Though the use of artificial intelligence in education is far from a new phenomenon, the technology is poised to radically change the way teachers teach and students learn, according to Dan Ayoub, general manager of education at Microsoft. For a quick overview of the concept and how it stands to impact the future of education, check out the below video from Pearson:
By now, it’s clear that artificial intelligence will play a major role in the state of education going forward – but how will educational game developers incorporate machine learning into educational games? Let’s take a look at a few examples:
One powerful way that artificial intelligence will augment game-based learning is by enabling adaptive learning – that is, learning content that automatically and constantly adapts to the learner’s skill and understanding, based on their input. In a game-based learning context, this means synthesizing data on a player’s actions, abilities, and learning styles, then using this information to provide content designed specifically to meet that individual’s needs. This might take the form of advanced gameplay mechanics that manifest when the player is moving swiftly through content and needs more of a challenge – or conversely, the deployment of additional support mechanisms when a student is struggling to grasp a specific concept.
Another benefit offered by AI-enhanced learning games is improved task automation functionality. A 2013 survey from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found that teachers work 53 hours per week, on average – with much of this extra time spent on tasks such as home grading and attending staff meetings. However, by assigning all grading-related tasks to artificial intelligence tools embedded within learning games, educators will gain increased time and availability to engage directly with learners – namely, 1-on-1 interactions with individuals who require additional attention and support.
Support beyond the classroom
Not only are AI-enabled educational games well-suited for classroom instruction – they can also serve as powerful tools for supporting learners at home. Across the nation, many parents face significant obstacles in providing at-home learning support to their students – reasons for this can range from socio-economic barriers to themselves having a limited educational background. Artificial intelligence-powered games can help remedy this by providing tailored support to players directly within the game, helping to level the playing field and ensuring that learners always have access to the support they need, no matter the learning environment.