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Artificial Intelligence

Florida School Tests AI as Virtual Tutor for Online Course

artificial intelligence

Florida International University is testing out the use of a virtual learning assistant pegged as "artificial intelligence tutoring" in an online program. The university has begun a pilot with Cognii, an education technology company that uses natural language processing to interact with the student as he or she learns a particular topic, gets assessed on comprehension and receives coaching to master the concepts.

The company said its AI tutor can grade open-response answers to short essay questions and "extract rich pedagogical insights and analytics to improve faculty members' productivity."

The project is taking place in the College of Business and, specifically, in an information system management course. Over the last semester, Cognii has worked with an online instructor and support team members to design and pilot several modules to support the use of the tutoring program.

"As we pursue FIU's strategic plan to meet the 21st century challenges in higher education and focus on helping students graduate in a timely fashion with minimal debt while preparing them for high quality jobs, we believe ed tech innovations such as [this one] will play a key role in improving our scale, efficiency and sustainability," said David John Palmer, associate director of educational technology at FIU Online and professor of information systems management, in a statement. "Based on the success during the fall semester, we are looking forward to expanding the scope of using Cognii to improve student learning."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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