Integrating AI Technology in Education for Innovative Learning Experiences

BY:  Rebecca Herson
June 4, 2024
14 MIN. READING

Table of Contents

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have brought a wave of useful tools that are revolutionizing many fields, including education. AI-powered platforms, chatbots, and tools are revolutionizing every kind of learning situation, including high schools, university education, business learning and development (L&D), and more. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of AI technology in education, explore ways to implement AI in university and other educational settings, and share some real life use success stories where AI makes a difference to learning experiences. 

What is AI technology in Education?

AI technology in education refers to integrating AI tools within the teaching and learning process, to enhance the experience both for students and for those teaching, coaching, or supporting them. 

AI tech in education covers a number of different applications and use cases, including personalized learning platforms, automated grading systems, full virtual reality (VR) simulations, and AI avatars that serve as tutors. Advances in conversational AI in education mean that AI personas can hold realistic conversations with students, where students use natural language to ask and answer questions, practice skills, and rehearse situations. 

Advantages of Using AI Technology in Education

AI educational technology makes it possible to deliver tailored learning experiences, optimize teaching methodologies, and automate administrative tasks. With AI, students gain a more effective learning experience, educational institutions cut costs, and teachers are freed to focus on their central task of guiding students. 

Personalized Learning Experience

Traditional educational methods like frontal classroom teaching are usually generic. It’s rarely possible for a teacher to adapt their lessons according to the needs of each student. But AI tools analyze student data and behavior to deliver personalized recommendations and adaptive learning paths that match each individual’s learning method and speed. 

What’s more, AI-powered platforms like Second Nature provide timely and consistent feedback that helps students improve, and they are always available. Students can practice skills, ask questions, and review material with a supportive tutor at any time of the day or night, and receive the guidance they need to hone their capabilities.

Gamification of the Learning Process

Students are used to the fast pace of the digital world, so in comparison traditional learning methods may seem slow or uninteresting. But by including AI in education, it’s possible to jazz up even the driest subject. AI-powered gamification includes dynamic leaderboards that foster a sense of friendly rivalry and encourage students to practice more so that they can improve their standing. 

Exciting audio and impressive visuals also make learning experiences more enjoyable. Some AI educational tools can even deliver interactive, video-game-like learning sessions that are fun and engaging. 

Improved Student Engagement and Performance

It’s not surprising that exciting and fun AI-powered learning sessions drive up student engagement. Because AI educational tools like Second Nature are always available, enjoyable, and provide a safe, judgment-free space to make mistakes, students generally practice and review more often, which naturally leads to faster improvements in their performance. 

Additionally, AI educational platforms enable active learning, which helps students to learn new material faster and retain knowledge for longer. They also deliver objective feedback that students can trust, which helps learners understand their mistakes and grasp how to correct them much more quickly. 

AI conversation feedback

Cost-Effectiveness of AI tools

AI educational tools also bring many cost benefits. By automating administrative tasks such as grading, scheduling, and data management, AI reduces manual labor costs and frees up educators’ time for more meaningful interactions with students. AI teaching platforms can scale quickly and easily to accommodate large numbers of students while still providing personalized instruction, minimizing the need for additional teaching staff. 

AI learning platforms like Second Nature also offer fast, simple, and low-cost processes for developing and launching new sessions and different types of learning experiences. This makes it possible for educational institutions to produce new materials and roll out new courses much more quickly, while cutting the cost of curriculum development. In many cases these AI-driven courses can replace traditional textbooks. 

Last but not least, AI educational tools can save money by spotting inefficiencies in learning practices, streamlining processes, and improving resource allocation. 

How to implement AI technology in Education

There are many ways that AI technology can be implemented in educational settings. It’s suitable for high schools, university education, business onboarding, and ongoing professional development offered by companies. With AI, it’s possible to offer personalized learning to all students, so each one can proceed at their own pace. 

AI tools also add value to a number of different types of learning programs. For example:

  • Sales reps in companies can use AI to practice sales conversations, discovery calls, cold calls, and more
  • Business students can use AI to rehearse pitching their business ideas
  • Companies can use an AI platform to guide new hires through onboarding and ensure they understand the company’s messaging, value proposition, and product/service range
  • Managers can use AI to practice conducting difficult conversations with employees, like evaluations, warnings, or terminations
  • Language students can use AI personas to strengthen their spoken language skills by holding natural conversations about different topics
  • Call centers use AI conversations to practice scripted selling (transactional selling) 

AI platforms can also be used in a number of different disciplines as an alternative form of assessment. It’s particularly well suited to testing any kind of oral skills, like sales, business, or language, but educators can offer an oral assessment for students in many fields of study. 

