3. Smarter Artificial Intelligence–Powered Tutors

AI tutors in 2022 will be anything but basic. Google Cloud and Walden University in Minnesota recently developed a new AI tutoring platform that uses machine learning — in addition to an instructor’s competency assessments — to create personalized quizzes, assignments and course recommendations.

Google’s AI platform is distinct from previous AI-enabled tutoring services because it integrates with existing infrastructure more easily. “As we continue to develop this tool, it will allow us to provide personalized instruction at scale to meet the needs and busy lives of adult learners,” Walden’s former Chief Transformation Officer Steven Tom said in a Google Cloud blog post. Walden plans on incorporating student feedback and conducting more testing before rolling out the AI-powered tutor to a larger group of students.

MORE ON EDTECH: Georgia Tech researcher discusses how AI can improve student success.

Meanwhile, Southern New Hampshire University is also planning on using the platform to give students personalized course recommendations. “We are building this ecosystem for a personalized, flexible learner experience that is not tied to seat time,” Travis Willard, SNHU’s chief product officer, told Government Technology. “[It] focuses on stackable microcredentials, creating options for our learners that stack on top of the degrees the university offers today.”

To prevent human developers from embedding racial and gender biases into AI algorithms, Google Cloud’s Head of Education Steven Butschi advised universities and colleges to spend at least a few months weeding out biases in pilot programs, especially in more complex use cases.

EXPLORE: Three cloud security trends to watch for in higher ed in 2022.

4. The Rise of Short-Form, Video-Based Learning

As TikTok’s popularity increases, universities are adapting by utilizing short-form videos to engage Gen Z learners. ASU has a Study Hall playlist on YouTube that uses 2- to 3-minute supplemental education videos to help students understand difficult concepts in their courses.

Georgetown’s Alexander also said he expects video-based learning to increase next year. “It’s impossible to overstate how much humans love video. We love making it, we love consuming it,” Alexander says. “People are making trailers for books, trailers for academic classes and the tools for video just keep getting easier.”

However, he warns IT departments that the rise of video-based learning may require infrastructure upgrades to keep up with demand. He recalls an incident from 15 years ago when a professor told her students to upload video assignments to the campus cloud. “She didn’t precisely say ‘the finished work,’ so they uploaded all their pre-rendered video to the cloud at the same time. It just shut down the entire campus infrastructure,” he said.

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