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Artificial Intelligence

AI-Powered Tutor Uses Google Cloud to Generate Learning Activities

In collaboration with Google Cloud, Walden University has created a new tool that uses artificial intelligence to help students review and master course concepts. The technology, which the institution is calling an AI-powered tutor named "Julian," taps into Google Cloud's AI and machine learning capabilities to generate a variety of on-demand learning activities.

When an instructor loads course content into Julian and details the specific competencies — or "learning units" — required, the tool indexes the content and links each learning unit back to the related course content. The indexing and linking is reviewed by the instructor for quality assurance, and then the tool automatically generates questions, paraphrase practice, knowledge notes and other learning activities for students, delivered via chat functionality. As students complete activities the tool evaluates their responses and provides feedback.  

"While students gain knowledge in their programs, they can use Julian, the Walden AI-powered tutor, to reinforce concepts and identify learning gaps," explained Karthik Venkatesh, chief information officer at Walden, in a statement. "Students will see a new set of activities generated by the AI-powered tutor every time they interact with the tool. It also creates educational notes for the student, which they can reference throughout the program and beyond."

In early tests at Walden, students who tried Julian said that it was "a good addition to their learning process," according to a university statement, and particularly useful in "adding to their knowledge on various concepts and for completing assignments."

"At various points in the academic term, we found that different features became even more important for students," noted Steven Tom, chief transformation officer at Walden. "Earlier in the term, the knowledge notes feature was more valuable. Later in the term, having the tool quiz them and assess their knowledge mastery became more valuable. We are using student feedback to work on the next iteration and will test the Walden AI-powered tutor on a wider group of students."

A webinar providing a demo of the tool is available on demand here.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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