How Might We Prepare for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Delivery of Higher Education Curricula and Support Services?

Concurrent Session 3
Leadership

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Brief Abstract

In this conversation, Dr. Srba and Dr. Dowden will be joined by experts to discuss the growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in the delivery of higher education curricula and support services. From cognitive tutors or virtual assistants in the online classroom to 24x7 student advising and admissions coaches, to large knowledge databases on educational topics that can assist faculty members in publishing important etexts, AI and machine learning are keys to the transformation of higher education. AI is the next evolution of big data’s use in education. As more institutions develop their capabilities and architecture to obtain more data on their students, mining this data to better serve the student will become the focus of getting students to completion. Yet, the process to “hire” AI and implement it at scale should be guided by thoughtful conversations from administrators, faculty, students, and staff. While the promise of specific AI technology will be discussed, the leadership  required to advance AI enabled strategic change will be a focus of the conversation.

Presenters

Dr. Luke Dowden joined the Alamo Colleges District as its Chief Online Learning Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs in April 2018. Through Alamo Colleges Online, he will lead and support capacity building initiatives at all five Colleges so each may gain a greater market share of online learners in their respective service areas. Prior to joining Alamo Colleges Online, Dr. Dowden founded the Office of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010 and served as its Director for 8 years. Under Dowden's leadership, the Office of Distance Learning earned the 2013 Online Learning Consortium Award for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching. Dowden was honored in 2014 as the inaugural recipient of the Online Learning Consortium Bruce N. Chaloux Award for Early Career Excellence in Online Education. Aside from creating and implementing the university's ULearn faculty professional development for online teaching program, significant achievements under Dowden's leadership include the creation of an electronic course design and certification process, facilitating the development and delivery of 13 new online degree programs, and creation of a suite of instructional technology tools for online course delivery. Prior to joining UL Lafayette, Dowden founded the Division of Accelerated Learning at Bossier Parish Community College. He led creation of 6 online, accelerated degree programs with wrap-around student support services. During this time, the Louisiana Board of Regents tabbed him to found the Center for Adult Learning in Louisiana. As Executive Director of CALL from 2008-2013, he worked primarily with 6 community colleges and regional universities to create and launch over 18 accelerated online degree programs, introduce prior learning assessment policies and strategies, and coordinate marketing the programs statewide to the over 500,000 adults with some college and no degree. He is a past Steering Committee and Executive Council Chair for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). WCET is the leader in the practice, policy, & advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. Dowden earned a bachelor's in History and a master's degrees in Adult Education from Northwestern State University before earning his Doctorate of Education in higher education administration in 2009 (Nova Southeastern University) He is a 2010 Graduate of the Penn State and Online Learning Consortium Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning (IELOL). He also is a member of the graduate faculty in the College of Education at UL Lafayette.
Dr. Karen Srba is the Vice President of Academic & Instructional Technology for American Public University System (APUS). She reports to the President's Chief of Staff. Dr. Srba heads a team of eLearning professionals who design digital, interactive learning content and implements technological strategy for thousands of online courses. Dr.. Srba has over twenty-eight years of experience in systems integration, information security, project management and education. Prior to joining APUS she served as a subject matter expert in project management and was a STEM Innovation Lead and online instructor in Computer Science and Engineering. In addition, Dr. Srba served as a Government Practice Lead and contract manager for over 18 years as a contractor for the Federal Government. She earned her Doctorate Degree in Education Leadership and Management from the University of Pennsylvania and her Master’s Degree in Distance Education Leadership and E-Learning Technology from the University of Maryland University College and an undergraduate degree in Management and Technology from University of Maryland. She also earned several certificates in project management, computer science, engineering, psychology and education.

Extended Abstract

In this conversation, Dr. Srba and Dr. Dowden will be joined by experts to discuss the growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in the delivery of higher education curricula and support services. From cognitive tutors or virtual assistants in the online classroom to 24x7 student advising and admissions coaches, to large knowledge databases on educational topics that can assist faculty members in publishing important etexts, AI and machine learning are keys to the transformation of higher education. AI is the next evolution of big data’s use in education. As more institutions develop their capabilities and architecture to obtain more data on their students, mining this data to better serve the student will become the focus of getting students to completion. Yet, the process to “hire” AI and implement it at scale should be guided by thoughtful conversations from administrators, faculty, students, and staff. While the promise of specific AI technology will be discussed, the leadership  required to advance AI enabled strategic change will be a focus of the conversation.

This panel will bring together innovative educators, technology companies, and researchers in the community who will discuss the state of AI, what can be done with AI, and how it can be integrated into education or has been integrated into education. The value to participants will be the knowledge and take-aways that can be used to develop future strategies and services for students that will enhance learning and student success throughout the educational process.

In this interactive panel discussion, participants will take part in polls, surveys, and the discussion to enhance their understanding of this new field in education that has been taking the commercial world by storm over the last 5 years. Education leaders and administrators will be able to educate themselves on these complex concepts in AI and consider how to apply these concepts to retention, persistence and student completion. Using data smarter and wiser is just one way that higher education needs to transform and this panel discussion will be the start of this journey.