measuring online students competencies
measuring online students competencies
Edulai is an Educational Technology tool aimed at monitoring and measuring online students' skills and competencies while suggesting students useful content for improving those skills in which they are weak.
Edulai comes from the idea of Lucilla Crosta, Smarthink CEO and Co-funder, that the use of technology in education can be done with a female lens while helping online adult students to have a more equal online education WorldWide for all.
Edulai is based on the use of Artificial Intelligence that can be defined as an area of computer science related to the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. For example computers or software programs designed with artificial intelligence can recognize speech, learn from user’s behavior, make suggestions useful to users and aligned with their preferences.
Lucilla likes researching and teaching online adult students and she believes that a more equal and effective online learning is possible since “online learning is not less than face-fo-face”. The development of Edulai recalls a “competencies based education” system recently highlighted by the Competency based education network (CBEN) and Educause and on the idea of “formative, summative and sustainable assessments”(Boud & Soler, 2016) since she believes that technology per se cannot really make a difference if not based on a strong pedagogical framework that supports it.
Lucilla has also embraced Vygotsky theory of “Zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky, Lloyd, & Fernyhough, 1999, Kozulin, Gindis, Ageyev and Miller, 2003). arguing that, there is always in any student, a potential area of development that the student can reach with the help of the more experience student or teacher,
Edulai is different from other Educational Technology tools because it is able, in different moments in time, to detect the degree of development of students’ specific skills and competencies while learning online. Edulai can also recommend new useful content to each student for improving their skills. Edulai can also be of support of teacher who could monitor each student progress and help him/her accordingly. Higher Education institutions are starting considering more students' skills development than before inside the curriculum (Pitan, 2016; Silva, Lourtie, Aires, 2013; Fizmaurice, 2010).
Because there is not yet an Intelligent System that can both help students identifying their competencies development and help teachers monitor their students’ competencies with such level of details. Moreover Edulai as a recommendation system suggests also new high quality resources, to students in order to enhance further their competencies.
Lucilla has designed for Edulai a Triangulated Assessment Framework (TAF) TM. This means that online students’ competencies development will be detected in different moments in time, through the combination of 3 types of assessment:
- The faculty online assessment;
- The student online self-assessment;
- The System online assessment.
Lucilla's believes that this can contribute to a more "democractic" assessment process in which assessment itself is shared by 3 key actors and not owned only by one of them. This process can also help the students to plan for more long-term goals and to avoid them to drop out.
Edulai can be integrated inside the institution existing e-learning platform and it has have the following type of functionalities:
1) Searching and recommendation for new resources
2) Identifying and measuring students’ level of competencies and skills development
Both students and teachers can access analytics collecting data on students' behaviors, tasks, discussions and performance. This can help identifying and measuring competencies such as:
- Ability to construct new knowledge with others;
- Ability to perform peer review together with fellow students;
- Ability to collaborate within a group;
- Ability to write critically;
- Ability to solve problems.
Competencies development area will be also accessible by the student through a Mobile App.
3) Recommending content to students according with their learning needs
According with the degree of development of each student’s competency Edulai will suggest a range of new resources in order to help the students developing their competencies. This activity will support at the same time the work of the teacher.
Edulai development started on October 2017. We are currently collecting data on if, what and how people would like the tool to be implemented and we are are seeking Higher Education, Adult Education and Vocational Training institutions interested to be involved in the project for testing the tool "in context". If you are one of the above institution based in US, Canada UK or Australia and would like to be part of our project or partnering with us, please contact Lucilla crosta at email@example.com and we will be happy to discuss this together. Thank you!