In the context of NEOMA's strategy to encourage the development of pedagogical innovation, Laura Trinchera introduced a teaching approach based on AI and gamification and then transformed her Statistics course into a "blended learning" format.
"Blended learning" means that the course is taught both online and in the classroom. The digital component of the course is based on an artificial intelligence technology called ALEKS (https://www.aleks.com/about_aleks) that stands for: "Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces". This artificial intelligence system, developed by McGraw Hill Education, can quickly and accurately determine each student's level that can then be used to provide a fully personalised learning experience.
Artificial intelligence dedicated to student learning
ALEKS assesses the level of each individual student. It knows when and how each student has completed the course and whether they have mastered the topic.
ALEKS also knows if and when a student is ready to go on to a new topic. ALEKS uses this "knowledge" to make learning more efficient and effective by continually offering students a selection of the topics they are only ready to tackle now. This builds the student's learning momentum and confidence.
An instructive IA for the teaching staff
For the teacher, ALEKS can identify the skills students need to master by the end of the course. This is a valuable aid, which allows the learning experience to be organised into logical sequences.
The GBBA Quantitative Methods for Business course is structured as follows: 60% online and 40% traditional classroom setting with the teacher. "The timetable was designed for students to be in class two to three times per week, depending on the complexity of the learning objectives on ALEKS." explains Laura Trinchera, who introduced the use of this teaching method at NEOMA.
Gamification: a path to academic success
"I used gamification techniques to encourage students to work during their online sessions," adds Laura Trinchera. "With this in mind, I organised a competition to reward the students' work on ALEKS".
The competition is separated into two categories:
- The first based on individual success: the student who had mastered the most topics on ALEKS in the shortest amount of time was ranked first.
"Each week, I tweeted and e-mailed the rankings with the best individual and best group on each campus," adds the professor.
- The second category rewarded group success on ALEKS: the group with the highest average number of successful topics relative to the average time spent was the winner.
At the end, two students were awarded a prize. The top student and the student who spent the most time on ALEKS received an award from McGraw-Hill Education, one of the world's leading academic and scientific publishers.
Social networks and "gold stars" to gain buy-in
To motivate the students and get them involved, an updated version of the traditional school "points" system was introduced.
"To create a sense of pride among the students who performed well during the course, I introduced a reward sticker. Stickers were awarded to the best students, who could then stick them on their computers," the professor explains.
In addition, the students were encouraged to use social networks (Facebook and Twitter) to share their progress during the course by tagging the following accounts and hashtags: lautrink; @NEOMAbs; @MHhighered , #MyALEKSPie ; #StatNEOMAbs.
An innovative teaching approach that was really appreciated by the students, as their assessment demonstrates. "They found that AI was used in a positive way and that they had a truly personalised learning experience, " concludes Laura Trinchera.