Last but not least, AI platforms can assist educational institutions with recruitment and intake. Offering AI tools as part of your courses can give universities and schools an edge when it comes to attracting new students. AI-powered tools can also help filter through a mass of applications, and conduct initial interviews to help narrow down the 

Conversational AI: Success Stories

Xavier University of Louisiana 

The Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), a  historically black college in New Orleans, LA, incorporates Second Nature in its popular course in selling skills. Students use Second Nature to practice sales pitches and prepare for an annual inter-college sales competition. XULA students reached the semi-final round of the competition for the first time after working with Second Nature. 66% said that Second Nature made them more effective salespeople, and 85% valued the instant feedback they receive from the platform. 

University of Houston 

The University of Houston’s Bauer School of Business started using Second Nature as part of its MARK3337-Professional Selling Classes. 1,300 students take this course each semester, each one practicing four different types of sales conversation. It’s highly challenging for professors, lecturers, and teaching assistants to review and score all their role plays. Second Nature eases the burden by taking over assessment, freeing Bauer’s staff for other tasks. 

University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire integrated Second Nature as part of its courses on selling skills. It offers Second Nature for students to practice sales role plays for their sales competitions, and within its Intro to Sales classes for students to gain sales skills in a safe space. 

Utah State University

The Huntsman Sales Academy at the University of Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is implementing Second Nature for participants in its undergraduate Sales Business class. University of Utah students can use the platform to practice their positioning, discovery calls, and sales presentations. Staff also use Second Nature as a way to assess student progress, and as part of a research grant,one of the university’s lecturers is assessing the value of role play technology in sales education. 

University of Colorado Leeds School of Business

At the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, Second Nature is offered to students on the Business Minor Capstone and Foundations of Marketing courses. Students use Second Nature to practice sales pitches and to rehearse presenting their business ideas. 

Elon University

Elon University includes Second Nature as part of the tools available to its business students. Elon students can use the platform to learn the fundamentals of a successful sales call. 

Israel Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education has implemented Second Nature in elementary schools to supplement English language instruction. As one teacher expressed “It is every teacher’s dream to have such an option to help their students practice and monitor their performance.”

Second Nature Solution for Education

Second Nature offers an excellent way for educational institutions to incorporate AI into their offering, using conversational AI to power realistic personas who conduct authentic interactions with users. Every AI persona is knowledge and supportive, empowering students to practice skills, gain confidence, and improve their performance. 

Its AI-powered personas serve as coaches who deliver personalized and timely feedback, while providing a safe, judgment-free space where learners can test their skills and make mistakes without fear of embarrassment. The platform enables active learning through natural conversations, with multi-language support and dynamic leaderboards to add motivation. 

Second Nature’s learning sessions are available at any time, so students can practice their skills whenever it’s convenient for them. Preparing a new session takes just minutes with the intuitive editor, allowing universities, businesses, and schools to create new lessons, add topics, and increase their portfolio of learning experiences at will. 

AI Has Much to Offer Educational Experiences

There are many ways to take advantage of the capabilities of AI technology in education, whether that’s university courses, business L&D experiences, or other situations. Educational providers who implement AI benefit from lower costs, higher quality educational experiences, and more engaged students. AI tools like Second Nature are already powering more effective and enjoyable learning experiences, and more features and capabilities are being developed all the time. It’s an excellent time to try out AI for your educational needs. 

FAQs

  • What are the challenges associated with implementing AI technology in universities?

Although AI can bring many benefits to university education, there are also a number of challenges in implementing it. Security and privacy are always concerns around AI tools, as are ethical issues regarding bias in algorithms and decision-making. Universities may need to invest in updating infrastructure to support AI technology, training faculty and staff to effectively utilize AI tools, and adapting traditional educational models to accommodate AI-driven teaching methods. 

  • How can AI enhance learning experiences within a university setting?

In a university setting, AI can personalize education to meet individual student needs, providing adaptive learning platforms that adjust content and pace based on student progress. With AI, universities can offer virtual tutors or chatbots for immediate assistance, and even enable immersive experiences to teach complex subjects through simulations and virtual reality. 

Additionally, AI can automate administrative tasks to free up faculty time for more interactive teaching, enabling staff to give more attention to each student. Finally, AI-powered data-driven insights into student performance can inform university decision-making, improve resource allocation, and help generate more enjoyable and effective learning experiences. 

  • How do students perceive the use of AI in their university education?

When introduced effectively, with sufficient guidance and training, students are extremely positive about the use of AI in their university experiences. Today’s students are digital natives who view AI as cutting edge and a cool way to learn. They are comfortable interacting with digital personas and learning through screens, and they value the timely feedback, objective assessments, and constant availability that AI delivers. 

  • How difficult is it to use AI in education?

It depends on which solution you use, but when you choose the right platform it’s easy to apply AI in education. For example, Second Nature’s conversational AI solution has a user-friendly editor that makes it simple to create new simulations and educational learning experiences. 

All you need to do is upload a PDF text, audio recording, or URL with information about the topic, choose a template from the extensive template library, and request a simulation. It just takes a couple of minutes to get a ready-to-use session for students to practice conversations for sales, business, or management situations, or rehearse interactions in the language they are learning. 

 

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About the author

Rebecca Herson

Rebecca is head of marketing at Second Nature.

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