Artificial Intelligence as an Assessment tool for Education in Africa

Most schools in Africa currently do not have the luxury of one teacher per student for a perfect learning experience; technology plays the role of providing learning options for teachers and students from data collated  during assessment. While teachers facilitate learning, technology supports personalization of learning resources that would enhance learners comprehension, improvement and application of subject matter in areas of sustainable development.

Public and private schools in Africa have a large size population of learners, with few teachers who can barely handle individual learning demand of their students; as such keeping accurate records about the needs of learners is overwhelming for teachers. But a well planned system with even a weak Artificial Intelligence implementation in the area of assessment will be key in providing student's mastery and application of subject matter.

For example with an online library system in place students who take an online quiz, test, pre JAMB, WAEC etc are sent a simple spreadsheet chart of their performance, with areas of strength and area for improvement. Subsequently specific learning resources are sent to students with special learning needs and their teachers for followup.

1. Learning resource distribution
A.I will play a vital role of as a  personalised learning resource allocator for students, thereby helping teachers focus more on facilitation, while technology handles the intricacies of teaching and learning assessment and resource distribution.
This system is also paramount in areas of special needs education, where Artificial intelligence acts as a resource allocation tool after diagnosing a learner's needs; and when there are limited resources for learning, the A.I. system sends a request to agencies involved in content creation with personalization details for the learner.

2. Career Gamebased A.I.:
To reinforce a learner's application of a subject matter, game based applications are developed and artificial intelligence plays the role of providing varieties of case study tasks and assessment of results with the aim of recommending further study materials for learners improvement.
The career gamebased approach will also be a much more rewarding experience in higher education for students preparing for workplace.

Brief implementation strategies:
A. Global Companies who are already big players in open source products and education (Google, Microsoft education, Moodle, Edmodo etc) can simply embed or provide SDK tools that allows third party software developers implement weak Artificial intelligence systems (like the current algorithms making suggestions to online shoppers and social media) into their assessment platforms like Google forms, moodle cloud, Microsoft forms, spreadsheet plugin etc. as most educators in Africa already adopt these platforms in their classrooms.  

B. Bots are of great advantage in the area of personalised learning resource allocation or distribution systems, like a learners study assistant that provides each student with educational resources and analysis of their academic progress reports, recommendations for intern opportunities and workplace preparations and suggestions to teachers on how to help such student excel based on the learning outcomes of the classroom activities.

Such bots can make suggestions on specific subject matter skill/topic (pre information) that should be relevant to a struggling student who a better grasp in their area of their learning needs.

Artificial Intelligence of such magnitude need not be futuristic; current weak A.I. implementation in digital marketing, eCommerce, social  media etc will be of great importance in education, especially in providing or suggesting online learning resources and support for teachers with overwhelming student capacity.

Imagine a situation in a project based learning class were A.I  recommends the best collaborative resources and other core skills, suggesting details of optimum classroom procedures to a teacher based on the capacity students per class for even 100 and above in population.

As such, some aspect of augmented reality embedded at this stage provides visual classroom scenarios and logical options for a teacher ahead of the class, with analytics and strategies to complete the learning outcome and also help maximize inclusive practices.

The future of Education For All will strongly lie with the teachers maximising the use of technology in assessing students progress, while giving teachers enough time to facilitate learning.

To fulfill the Sustainable Development goal in line with quality education and positive assessment goals irrespective of the classroom size, the opportunities offered by Artificial Intelligence for education in Africa can never be underestimated in providing qualitative learning model for the masses.