Artificial intelligence is set to change e-learning

Posted Mar 2, 2018 by Tim Sandle
E-learning is proving increasingly popular and offers a way for more people to access learning materials, proving popular with businesses. Now AI technology looks set to make e-learning even more accessible.
Excerpt from an e-learning platform  accessed via a computer.
Excerpt from an e-learning platform, accessed via a computer.
Training and education of the workforce is key to the digital transformation success of many businesses. One tool that has helped foster this is e-learning, especially, as Digital Journal has reported, e-learning is leading the way as businesses shift their training priorities to embrace a digital-first approach.
There are many different forms of e-learning, involving a mix of different channels, content, use of video and so on. A shared objective is the importance of flexibility and a blended approach.
Advantages to businesses include lower costs, since one training session can be delivered to many people. A second reason is that learning can be broken down into bite-sized chunks, meaning that employees do not need to spend very long away from their desks. A third appeal is that learning is delivered remotely; an employee can even undertake the learning at home.
Tim Sandle and a colleague turned into an animated graphic for an e-learning course.
Tim Sandle and a colleague turned into an animated graphic for an e-learning course.
There are also advantages in terms of learning outcomes. Where e-learning is made entertaining, with the use of games, videos, graphics and so on, there is evidence that learning success is higher compared with the traditional face-to-face classroom model. E-learning is also popular with employees. This is because e-learning technologies offer students control over content; and also over the learning sequence, pace of learning, time, and often media, allowing them to tailor their experiences to meet their personal learning objectives.
E-learning is being strengthened by artificial intelligence according to Forbes. The use of AI allows for a differentiated curriculum, with packages tailored to suit different learning styles and paces of work. This avoids the one-size-fits-all approach to learning, which can put slower learners and leave faster learners bored.
Similarly, AI can encourage individual tutoring. According to an article on Quora, artificial intelligence in this context "can act as a virtual tutor and answer questions on the fly". Also tied to individual learning, e-learning can clarify points of confusion privately, avoiding a learner from feeling embarrassed if they do not understanding a concept or learning point. Smart, AI-driven technology makes this easier.
A further area where AI can help is that e-learning can ensure that students engage with material that’s always relevant. Here AI can learn to assess which parts of the content require updating or direct learners to appropriate video content or to external websites.