Campus Technology wrote about artificial intelligence’s growing role across Higher Education and highlighted a handful of breakthroughs that have helped flip the script.

Back in 2015 professor Ashok Goel at Georgia Tech developed an AI teaching assistant dubbed ‘Jill’ for one of his online courses. Jill graded assignments, answered questions and fooled almost all students into believing she was a human TA.

AI Guiding Students Through Enrollment

A year later, Tech’s neighbor Georgia State partnered with AdmitHub to launch the first college-specific SMS chatbot. ‘Pounce’ (named after the school’s mascot) guided incoming freshmen through enrollment to matriculation via two-way text messaging. A Randomized Control Trial found that the chatbot reduced summer melt by 21% and boosted freshmen enrollment by 4% overall.

Machine Learning to Leverage CRMs

Colleges and third-party providers such as Civitas Learning and Ellucian have also started using machine learning algorithms to leverage student data within a CRM or LMS. This is helping institutions gain key insights and nudge select groups of students who might be at risk of falling off or unlikely to follow through with tasks on their own.

AI for Automated Scoring and Essay Feedback

Pearson’s Revel provides automated scoring and feedback on essays to help students get early feedback when an instructor might not have the bandwidth. Other Pearson solutions such as MyLab and Mastering leverage AI to recommend different ways to optimize learning and help instructors identify struggling students.

Penn State has even developed what they call a “Fitbit for Teaching” that analyzes audio levels using machine learning and can measure things like the amount of time spent on direct instruction vs. other types of activities.

In a few short years, AI has changed the landscape of Higher Ed to help support administrators and students in ways previously unimagined. For more on recent breakthroughs and a glimpse of what is to come, read the full article here.