Innovation & Technology

How we improved our teaching experience: Coursalytics x Alma partnership3 min read

December 28, 2023 3 min read


How we improved our teaching experience: Coursalytics x Alma partnership3 min read

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Imagine a classroom where each student receives personalized attention while the educator’s wisdom is enhanced by artificial intelligence. Also, the educator is relaxed and happy because they didn’t have to spend endless hours grading papers. Wouldn’t it be nice to focus on helping students achieve their dreams as opposed to controlling and reporting?

Turns out it is not a distant dream but a tangible reality with a new Alma AI teaching assistant. When first introduced to this technology, skepticism was my initial reaction. However, Alma’s ability to replicate human-like interactions and provide tailored responses quickly turned skepticism into awe. We are witnessing a new horizon in educational methodology, no less.

Application in Diverse Educational Settings

As a teaching assistant, Alma is capable of replicating almost any experience a real-world teaching assistant could offer students in your class. We first tried Alma for a short course onboarding in a mixed classroom with students ranging from high school prodigies to seasoned PhD candidates and serial entrepreneurs with MBAs. Getting to know your students helps a lot, but will we ever have enough time to have a meaningful conversation with every student in a 30-people classroom? Surveys, essays, and placement tests only allow you to scratch the surface, while interviews with teaching assistants often take too much time and/or budgeting.

An AI-powered instructor replica interviewed every participant adapting to each student’s unique story while collecting and organizing all the necessary information. Students felt understood, their backgrounds and experiences valued while the instructors got all the structured information in no time. When it proved just as efficient in preparing students for case study discussions, post-exercise individual reflection, negotiation simulations, and whatnot, we started using Alma in all our programs.

Enhanced Student Engagement and Immediate Feedback

Testing AI teaching assistants with various corporate clients proved it works equally well with young and mid-aged geeks from tech companies and established CEOs and business owners. An IMD leadership professor used it for negotiations preparation for a Young Presidents Organization classroom, a change management professor from NYU used it as a coach for corporate students, while an ex-Google product manager used it for guiding corporate learners through a hands-on home assignment exercise.

The true test of any educational tool is its impact on student engagement. With Alma’s AI, engagement wasn’t just enhanced; it was redefined. During case study preparations, the AI facilitated discussions, moving beyond the confines of rote learning to a dynamic exchange of ideas. Its immediate feedback ensured that learning was not just about memorization but understanding, a crucial shift in educational paradigms.

The overwhelming preference of students for AI interaction over traditional methods was a testament to its effectiveness. When offered a choice, students unanimously chose an AI-driven chat for reflection exercises over conventional written submissions. This choice echoed a larger sentiment in modern education: the yearning for interactive, responsive, and personalized learning experiences.

Ongoing Pilots and Measurable Outcomes

While empirical data from ongoing pilots taking place at various leading universities across the globe are still in the early stages, the initial indicators are promising. Student and faculty feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, a clear sign that we are on the brink of a major educational shift. The pedagogical impacts, though yet to be fully measured, are anticipated to be significant.

As we stand at the crossroads of education and technology, it’s clear that AI is not just a tool but a catalyst for change. The future of education, as shaped by innovations like Alma’s AI assistant, promises a landscape where learning is personalized, empathetic, and, most importantly, effective. For educators and learners alike, this is not just an opportunity but a call to action – to embrace change and be part of a learning revolution.

I am always happy to compare notes! Please reach out on LinkedIn to chat about using AI in education.