exercises (such as engaging in Socratic questioning and drafting responses and critiques) to address challenges related to the simulation narrative and key course concepts. // This approach enables teaching hard and soft skills through embedded educational material followed by students applying key skills and receiving timely, iterative and individualized assessment by both humans and AI agents. Through analysis of quantitative student feedback data and individual observational analysis, we have found that this experiential learning approach leads to deeper cognitive and affective learning than more static approaches to course content delivery. // Post-secondary institutions have been using AI for several years for purposes such as fielding common, basic student questions and providing learning analytics. However, the use of AI to deliver full-scale, holistic student learning opportunities is in its infancy. This panel discussion will address the challenges and benefits of implementing AI-powered course approaches by hearing from three instructors who implemented such an innovative approach in their courses and an educational software executive who has pioneered AI approaches to online education. // Reference: Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development (2nd ed.). Pearson Education. // Paper ID 4368
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Subject
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Online Learning, Experiential Learning, Distance Education, Higher Education
Country
Canada
Region
Caribbean and Americas
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