Learning Resources

Colorado State U Taps Private Partner To Develop AI-Based Tutorials

Colorado State University (CSU) is teaming up with a private partner in an effort to develop new learning and assessment tools.

The university has partnered with Cognii, a provider of artificial intelligence-based learning technologies, and will use the company's Virtual Learning Assistant (VLA) to power its new tools.

"Cognii's VLA uses conversational AI and natural language processing technologies to engage students via intelligent tutoring," according to a news release. "It provides instant assessment of students' open-response answers along with a qualitative natural language feedback that guides them towards conceptual mastery. Cognii allows an alternative to multiple choice tests, which is especially important for courses in humanities and social sciences. The VLA is designed to improve students' knowledge retention and learning outcomes, increase instructors' productivity and enable high-quality personalized education at a large scale."

As part of the partnership, students at CSU will use tutorials featuring Cognii technology in human development and family studies  and psychology undergraduate courses and a graduate course in industrial and organizational psychology. Those tutorials will be collaboratively developed by university faculty and instructional designers partnering with Cognii personnel.

"The use of Cognii in the classroom is expected to improve learning outcomes, turning assessment into learning while enhancing the effectiveness of the time our faculty devote to teaching," said Mike Palmquist, associate provost for Instructional Innovation at Colorado State University, in a prepared staatement. "Through this partnership, CSU is on the cutting edge of recent research and innovation in the fields of natural language processing, cognitive sciences and machine learning, and an example of how the University is taking bold steps toward transforming access to quality education."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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