The AI4AL project aims to facilitate a mindful adoption of AI technologies in the Adult Learning and Education (ALE) sector and therefore actively involves adult trainers and educators in the development of its tools and training programmes.
The project partners are currently setting up a methodological framework collecting insights from adult trainers with an aim to develop the project activities based on actual needs and expectations. As a first step of this, ALL DIGITAL and European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) organized two coaching circles and a survey with the trainers and educators from their networks to understand their perceptions and visions regarding the use of AI in ALE.
ALL DIGITAL Coaching Circle
ALL DIGITAL had an online coaching circle with six participants on 10 March 2023. The participants joined from Cyprus, France, Italy, Lithuania, Serbia and Spain represented a diversity of trainer and learner profiles. Valuable insights were exchanged about the emergence of AI as a new tool in the daily practices of adult educators and trainers.
Among the highlights of the exchange were the advantages that AI brings to adult learning and education in terms of supporting educators with repetitive and time-consuming tasks, so that they can spend more time focusing on the human aspect.
On the other hand, the trainers emphasized the importance of taking an active and informed role in the use of emerging technologies to ensure that it’s used for everyone’s interest. It’s also important that AI in adult learning and education shouldn’t be a substitute for human communication, on the contrary, it should foster social interaction.
A special emphasis was also made to the potential of AI-based solutions to create new opportunities for the education and training of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, as AI can remove the barriers for them in gaining and expressing new skills. And it’s important to avoid all kinds of biases in the AI-based solutions so that they can embrace all trainers and learners.
EAEA Coaching Circles
EAEA organised another set of coaching circles that took place on 3 and 14 March 2023. In the sum of the coaching sessions, the participants were mostly adult educators with the exception of a project manager and a project assistant. Most of them had already worked with AI tools mainly ChatGPT for everyday tasks, headlining and background research. The participants were joining in from Greece, Italy, Austria, Iceland, Germany and Switzerland.
The group began its dynamic coaching around the topic of how AI can transform adult learning provision by leading to improved skills assessment and tailor-made learning opportunities. From the very beginning of the process, the group discussions made it evident that in adult learning we work with such a variety of learners that are often misrepresented in the existing data collected. The AI4AL project’s working approach that focuses on taking control of the data used in the AI tools and co-creating tools that better fit adult learners was positively welcomed.
To get the circles working, the participants played a game of word association on AI, and the responses were recorded with the use of a jamboard.
The responses could conceptually be later classified related to AI-providing outlets for help and support, future developments and possibilities, different uses, and specific AI software.
Participants discussed the integration of AI in ALE, and the space that it could occupy, suggesting that AI could assist learners in discussing and reflecting on what they learned, enhance personal contact, identify unseen gaps in preexisting knowledge, and offer new ways for educators to perform. They also highlighted the importance of finding intuitive and inspired ways to integrate AI into learning platforms and emphasized that the way the group of learners and educators interact is more important than the content submitted in the AI.
Participants finally suggested various elements they would like to see included in the processes of the project, including the feel of the app, training for trainers and educators, content adaptation, and technical elements. They emphasized the importance of adaptability, engagement, and accessibility in the design and implementation of AI in adult learning and education.
Join our survey!
EAEA and ALL DIGITAL also widely circulated a survey in their networks to collect further insights, perceptions, and good/bad practice examples from trainers regarding AI in ALE. Thanks to everyone who shared their valuable insights so far and for those of you who could not participate yet, you can share your insights by visiting our short and anonymous survey here!