Smarter Education Group       

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Smarter Education Group - overview


The Education industry is at a tipping point. On the one hand, there are enormous challenges that arise due to large gaps between demand and supply of quality education, misalignment between education and employment, and the one-size-fits-all approach to education that is leading to widespread student disengagement. On the other hand, we are also witnessing the start of a paradigm shift in the use of technology in teaching and learning. Publishers are increasingly going digital, there is much greater use of technology within classrooms, and even outside the school, tablets and other personal devices are making learning an anytime, anywhere activity.

Research Opportunities

These paradigm shifts in the Education industry are also leading to a tremendous amount of electronic data being generated about teaching and learning, about content, methods and outcomes. When harnessed through analytics, these can unlock deep insights to transform our approach to pedagogy and learning and help us move from assembly-line models of education towards a truly personalized approach that motivates and engages learners and teachers.

Research Initiatives at IBM Research India

The Smarter Education group at IBM Research - India is developing a suite of technologies for personalized, adaptive and blended learning. The goal of this initiative is to develop big data, analytics and instrumentation driven techniques to enable personalized education at-scale, improve learning outcomes and ultimately guide students towards successful career pathways.

The key capabilities that are being developed include:

  • Learner Risk Stratification: We group learners into risk cohorts with respect to specific outcomes by generating insights from data-driven analytics of factors such as students' course performance, grade progression, attendance and engagement, socio-economic indicators, disciplinary actions, social/collaborative behavior, learning patterns and teacher effectiveness, to name a few.
  • Content Analytics: We apply deep analytic techniques on content and its usage to annotate content with rich meta-data related to learning concepts, content quality and effectiveness, interaction patterns etc. that help learners and teachers harness large content repositories effectively, and receive targeted recommendations.
  • Personalized Pathways: We recommend and record learner-specific interventions, and continuously learn from past data and outcomes to design more effective pathways for individual learners. A rich, instrumented learning platform (that supports offline and tablet-based learning) provides personalized and adaptive learning support and integrates inside and outside classroom learning and feedback to provide a seamless blended learning experience.

We are also deeply interested in recommeding appropriate career pathways to learners. In particular, we are closely following the national skills intiative in India, and are developing technological solutions to address huge gaps in demand-supply and quality of skills, working with partners and national agencies.

Our research is informed by field studies in both mature and emerging market settings, as well as in-class, blended and distance learning contexts. We work closely with research colleagues across IBM's world-wide labs, as well as leading K-12 and Higher Education institutions, on an exciting research agenda to shape next generation learning methods, tools and platforms, and drive individual and societal success. This is our "moon shot" and we are constantly looking for researchers passionate about Education and technology to come and work with us.

For more information, please contact: Bikram Sengupta (bsengupt@in.ibm.com)