Dec. 5, 2019


Abdul Rehman Shaikh

Saudi Arabia

Abdul Rehman Shaikh

Vice President, Education e-Solutions

“Embedding AI into teaching curricula through supervised and unsupervised learning and incorporating AI technologies within learning environments are two essential steps to empower stakeholders in the education sector.”

BIO

Abdul Rehman is currently working with Education e-Solutions company in the immersive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence(AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain with a focus on Education and Training. He currently manages the overall company operations and investments in various areas. He is an advisor and a technical architect for Big Innovation Centre where he works to enhance business and lead in technical collaborations. He worked earlier as Head of Professional Services and Principal Consultant with Edutech and have 20+ years of total experience and playing a strategic role leading the Learning Solutions – Professional Services for the Academic segment managing various teams from Pre-Sales, Project Implementation, and Support. He brings more almost two decades of rich experience working in an academic setting especially with Higher Education since 1999 in the Middle-East. He is qualified as MSc in Computer Information Systems from University of Wales,UK and has plans as part of his Doctorate to conduct research in topics such as “NextGen LMS." He has joined Edutech-Blackboard Partner in the Middle-East as “Blackboard-SME" with having 10+ year experience in Blackboard products such Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Outcomes, and Blackboard Analytics.

What is the role of AI in education, and what are the future skills that are associated with AI?

In recent years, we have seen the adoption of AI applications, especially in the segment of computer vision, voice recognition, translations, and medicine. Today, education is the next sector bound to be redefined by AI. This is true especially through the adoption of machine learning (ML), which further branches out to supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning. While the first two categories are tackled through the provision of preventive and corrective interventions, respectively, reinforcement learning, on the other hand, works on concept of a dynamic path based on rewards, learning tasks, and skills achievements. As such, the progressive and comprehensive nature of AI requires a different set of skills to be developed in order to be able to contribute to its development, adjust in the job market, and live fully and comfortably. These three types of skills correspond to three equal levels of knowledge of AI per se, but they all assume a certain basic degree of understanding of the matter to embrace the modern era ahead of us.

What are the key aspects students will encounter in an AI-dominated higher education program?

The benefits of AI and its impacts on the student experience across higher education are multiple, but perhaps they could be summed up into seven points." The benefits of AI and its impacts on the student experience across higher education are multiple, but perhaps they could be summed up into seven points. First of all, AI will change student lives by providing deep insights into academics and extra-curricular activities. Second, it will help students grow through expanded peer and social learning. Third, it will give prominence to awards and rewards since AI is becoming a growth enabler for success. Moreover, it will help students complete pre-requisites more easily as it acts as post-class tutor. It will also improve the processes of routine tasks and operations such as assignments and syllabus progression. AI will also allow for the integration of added-value practices such as institutionalizing student-led weekly or monthly class summaries and delivering lessons more seamlessly with real-time transcriptions in major languages. Finally, it will be used comprehensively across the accreditation, graduation and recruitment sphere, simplifying processes and increasing objectivity in making decisions. For these reasons, embedding AI into teaching curricula through supervised and unsupervised learning and incorporating AI technologies within learning environments are two essential steps to empower stakeholders in the education sector.

How do you expect the relationship between teachers and students to evolve in the medium term?

Rather than a threat to the teaching body, AI represents a great tool for teachers to harness and engage with as they work toward the development of their students. In this sense, AI will not replace teachers, but will connect teachers and students making learning more relevant and authentic. Students will be able to connect with AI as a companion that will provide feedback them, track them against other peers to have a clear path of their progress. AI will also provide personalized tutoring to reinforce skills or master ideas before an exam, providing students with the dynamic set of learning tools they will need for college success. Grading and academic advising can also be highly improved with AI, as it will allow students to be assessed through an automated system based on Rubrics for standardization processes and improve access to feedback and counseling through chatbots.

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