Tutoring is popular around the world as a support for students on their learning journey. Having a tutor means one-on-one guidance to help understand a topic more deeply, to practice skills, and to develop confidence. In fact, research shows that tutoring leads to higher test scores, aspirations and effort in schools, compared to non-tutored students.
It’s not surprising then, that in the remote learning shift, tutoring has been digitized. What’s more, over 40% of students in the United States say that they have used a digital tutor. The majority of these digital tutors have AI as their backbone due to its capacity to generate intelligent tasks, align more precisely with students’ needs, and to be scaled to assist more people.
Here’s why AI tutors are surging in popularity, and how they’re transforming access to education in the technological age.
A time-old tradition with a technological update
Tutoring is one of the oldest forms of teaching or instruction, dating back as far as Ancient Greece. Today, prestigious institutions like The University of Oxford still use a tutoring system precisely because of its efficacy.
A tutor closely guides students to achieve educational goals, leveraging their experience in providing personalized instruction. Tutors tailor this instruction based on the students’ preferences and adapt as their capabilities improve over time. This agility is important to deliver good tutoring, as the student develops and experiences challenges in how they process new information.
In the remote learning revolution, AI tutors have created this type of instruction in digital spaces, where tech-savvy students can access tutoring on demand. Such accessibility is essential for students who don’t have face-to-face contact with teachers and risk falling behind. It also means that students can determine when they interact with the AI tutor, learning at their optimal moments. Not to mention, students in underserved communities can harness AI tutors that are more affordable and easier to reach than in-person tutors.
With more students able to access AI tutors, and on their own terms, the technology can facilitate a highly skilled, diverse generation of learners.
How algorithms power actionable results
Over 90% of education institutions are using AI in some capacity at the moment to improve educational outcomes in the remote learning world. But it’s not simply an edtech trend. AI tools like an AI tutor have been proven to be more effective than remote instruction for formative feedback and actionable goals – notably because AI shapes personalized learning pathways for students. It does so by analyzing students’ strengths, weaknesses, and learning style, and creating customized content and interactions in response.
For example, an AI tutor could detect that a student engages well with video content, and so would prioritize video activities in the areas that the student struggles with. Personalized learning pathways benefit not only students but also bridge gaps in institutions with lower resources, providing tailored support directly to the students’ needs.
AI tutors can highlight gaps in a student’s knowledge and provide targeted remediation. For instance, if a student doesn’t understand a concept, the tutor can share alternative explanations, examples or exercises. Furthermore, the app’s personalized content increases the likelihood of successful remediation for each student.
What’s more, AI tutors have adaptive feedback functionality that gives students an immediate assessment of their performance. As a result, students detect their errors sooner and can make corrections faster. Research shows that the majority of students feel they learn more deeply with this type of instant feedback.
AI tutors in language learning
One section of education where AI tutors are especially prevalent is language learning. ELSA Voice is an AI tutor that accelerates users’ English proficiency. Students can speak into the app and get 95% accurate feedback in real time around their pronunciation, fluency, grammar, sentence delivery, and more.
ELSA’s technology is fueled by large amounts of data from people speaking in English with different accents – The tech can pinpoint common errors from English learners as its technology is fueled. The self-evolving AI equally analyzes users’ performance and behavioral data to personalize daily curriculums and deliver content and activities that make the most sense for individual students. This personalization ensures greater engagement with the app, so students are more likely to complete the full course.
The ELSA app, with its proprietary speech recognition technology, has achieved a top-five ranking among AI apps.
Elsewhere, ELSA’s AI tutor exposes students to new sounds, the right intonation patterns, stresses, and rhythms when speaking English. It also speeds up language learning in context, as students can select tasks that resemble the environments where they’ll be speaking in English in real life. For example, if students want to prepare for a job interview in English, they can use ELSA Voice to role play answering and posing common questions. This in-context nature matters because it directly relates to higher motivation when learning a new language.
Furthermore, ELSA creates bite-sized content to help students easily digest takeaways and empower its AI with a more granular analysis of students’ preferences and performance. The dashboard in the app has real-time data analytics for students, meaning they can view how long they’ve spent learning English, what areas interest them most, and where they need to improve.
A flexible solution for learners
AI tutors enhance the quality and flexibility of learning and cater to students in different scenarios and range of abilities. AI tutors, as the contemporary updated version of traditional tutoring, have stood the test of time and will remain a firm fixture in the future of education.