Liang, Chen (Pennsylvania State University) | Wang, Shuting (Pennsylvania State University) | Wu, Zhaohui (Pennsylvania State University) | Williams, Kyle (Pennsylvania State University) | Pursel, Bart (Pennsylvania State University) | Brautigam, Benjamin (Pennsylvania State University) | Saul, Sherwyn (Pennsylvania State University) | Williams, Hannah (Pennsylvania State University) | Bowen, Kyle (Pennsylvania State University) | Giles, C. Lee (Pennsylvania State University)
We demonstrate BBookX, a novel system that auto-matically builds in collaboration with a user online openbooks by searching open educational resources (OER).This system explores the use of retrieval technologies todynamically generate zero-cost materials such as text-books for personalized learning.
Higher education institutions share a goal of making learning more accessible to all students. To meet this goal many colleges and universities, including UMass Amherst, have adopted the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in an effort to design curriculum to serve all learners, regardless of ability, disability, age, gender or background. Modern technologies often play a supporting role in UDL, providing students with multiple modalities such as video, audio, and text. While these technologies can make implementing UDL easier, they can also be costly. Beginning with the Fall 2018 term, an interdisciplinary team of academic technologists, instructional designers, and instructors at UMass Amherst started exploring how classroom video and Echo360's new automated speech recognition (ASR) technology can create a pathway to cost-effective, scalable captioning that can improve accessibility and support universal design.
New tools designed to help institutions meet accessibility requirements stand to personalize learning for all students. Artificial intelligence (AI) has seeped into almost every corner of higher education, popping up in the classroom, administrative offices, and even in dorm rooms and on campus grounds -- all with the promise to streamline tasks and create a more personalized college experience for students. Among them, by scanning class materials for accessibility issues, improving learning tools for students with disabilities and offering personalized resources for learners who may need additional support, such as those who speak English as a second language. AI stands to open the door to levels of accessibility that weren't possible before, and its effects extend to the entire student body. "So many of the barriers that are in the (college) environment are due to technology," said Cynthia Curry, director of the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning.
For decades, textbooks were seen as the foundation for instruction in American schools. These discipline-specific tomes were a fundamental part of the educational infrastructure, assigned to students for each subject and carried in heavy backpacks every day – from home to school and back again. The experience of students is much different today. As a scholar of learning technologies and a director for outreach and engagement at Ohio State's College of Education and Human Ecology, we've seen how technological advances and an increase in digital curriculum materials have hastened the move away from textbooks. Does all of this technology spell the end of traditional textbooks?
Competition is fierce and expectations are high. You have to stay on top of classes, reading lists, essays, group assignments, research interviews, and exam preparation. Because of all this pressure, it's no surprise that many students are turning to technology to keep up, save time, and create an edge for themselves. Around 96 percent of undergraduates own a cell phone, and they don't just use them to text and check their social media feeds. As a student, I'm always looking for ways to get ahead in class, and now that I'm a senior I'm excited to share the tools that have helped me with students looking to get a fresh start this semester.