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ASU Awarded $3.75 Million to Advance Generative AI in Flexible Learning On the Go

Arizona State University (ASU) has been awarded a $3.75 million, three-year, renewable grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to enhance an audio-based app by using generative AI to give college students advanced use of learning materials and activities "for the modern, mobile learner," according to a news release.

ASU's team at the Learning Engineering Institute, led by Executive Director Danielle McNamara, will enhance an audio-based learning app INFLO to allow students to listen, take notes, highlight topics, explain, summarize, and answer questions while on the go.

INFLO offers audio recordings of course content, including lectures, discussions, and summaries. The company is part of ASU ScaleU, a "functional higher education technology accelerator that integrates, tests, and validates innovative technologies at ASU," the release said.

The project includes in-house technology developers and researchers who will conduct research with over 100,000 students at ASU, along with replication studies at Indiana University, the grant award noted.

McNamara said a few of the active learning strategies they plan to add to the INFLO app include:

  • "Self-explanation prompts that ask a learner to explain what they've learned, building connections between what they know, other topics they are currently learning in various classes, as well as the new information being delivered;
  • "Summarization tasks that ask students to reiterate the main points of what they are listening to as they are on the go; and
  • "Question-answering challenges that assess the information a student has retained by asking a series of open-ended questions."

She said that cross-collaboration is an important part of the project, and in addition to working with INFLO, the team will partner with others across the ASU campus, such as EdPlus to support best learning practices at scale and ASU Enterprise Technology to build the technology to ensure ASU course delivery.

"We know that active learning works to improve how students engage with content in different ways and contexts, and according to their needs and their goals," McNamara said. "We're using those strategies and thinking about ways to deliver these on the go for the increasingly mobile student."

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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