Students from the University of Michigan Suggest Using IBM Watson on edX Discussion Boards

Students from the University of Michigan brainstormed this month with edX leaders on how to improve the Open edX platform.

One of the ideas was based on using “bots” and systems of artificial intelligence to keep up with the magnitude and speed of questions that might come into an edX course.

More specifically, it was suggested the idea of using the IBM Watson (an artificial intelligence system) to be on the discussion boards, answering questions, in order to get speedy responses. “When you post something and nobody answers it, it’s really lonely, and there you are, with 50,000 people. It’s horrible to be lonely with 50,000 people,” explained Noni Korf, the director of the University’s Digital Education and Innovation Lab.

Students also proposed a tiered system for finding previously asked questions in the discussion boards as well as a rich-search feature for unit modules.

Regarding the use of augmented intelligence technologies, Pearson showed during the SXSW show how IBM Watson has started to provide rich, data-driven decision-support for instructors so they can personalize learning for more students, Michael Amigot reports.