It was recently announced that India’s Union Cabinet had approved a new National Education Policy (NEP), after a 34-year gap. Aimed to provide a fundamental vision and framework for education across the country, the policy envisages large-scale reforms in the education system. Namely, it places a great deal of emphasis on the use and integration of technology in India’s education system.
Looking ahead, the development of educational infrastructure is expected to play an important part in India’s economic growth. Though the sector has witnessed a transformation in recent years, there still remains much more than could be done to shape the nation into a digitally empowered populace with a knowledge economy. Namely, investing in education technology (edtech) could possibly resolve the problems concerning India’s education system.
Today, edtech is the solution that closes the opportunity gap in India. In such a vast nation as India, it is close to impossible to build adequate schools and colleges in every single village. However, through online learning technology, you can bring quality teaching to rural areas, thereby bridging the achievement gap across the country.
Adding on, the potential for scalable, individualised learning has also played a pivotal role in edtech growth. Given how the learning process for each student is different, the utilisation of edtech tools allows for personalised teaching methods to be seamlessly delivered to each student, catering to their specific learning styles. A smoother learning process, that is individualised and suited to each student’s needs increases overall productivity.
In recent years, as learning management systems (LMS) advance, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data analytics are increasingly utilised in advanced e-learning solutions like D2L’s Brightspace LMS. Edtech tools such as the Brightspace LMS can greatly improve user experience and offer a holistic and comprehensive education. This ultimately provides students with the best chance of maximising their natural talents and achieving their academic goals.
In this article, we explore how utilising edtech such as an LMS can effectively close the achievement gaps in India.
The role of Big Data in an LMS
The utilisation of big data analytics, such as the robust analytics in Brightspace LMS, can help monitor all aspects of a student’s process as they work their way through their course materials. From the duration it takes for completing one assignment to the specific areas of difficulties faced, big data analytics tools will be able to track and collect an extensive range of crucial information about a child’s learning process. All this information serves as performance trackers that keep the school, teacher, parents and child in the loop. By highlighting any areas that a child could need more attention on, learning content can then be tweaked to maximise engagement and productivity.
The data collected can help the LMS to gauge the type of content that is more catered to each learner, allowing teachers to promote content that piques their interest or concerns an area they need to work harder on to achieve their desired goals. With this data seamlessly operating in the background, the LMS is able to develop and cater to each pupil’s needs and levels, while keeping the educators notified of progress or any concerns.
Leveraging AI in online education
Essentially, AI provides smart content and data-driven insights that aid to enhance the learning experience. The edtech market in India is estimated to hit $2 billion by 2021, and this is largely due to the rise of AI in education technology.
By curating and utilising audio, video and written content, lessons are produced, modified and curated briskly to meet the needs of students. The development of virtual assistants and automated facilitators makes classroom learning more interactive and gamified. This in turn boosts learner engagement and drives their motivation to excel. These computerised assistants can also detect when a student is performing particularly poorly, and modify the upcoming coursework to cater to the child’s learning abilities.
In short, these interactive animated facilitators allow young learners to gain a deeper understanding of their syllabus while feeling assisted, heard and engaged.
However, AI integrations are not only limited to that. Through data analytics tools, these bots can also provide further insights into the student’s academic journey, by analysing the patterns that emerge in their work. This insight allows educators, parents, and anyone else involved in their education to have a more robust view of how they are progressing and easily identify any areas that may need some extra work.
With this added knowledge, the teacher or educational content creator can further adapt the content and resources, making learning more personalised for the learner.
Through automation software, the AI removes some of the administrative tasks that pose an unnecessary burden to the teacher. When tasks such as grading become automated, the teacher’s workload becomes streamlined, giving them space to devote their attention to more important and valuable tasks. This enhances learning both inside and outside the classroom.
The adaptive technology and assistive tools of AIs also allow for students with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities to learn and achieve outcomes equal to their peers. Adding on, the language options utilise AI to allow for translations to various languages, which can be extremely helpful if the child’s native tongue differs from their teacher or peers. With these assistive tools, the LMS removes the challenges faced by someone who may struggle with traditional learning systems.
To further boost the learner experience, educators can offer and monitor sample tests and quizzes for a student to show them the areas they may need to work on before completing a module or taking an exam. In addition, communication functions on the platform also help the student feel connected to their teacher and their peers, which can greatly improve a child’s association with studying.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a tectonic shift in India’s education system and highlighted the need to rethink how education is delivered. Being able to continue education wherever a child is, on any device and at any time has become an essential requirement. This is now possible thanks to recent technological advances that allow the implementation of a platform such as the Brightspace LMS.
Integrating an LMS as part of your curriculum allows you to move one step closer to bridging the achievement gap in India. Through AI and big data, D2L’s Brightspace platform makes eLearning more accessible, adaptable and suitable for the needs of every student. By merging technology and education, an LMS can truly enhance a child’s academic journey, helping them to maximise their capabilities and achievements.
This article was first published in Silicon India (print) as ‘Education Should be a Want and not a Need’.