Home sha How Robots can Influence the Future of Higher Education

How Robots can Influence the Future of Higher Education

Robots are artificially intelligent and have a role to play in improving teaching by providing greater levels of individualised learning. They also provide objective and timely grading, as well as having the ability to identify areas of improvements in degree programmes.

This may very well leave less room for actual humans to carry out the job. And this will no doubt have a major impact on the job description of academics in universities.

For starters, do you think robots can revolutionise university-level teaching and learning? While this technology is still in the developmental phase, it’s possible they may lighten or even replace certain workloads for academics in the future.

We are beaming our searchlight today on how robots can influence the future of higher education in the following ways:

Robots in the Classroom

Most developed countries are using the new technology while others are preparing to adopt it (Robot/AI) for teaching in higher institutions. For example, “Yuki”, the first robot lecturer, was introduced in Germany in 2019. Yuki has already started delivering lectures to university students at The Philipps University of Marburg. The robot acts as a teaching assistant during lectures. He can get a sense of how students are doing academically, and what kind of support they need. He can also have them take tests. Some students have found Yuki useful – despite the fact that he still requires some significant improvements to be fully functional.

Research of the Future

The latest Research Futures report from Elsevier and Ipsos MORI offer interesting revelations. It reveals that the ecosystem will have significant changes in the future thanks to new technologies. That is in terms of open access publishing, funding opportunities and links to the technology industry. The report also suggests that Eastern countries such as China will have an increased focus on research and development.

The speed and volume of research will also change massively. Big data analytics and artificial intelligence will be able to present a large number of findings directly to researchers at a very fast pace. Predictions reveal that there will also be a move towards a more open system in terms of funding, data collection and publishing open access articles.

So for academics, moving towards knowledge creation through research rather than teaching might be the best way for job sustainability. This could mean that for academics, it will become more important than ever to focus on research. And while this could enable academics to use their expertise for the benefit of society, it remains to be seen whether robots can inspire the next generation in the same way.

Higher Education (HE) Institutions Operations

  • HE institutions will have to vigorously compete in the credentialing economy. Adult and younger learners will need to integrate more in their classrooms and curriculums.
  • There’ll be a significant economy for up-skilling. This is due to the need for adult learners to adjust to fast-paced changes in labour demands.
  • Artificial intelligence will replace administrative staff. The newly-available revenue will provide investment opportunities like lower tuition, increased financial aid,  and upgraded facilities. It’ll also provide the development of a new, innovative curriculum for the future economy.

HE Institutions offerings to Students

  • Information transfer is no longer the sole function of HE. Institutions have to create critical thinkers who can problem-solve in a constantly changing work environment.
  • Content is important, but more important is what institutions do with it. Cultivating minds capable of constantly learning is essential for the nurturing of long-term employability. Sometimes many HE institutions under-deliver despite high tuition fees.
  • Holistic education institutions that offer curricula yielding lifelong learners will thrive, while those who do not, won’t. This is one major way robots can influence higher education.

The advances in AI and technology have also provided new methods of generating and communicating results. Research quality is still an important measure of performance, but journal publication plays a diminishing role in determining a researcher’s career progress. Increasingly, research is assessed against agreed societal impact standards,” the report notes.

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