Proposal: The Augmented Tutor

The aim of the project is to develop a piece of educational technology; an 'augmented tutor'. In developing this technology, there are two major components: artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

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Objectives of the research project:

  • Conducting research into the different elements of the system. The research surrounding the user interface will include how to ensure the system retains its users and helps them to learn most effectively and efficiently.
  • The system and user interface will need to be designed, including a tutor character; building on this research.
  • A suitable syllabus to train the system would need to be identified and then an artificial intelligence system could be built. This system should personalise a student’s learning experience by being able to identify related topics and go back to previous topics.
  • Combining these, we would be able to design build a prototype for a system which combines both augmented reality and adaptive hypermedia.
  • The system would need to be tested and trained with data from other educational syllabuses.

Project Summary:

Currently, education is incredibly reliant on a teacher which means that students are limited on the teacher’s knowledge and ability to explain concepts. This can often be restrictive and frustrating for students, especially if they are struggling to understand a concept which other lessons are reliant on.

A hypermedia system is an extension of the hypertext system that also provides multimedia elements such as sound or animation. Hypertext is a system where words or pictures are linked by multiple paths. These systems often do not follow a logical or sequential order making it difficult to locate exactly what you require. Furthermore, these systems aren’t engaging for users. They may find an incredibly long list of search terms and only look at the first few. Consequently, they may miss the search results which are most useful to them.

One solution for this is to use adaptive learning technology, where students’ data is analysed in real-time to personalise the student’s data. Adaptive learning of any kind is becoming increasingly important as students naturally all have different backgrounds, levels of understanding and styles of learning. These systems are designed to automatically adapt to an individual user without being reprogrammed, using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques. Furthermore, there is the possibility for concepts to be linked so that the system can suggest lessons on related concepts or additional explanations that may help a learner to develop their knowledge.

Augmented reality is a technology which enhances the real world by superimposing computer generated media onto a camera generated image. This will be used to implement the user interface of the system. This means that by combining both augmented reality and adaptive hypermedia, there is the potential to create a highly successful educational tool which can be both integrated into the existing system and used separately.

The aim of this project is to research, design and build a prototype for this kind of educational system. It will have a user interface created using augmented reality with a tutor character. This system will be able to automatically direct students through the syllabus, also suggesting previous lessons to deepen a student’s understanding.

 

Amy Laws

Computer Science Student, Durham University

I am a second year Computer Science student at Durham University working on the Augmented Tutor Project. I have been developing an educational system with an augmented reality interface and an artificially intelligent core concept extraction system, in partnership with another student. I am passionate about technology, education and encouraging women in technology.