FernUniversität in Hagen and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) are cooperating on research into the use of Artificial Intelligence in university education. Within the framework of the focus of research at FernUniversität, “Diversity, digitalisation and lifelong learning”, the two institutions have agreed on a close exchange and consultancy services on current research, development and transfer topics associated. The aim is to identify topics for joint projects. As an initial cooperation project, the “AI.EDU Research Lab” is being set up on the premises of FernUniversität, and will be jointly supported by the Educational Technology Lab of the DFKI, led by Professor Christoph Igel, and the Education Theory and Media Didactics subject area at FernUniversität, led by Professor Claudia de Witt.
Employees of both institutions are working together across disciplines to research and test Artificial Intelligence methods and applications in both studies and teaching at FernUniversität. Machine learning methods and knowledge-based expert systems are being used to assist individual learning and study organisation. “With the DFKI we have won over one of the leading research establishments in the field of Artificial Intelligence”, says the Professor Ada Pellert, Rector of FernUniversität. “The Federal Government has just positioned AI as the central building block of its digitalisation strategy for Germany. We believe that together with the DFKI we can make a substantial contribution here to the university education area.”
Scientist Claudia de Witt adds: “Artificial Intelligence is going to substantially change teaching, studying and the way studies are organised at the university. So we are greatly interested in deploying knowledge-based expert systems and machine learning in university education together with the experienced DFKI. We are also eager to design models for intelligent supporting systems for teaching and learning.” And scientist Christoph Igel reiterates: “With its wide-ranging data from more than 75,000 students, FernUniversität has the potential to become a model institution in the use of AI in studying, teaching and further education in Germany and worldwide.” Researching the effectiveness of AI for a varied student population while taking account of ethical guidelines is also on the agenda for both cooperation partners.