John Domingue from the Open University and President of STI International shared insights on how decentralization, knowledge graphs, and generative AI are transforming adult learning through various experiments at the Open University. With a background in building AI tutors and a long-standing career at the Open University, Domingue emphasized the institution's mission of social justice through education, catering to a diverse and broad student body, including those with disabilities and without formal qualifications.
Domingue highlighted the potential of personalized learning through AI, referencing Bloom's research which showed students taught one-on-one perform significantly better than those in standard classes. He also discussed the importance of decentralized systems for lifelong learning, where blockchain technology could store and manage educational credentials securely and transparently, empowering students to control their own educational data.
At the Open University, efforts towards personalized learning and efficient credential management include:
The development of an AI and blockchain-based platform for credential storage and skill mapping, enabling a trusted data space between learners, credential providers, and employers.
The "dream machine," an AI career coach designed to advise students on career paths by aligning their skills with job market demands.
Content AI for generating dynamic educational materials, using generative AI to assist in the creation of learning activities and assessments, thus saving time and enriching the learning experience.
An AI tutor system that offers personalized learning experiences to students, generating quizzes, flashcards, and providing real-time feedback on their knowledge and understanding.
Domingue also mentioned the integration of advanced tools like CORE GPT for updating course content with the latest research findings and the use of humanlike avatars to create more engaging and interactive learning experiences.
The experiments conducted at the Open University indicate a positive reception from both students and academics, pointing to a future where AI significantly enhances educational productivity, personalizes learning experiences, and ensures the secure and efficient management of educational credentials. Domingue concluded by emphasizing the rapid pace of technological advancements in education and the need for institutions to adapt, experiment, and prepare their staff for these transformative changes.