How Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) can Help Teachers Identify At-Risk Students

artificial intelligence

Many educational institutions have developed intervention programmes such as after-school remedial lessons. Although the outcomes have been largely successful, the drawback is in the length of time required to identify at-risk students. More often than not, teachers require weeks or months of interaction to eventually find out which students require more help with their studies. By the time these students were identified, it would have been too late or too much of a struggle to help them keep up with their classmates. Back then, incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into the education industry was still elusive and often difficult to comprehend. But advancements in technology are set to change the way teachers spot students who need more assistance. And in turn, students at risk of failing or dropping out of a course can receive the attention and help they need to improve.

A.I. can help identify by keeping track of the frequency of mistakes made

One of the challenges faced by students is their ability to cope with the workload, pass their exams and eventually graduate from school. However, some students may face a higher probability of not performing academically well compared to their peers. Some individuals may even opt to drop out of school as a result of not being able to cope.

With the help of artificial intelligence, students can learn by interacting with computer programmes and software specific to each subject. As they learn at their own pace using these specialised programmes, their ability to correctly answer practice questions will be monitored. Every correct and incorrect response is tracked to form a student’s computational profile of his strengths and areas of improvement.

This capability of being able to keep track of what areas a student may need help with is particularly useful to educators. The more mistakes a child makes, the higher the chances of him struggling to keep up with newer concepts and topics. This also increases the likelihood of a student failing the subject and at risk of potentially not moving up an academic level. Teachers may often find themselves struggling to keep track of every single student’s academic performance. But with artificial intelligence, the process of individual tracking is much easier.

A.I. can help identify by detecting anomalies during the learning process

Apart from monitoring the frequency of mistakes, artificial intelligence programmes can also alert teachers to deviations from the normal learning process. For instance, there are situations where some students may see fluctuations in their academic performance. Others may even see a sudden drop in their academic standing. These are just some examples of events that do not conform to the expected outcome of students achieving better grades over time. After all, consistent exposure and revision of concepts should boost the individual’s ability to answer questions about them.

Many artificial intelligence programmes are built to detect such anomalies. These early warning signs can help teachers identify students that may need extra help in understanding key concepts. Other external factors that may attribute to the sudden changes in academic performance can also be identified with the appropriate intervention methods to help the child perform better.

A.I. can help identify by predicting how students will fare academically in the future

The more frequently students get to interact with educational artificial intelligence programmes, the more information these systems have about their learning outcomes. Generally, with artificial intelligence software, students start by learning about a concept and will only be able to proceed to the next one after mastering it. Over time, the system will be able to form profiles detailing the skills they have acquired and which ones need more practice.

Armed with this information, the system is able to make forecasts about an individual’s proficiency in a subject. If a student has never had problems with physics, artificial intelligence will predict that he will not encounter difficulties tackling questions regarding the subject. On the other hand, a student who has had difficulty grasping a concept such as algebra for example, is more likely to have difficulty solving such questions during tests and examinations. The probability of him making mistakes for this topic will also be considerably higher. Arguably, a teacher would be able to make such predictions, but they have to juggle between teaching many students alongside other work such as the preparation of course materials. With artificial intelligence, educators can now confirm these forecasts with greater statistical accuracy instead of second-guessing.

Although artificial intelligence is more commonly known to help students master skills at their own pace and time, this technology can also go a long way in identifying dispirited individuals. Rather than letting them struggle alone, when used to its full potential, A.I. can help teachers recognise those who need more help. By addressing these issues earlier, educators can lay a more solid foundation to help these children excel in the future.

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