Content - Session II: The Role of Digital Technologies in Learning and Education

The Role of Digital Technologies in Learning and Education

Session abstract

Digital technologies have a relatively long history in the field of learning and education. From the 1970's onward, intelligent tutoring systems have been an active Artificial Intelligence research and implementation field to facilitate student learning. In the learning sciences, interest in Artificial Intelligence approaches faded a bit in the 1990's when classical, rule-based solutions of tutoring systems ran into some problems. However, the last 15 years led to a renewed interest in Artificial Intelligence in Education, as new methods were deployed that were built on making inferences from large data-sets (educational data mining, learning analytics). Research on the role of digital technologies in learning and education has always been a multidisciplinary endeavor, combining findings from computer science, engineering, cognitive science, psychology, education, and neuroscience. Therefore, it is vital to bring together experts on the understanding of the working of the human mind with experts on the understanding of technological systems.

In line with this idea, this session will introduce, explore, and deepen both the human and the technological facets of the use of digital technologies in learning and education. Four input talks will provide insights into how social scientists and computer scientists approach the field, and the findings and suggestions made in these talks will be commented on by two leading experts in the field. Later, a moderated discussion on digital technologies in learning and education will focus on the potentials and potential challenges that these developments will bring about. This part of the session will be interactive, as questions and comments from the audience are integrated into the discussion. This symposium can also be seen as an activity of the GLOBAL LEARNING COUNCIL as we partly continue discussions which are routed in a meeting of the two chairs in 2016 in the Shaw Foundation Alumni House of the National University of Singapore during the 2nd GLOBAL LEARNING COUNCIL MEETING AND SYMPOSIUM about “Technology-Enhanced Learning in Asia: Promises and Challenges”.

The Role of the Ontological Engineering in Learning & Education
Prof. Dr. Mitsuru Ikeda

The higher-order thinking/learning, meta-cognitive skill, self-regulation skill, critical thinking skill, and experiential learning, and so on, are considered as important educational goals for our knowledge-based society. The digital technologies innovation in learning and education is the key to meet the society needs. Although the most promising innovation will be created by the big data technology in learning analytics, it will face the difficulties to reach a deep understanding of higher-order thinking/learning behavior. The ontology will act as a good grounding for multidisciplinary researchers to implement/unify their ideas to create the innovation. This talk will show our approach to higher-order thinking/learning and seek for the new way of the collaboration in learning and education technologies research.

Learning Needs Heterogeneity & Irritation
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Cress

Humans have a natural tendency to confirm their already existing views. Therefore, learning needs situations where people are confronted with arguments and viewpoints that differ to their own ones. So learning needs heterogeneity and irritation. This is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for learning. People also need to be forced/motivated to process this new information and link it to their own knowledge. Research has shown that there is an optimal level of incongruity and heterogeneity that enables this integration. Artificial Intelligence best supports learning when it provides such optimal situations of novelty, surprise and contradiction.

From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Sociality in Learning & Education
Dr. Jürgen Buder

Learning and education are social activities in more than one way. Learning often involves interpersonal interaction with others (teachers, parents, superiors, peers), but even in cases without interpersonal contact (reading a textbook, preparing a talk, monitoring one’s grades) social factors like persuasion, power, impression management, social comparisons come into play. Artificial Intelligence in education has made great progress in diagnosing cognitive performance of learners (educational data mining, learning analytics) and in teaching (adaptive teaching, cognitive tutors, smart content creation). However, AI developments are relatively ill-equipped with regard to the social realm – both with regard to diagnosis (of attitudes, identities, patterns of influence) and agency (persuasion, power, justice). The talk will explore how the development of analytics, agents, and robots can benefit from social psychological findings, arguing that we will have to move from Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Sociality to fully harness the powers of digital technologies.

Toward Evidence-Driven Education through User-Centered Learning Analytics
Prof. Dr. Hiroaki Ogata

Recently, digital technologies (i.e., e-books) have been widely introduced to schools in many countries. However, very little attention was paid to the analysis of learning and teaching activities logs through using the technologies, although it is very important to investigate how these logs can be used to improve the quality of learning and education. Also, the log data is very important for providing personalized support for learning and teaching by using artificial intelligence. This talk will provide an overview of the “Educational Big Data research project in Japan." This project proposes an information infrastructure for user-centered learning analytics (UCLA), which is much more focusing on personalized feedback to teachers and students. UCLA will be also a platform for evidence-based education by storing and reusing the fact results of the feedback. This talk will show our UCLA platform and initial findings of our project.