Robot Learning Courses Enhances Engagement of Online Students
A study conducted by Michigan State University’s pioneering robot-learning course, published in Online Learning on December 1, 2017, reveals that online students who use innovative robots feel more engaged and connected to the class.
Robots were stationed around the class, each of which had a mounted video screen controlled by the remote user, allowing the student to pan around the room so as to see or talk with the instructor and fellow students participating in-person.
The study showed that robot learning generally benefits remote students, more than traditional video conferencing, which displays multiple students on a single screen.
Instead of looking at a screen full of faces, a student would now be able to look at a robot-learner in the eye, at least digitally.
“It was such a benefit to have people individually embodied in robot form. I can look right at you and talk to you,” Greenhow, a professor of the study said.
The technology is beneficial for telecommuters working remotely and students with disabilities or who are ill.
The college employed robot learning in 2015, benefits of which have now been revealed. The study demonstrates that hybrid or blended learning, which combines courses of face-to-face and online learning, are widely considered the most promising approach for increasing access to higher education and students’ learning outcomes. The adoption of these courses is increasing and would reach almost every other university, accounting for 80 percent or more of all university classes.
Traditional video conferencing does not allow remote students to know if an instructor is looking at them and can get turned off from joining the discussion. “These students often feel like they’re interrupting, like they’re not fully participating in the class. And as an instructor, that’s like death — I can’t have that.” Said professor, Greenhow.
To engage the robot from home, students just require to download free software onto their computer, which would in turn lead to enhanced participation and engagement with instructors and other students in the classroom.
Smart communication environment is created by the widespread adoption of IoT, usually used in the healthcare, retail, and defense sectors, as elaborated in IoT market report published by Coherent Market Insights. This study, however, demonstrates the potential application of IoT in the educational sector as well.
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