Researchers from the Near Future Teaching Project interviewed students to get their thoughts on automation in teaching, and they had some interesting thoughts:
Here are some of the things they said:
- Robots can’t replace the physical presence of a teacher. Students prefer to have personal contact with a human being.
- We will see a lot more artificial intelligence incorporated into software like the virtual learning environments, tracking the students’ progress and structuring their learning.
- Students might learn the basics of their subjects from AI / robots, and then turn to teachers when they have complex or difficult questions
- AI built into writing software will be able to provide students with instant answers to some of their questions (I think some versions of Microsoft Word already do this)
- Will this lead to advances in human knowledge?
- Academics may be concerned that automation would undermine the basics of their teaching, but could it free more of their time for higher things?
- If some of the pastoral work can be left to automated scripts, this could free up academics to talk to students more about what really matters to them.
- Perhaps we’ve got no choice because students are expecting us to use more and more technology.
- We need technology and humans to work together, so they can complement each other.