What do students at distance universities think about AI?

Holmes, Wayne and Anastopoulou, Stamatina (2019). What do students at distance universities think about AI? In: Proceedings of the Sixth (2019) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale - L@S '19, ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, article no. 45.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3330430.3333659


Algorithms, drawn from Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, are increasingly being used in distance education. However, currently little is known about the attitudes of distance education students to the benefits and risks associated with AI. For example, is AI broadly welcomed by distance education students, thought to be irrelevant, or disliked? Here, we present the initial findings of a survey of students from the UK's largest distance university as a first step towards addressing the question "What do students at distance universities think about AI?" Responses from the 222 contributors suggest that these students do expect AI to be beneficial for their future learning, with more respondents selecting potential benefits than selecting risks. Nonetheless, it is important to extend this exploratory study to students in other universities worldwide, and to other stakeholders.

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