Session highlights

We have an opportunity to move away from the factory model classroom. The Industrial Revolution gave us more of a one-size-fits-all approach. But with AI, we have the chance to shape more active, flexible, collaborative and individualised programmes.” Professor Dr Jernej Pikalo, Professor of Political Science, University of Ljubljana

  • Artificial Intelligence isn’t something that will arrive in future. It is here now, being used in chatbots, and virtual assistants. It’s also being trialled for grading assessments and making university offers. Jisc’s Jonathan Baldwin told delegates to expect it to be used more in the future, for dialogue-based tutorials, collaborative learning, recommendation engines, and AI-assisted content creation. He added that widespread adoption in education would be “relatively slow”, but that it could start to accelerate if a few forward-thinking university groups began to use it for interesting projects.
  • The University of Ljubljana’s Professor Dr Jernej Pikalo said AI would not replace the “richness” of human interaction in the teaching process. But he said that AI could help to relieve some of the administrative burden. He added it was vital that universities stayed on top of the process, so they could provide students with the skills and awareness employers would demand in future. He also stressed that it was important to ensure that algorithms were “ethical”, and did not make biases or current issues worse. 

Session summary

This panel discussion will pose challenging questions about the potential impacts of Klaus Schwab's 4th Industrial Revolution (the pervasive internet, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning) on learning and teaching as we move into a post-pandemic world.

Jonathan Baldwin from Jisc will begin the session by providing an overview of some of the key findings from a 2020 research study involving students, teachers and leaders on the reimaging of learning and teaching. He will focus on how AI and augmented reality might challenge the traditional importance of campus learning in the near future, including insights from Jisc's new centre focused on AI.

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-chancellor of Solent University, will then provide a practical perspective through a case study showcasing how AI is beginning to transform the delivery of education and training within the maritime sector and bringing significant and unprecedented changes to both how maritime studies is taught, and how students learn.

Prof. Dr Jernej Pikalo from the University of Ljubljana, and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Science and Sport in Slovenia, will conclude by assessing the implications of the use of AI on education and skills policy, and asking how universities could, and should, prepare students for the jobs of the future. He will consider whether introducing AI in HE necessarily means that curricula will be more technological and less focused on ethics and developing human-centric skills.

The session will encourage interaction throughout via regular polling, photo-elicitation, Q&A, and discussion using the chat function. Participants will be able to take away valuable insights about the future of learning and teaching and will be encouraged to consider what their institutions might need to do to respond to the challenges and opportunities created by technological change and the 4th Industrial Revolution.