eCampus News recently asked 20 edtech executives, including AdmitHub’s CEO Drew Magliozzi, to share their predictions for 2019. Artificial intelligence, chatbots, and more nuanced uses of student data were among the most popular topics.

Faculty will continue to use technology to connect

Top Hat CPO Eran Ben-Ari voiced that edtech will continue to evolve and faculty will use more technology to reach students. There is a growing need for technology solutions that allow professors to engage students wherever they may be on their learning journey regardless of class size.

AI study tools to reach Gen Z learners

Mike Huseby, chairman and CEO of Barnes & Noble Education, spoke to AI’s growing use across higher-ed institutions to appeal to the preferences of Gen Z students and meet them are they are: online.

“Resources with AI components – such as AI teaching assistants – will be used more frequently” in both online and traditional, in-person courses.

“We will see more AI-enabled study tools that generate not just an answer, but an explanation of how to get that answer…[and] are available whenever and wherever students need them.”

Conversational AI to answer students questions 24/7

“Conversational AI has become a staple of everyday life,” Verbit’s CEO Tom Livne added, “with widespread adoption of programs like Google Assistant and Alexa infiltrating homes, which sets an expectation for this same level of digitization and ease in education.”

Livne went on to discuss how automated chatbots can help universities handle some of the simpler student questions with “a much faster turnaround time than traditional email support.”

Dan Rivera, portfolio marketing manager for education at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company echoed this sentiment about conversational AI being crucial to student success by “providing a student-centered, robust mobility experience – one that allows students to have uninterrupted access to educational resources, campus services, advisors, mentors, and counselor on-and-off campus.”

AdmitHub’s CEO Drew Magliozzi expanded on several of these points, speaking to conversational AI’s growing impact on core university functions. “AI will continue to permeate higher ed—and while bots may not replace instructors, advisors, or university presidents anytime soon, they will augment (and in some cases automate) day-to-day tasks that enhance the delivery and impact of core university functions such as admissions, enrollment, and student support…To make good on the promise of AI, we expect that universities will need new positions to train and monitor their artificially intelligent machines. Don’t be surprised if in the coming year we see the emergence of university positions such as Lead Bot Nurturer or AI Personality Architect.”

To learn more about AI terminology and why it matters for higher ed, download our free AI Glossary for University Leaders.

To read all 41 of the edtech predictions for 2019, you can read the full eCampus News article here.