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Beyond the Classroom: The Synergy of AI and AR in Shaping Academic Futures

www.cxotoday.com | January 11, 2024

CXO Today has engaged in an exclusive interview with Prof. Chiranjoy Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor – Computer Science, FLAME University 
1. In what ways do you see data analysis transforming the landscape of education, particularly in higher education institutions like FLAME University? 
The use of data analysis has the capacity to revolutionize higher education institutions in several manners. Sophisticated analytics may facilitate novel methods to include existing and potential students, enhance student enrollment, elevate student retention and completion rates, and enhance faculty productivity and research capabilities. Institutions, like FLAME, can enhance student enrollment, improve learner experiences, and increase student retention and completion rates by integrating intelligent data analytics into teaching, learning practices, and daily operations. This integration allows for the generation of actionable insights from reliable data that complies with privacy regulations.   
2. How do you envision the integration of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) shaping the future of academics, and what potential impacts might these technologies have on student learning experiences?
Integration of AI and AR in academia has several benefits and can make a potential impact. Some of the key ideas are: 
  • AI and AR can revolutionize the way students learn and interact with their environment.
  • AI-driven personalized learning platforms can adapt to student needs and provide targeted content, while AR provides engaging, interactive, and motivating mixed reality environments. 
  • The combination of these technologies can lead to the development of more interactive and immersive Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) that can take into account learners’ psychological, cognitive, and motivational states as well as their unique characteristics, knowledge, preferences, interests, and performance.
  • The potential impacts of these technologies on student learning experiences are significant. 
  • By incorporating AI and AR into teaching and learning practices and day-to-day operations, institutions have the potential to grow student enrollment, transform learner experiences, and significantly improve student retention and completion rates.

3. With rapid technological advancements, which emerging trends do you believe will significantly impact the educational landscape in the next five years, especially within higher education institutions? 
Some of the emerging trends that are expected to impact the educational landscape in the next five years include: 
  • Personalized learning: AI-driven personalized learning platforms can adapt to student needs and provide targeted content, while AR provides engaging, interactive, and motivating mixed reality environments. 
  • Neuroeducation: The emerging field of educational neuroscience is shedding light on what works best when it comes to learning new concepts and skills. And the field is quickly discovering that many mainstream education practices aren’t supported by research. 
  • Microlearning: Microlearning is a form of spaced repetition learning, in which lessons are broken up into bite-sized chunks and repeated over time. This is said to help new concepts and skills sink in for the long term. 
  • Online Learning: According to Research and Markets, the online education landscape is set to become a few hundreds of billion industry by 2025. The three major benefits of online learning compared to offline are: cost, convenience, and scale.

4. How does FLAME University adapt its curriculum to keep pace with evolving technology trends, ensuring students are equipped with the necessary skills for the future job market? 
FLAME University’s student centric approach always keeps the student in the loop and in constant touch with industry leaders to know about the requirements of the industry. Some of the key initiatives are: 
  • Fostering a culture of lifelong learning. 
  • Ensuring every touchpoint between a student and the university is captured and recorded before being used to generate student-centric, actionable insights. 
  • Supporting students to adapt to the future of work. 
  • Offering short courses for specific job roles. 
  • Organizing keynote lectures from industry leaders to sensitize the community about the need of new technologies 
  • Providing a programme to support educators. 
  • Encouraging faculty members to participate in Faculty Development Programmes (FDP) and certifications to keep learning new concepts.

5. What role do educators play in successfully integrating technology into the learning environment, and how can they effectively leverage tools like AI to enhance the educational experience?
Educators play a crucial role in successfully integrating technology into the learning environment. They can leverage tools like AI to enhance the educational experience by: 
  • Providing mentorship and guidance to learners. 
  • Fostering critical thinking skills. 
  • Creating a blended learning experience that combines the strengths of technology and human expertise. 
  • Adapting to quickly changing technology. 
  • Being comfortable with students who multitask. 
  • Being open to technology-rich teaching and learning environments.

6. Beyond theoretical benefits, how have you observed augmented reality specifically engaging students in complex subjects within computer science, and what anecdotal evidence supports its effectiveness in your teaching experience? 
Augmented Reality (AR) has been shown to be an effective tool for engaging students in complex subjects within computer science. A recent study evaluated the impact of using AR, gamification, and serious games in computer science education. The study involved 117 higher education students, and the results revealed that several educational benefits can be yielded when integrating such applications in teaching and learning activities and actively involving students in the design and development process. In particular, the application was assessed as an effective learning tool that could enrich and improve the educational process and create interactive, inclusive, and student-centered learning environments. Its use led mostly to positive effects and experiences while maintaining the negative ones to a minimum and most students expressed positive emotions. Students were able to learn in a more enjoyable and interesting manner, and their motivation, engagement, self-efficacy, and immersion were greatly increased. Students’ innate need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness was satisfactorily met and both their intrinsic and extrinsic learning motivations were triggered.

This interview contains the valuable insights of Prof. Chiranjoy Chattopadhyay, Faculty of Computer Science, FLAME University.

(Source:- https://cxotoday.com/interviews/beyond-the-classroom-the-synergy-of-ai-and-ar-in-shaping-academic-futures/# )