Innovate e-Learning through the use of neural networks?


One of my sons studies artificial intelligence, he is in his second year now. Recently they organized a parent’s day. We got a tour of the university grounds and we got some colleges they normally give to freshman. I really enjoyed it. One of the things I picked up was a better understanding of ‘Neural networks’ and how you can teach them to recognize patterns.

I believe we have to make e-Learning smarter, we need to move away from the ‘page turners’ and move more and more to learning that adapts to the learners needs. Neural networks might be able to help us in that direction.

The basis is simple. You have software that works like a human neural network. It contains a number of neurons that can calculate outcomes (such as recognition of patterns). By telling the network which outcome was the best you ‘award’ that outcome. By doing this over and over you train the software in recognizing the patterns. It’s a bit like the ‘survival of the fittest.

For those interested in more detail, click the image for more information on neural networks.

If we can put this in practice for learning it would be very exiting. By analyzing profile data and the learning path information we can offer learning paths to the learner that were followed by people like you and we can connect you to them.

The biggest challenge as I understand it, is that you need a lot of data to come to a useful outcome, this limits the application of this technique. I don’t know if anybody is already working in this direction, please contact me. I’m very interested. We (easygenerator) will certainly do some research in this direction. I don’t know if there are any chances of success, but we will learn a lot, that’s for sure.

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