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How AI Can Help Universities Boost Student Performance And Improve Retention

by Sanjoe Jose, CEO and Co-founder of Talview

Plagued by manual processes and a slow rate of digital transformation, many universities are turning to AI to help them drive efficiency and create an environment that allows students to thrive. In fact, it’s predicted that the AI market within the US education sector will grow by 48% CAGR between 2018-2022.

Armed with AI-powered data insights and automated platforms, higher education institutions see a number of benefits, including improving the admissions process, boosting student retention, automating manual tasks, and improving student experience. Let’s dive deep into the ways in which AI can help universities.

The application process becomes more streamlined.

When leveraging an AI-powered remote application platform, universities have access to a wider talent pool — and thus more top-performing students. This allows them to attract talented students that might have otherwise not been able to go through the application process due to geographical restrictions. With the help of an AI-powered automated tool, universities can also process and interview many more students than was previously possible. Leveraging AI here leads to higher enrollment numbers and provides schools with important data insights into their admissions process.

In addition, AI-enhanced platforms that include video interviews and assessments are more convenient than in-person interactions, eliminate human errors, and reduce the usual hassle of document uploads. All of this makes it much more likely that quality applicants will stay in the pipeline.

What’s more, college recruiting teams can leverage past data and AI algorithms to predict the students that are most likely to be accepted and those who are most likely to progress and graduate.

Machine learning increases students retention.

By leveraging machine learning (ML) algorithms that deliver actionable insights based on historical data, universities can identify the common reasons for dropping out and predict at-risk students. This level of early detection allows for early intervention – subsequently increasing the chances that students will stay in college.

One university that has championed this approach is Ivy Tech Community College. The university successfully used ML to identify students that were struggling, and then provided optimized learning opportunities in order to re-engage and increase performance.

During the first term of using the technology, more than 800 faculty and staff contacted the at-risk students to offer specific advice based on their individual needs, such as the availability of free tutoring. After one midterm, the college’s failure rate had dropped by 3.3%, meaning more than 3,100 more students were passing their classes compared to the same time the previous year.

Automation improves experience.

According to Navitas Ventures’ survey on digital transformation in higher education, which included students, edtech founders, and university leaders, the primary goal of digital transformation is improving student experience. Automation has the potential to play a huge role here.

By automating many administrative processes, such as visa applications, housing selection, and course registration, university staff are able to devote more of their time to providing personalized experiences for students. This extra focus boosts student experience from day one until graduation – resulting in better retention and student performance.

For example, Georgia Institute of Technology deployed an AI-powered chatbot named “Jill Watson” to complete the automatable tasks of teaching assistants, including answering students’ questions on a messaging board. The bot was able to answer 10,000 questions asked by 300 students over the course of a semester with a 97% success rate – something which would have been impossible for a human assistant to keep up with.

By providing crucial answers to students’ queries in record time, Jill was able to free up human teaching assistants to do more meaningful work, such as motivating students and helping them with coursework. More recently, Jill has even been introduced into residential classrooms and customized to train users on an ecology modeling system.

AI-powered exam proctoring allows for remote programs.

The growth in demand for online learning is only set to increase, not least due to the pandemic and its still undetermined effects on education systems across the globe. One way that AI can help universities build out their online learning infrastructure is remote exam proctoring, addressing a well-known obstacle to fair assessment for those taking courses online.

With the help of AI invigilation, automation, and face and voice detection capabilities, universities can ensure high quality reviews of student performance, along with a more convenient and efficient examination experience for exam-takers. No longer forced to deal with various online platforms that don’t integrate, remote students can focus on what matters most: Getting the best grades they can.

Higher education might not be at the forefront of AI adoption, but education leaders are increasingly realizing the potential for AI solutions to provide numerous opportunities for both staff and students. Thanks to AI automation, ML, and proctoring tools, universities can make life — and studying – easier for students, helping them to reach their full potential.

 

Sanjoe Jose, CEO of Talview, is passionate about building technologies that help make hiring faster and easier. Talview is working on cutting-edge AI technology that accelerates the speed of hiring since 2012. Sanjoe is also a well-known speaker in HR Technology, especially in using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-based tools in building world-class teams in organizations. 

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