The intent is to help educators gather real-time-data about how students are learning and how teachers should personalise teaching.
The Centre for Human-Applied Reasoning and the Internet of Things (CHARIOT), the project, is a new partnership between the Rossier School of Education and the Viterbi School of Engineering of the USC. The project CHARIOT will be co-directed by Kenneth Yates, professor of clinical education.
Rao N Machiraju, an IT industry veteran with long stint in Apple, promoting start-ups will be the executive-in-residence at the Rossier School and Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Ming Hsieh Fellow and professor of electrical engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering will play a key role.
A major technology intervention that the Center wants to use is the Internet of Things (IoT) which is a connected network of sensing devices, such as the now familiar wristbands that record how far someone walks and their heart rate. Data from such sensors can be used for providing just in time learning interventions.
If sensor measurements are carefully correlated with more traditional assessments of student learning, it would enable teachers to know which students need help, when, what type and possibly also give feedback and suggestions to individual students about what they could be doing to enhance their learning.
Scope in India
The project could hold some promise for India, especially since the number of engineering colleges run into over a 1000 plus, with more than half of them in the Southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. A good number of the students are also heading to US universities annually. The University Provost Michael Quick said in release “By bringing big data, engineering and artificial intelligence principles to bear on something like personalized education is going to have a transformational impact.”
In several advanced nations, education technology is dominating classrooms. However, educators haven’t always been able to make sure it’s making a difference. The new centre at the USC will attempt to make that technology more informative for personalized learning and instruction.
“Advances in personalised learning” is one of the “14 Grand Challenges for Engineering”, according to the Washington-based National Academy of Engineering.