As part of the AI in Vocational Education and Training project, the project partners are undertaking a series of interviews with VET teachers and trainers, managers and with developers and resaechers in five countries.

In an interview with Graham Attwell, Paul Mc Kee, Head of Further Education and Skills at the UK Jisc, explained that  Jisc has a vision of Education 4.0  connected to the World Economic Forum. They are looking at what the Fourth Industrial Revolution means for education -including buildings, spaces, pedagogy, curriculum, student experience etc.

Technology is disrupting businesses, Paul Mc Kee explained. The World Economic Forum has recently produced a report on Future Jobs . They say every business should have an augmentation strategy for roles in the business looking at what can be done by a machine and what can be done better by humans. Data processing and repetitive tasks are better done by machines. Critical thinking, humanistic jobs are better done by people at least in the short to medium term.

Paul Mc Kee said this can be translated into Education 4.0. Checkout type activities will be undertaken by machines freeing up practitioners to teach. This includes registration, form filling. Adaptive technologies can automate formative assessment. This can include logic questions, ranking schemes and feedback. This potentially releases practitioners from teaching didactically to the middle ability and focusing on the top and bottom groups of learners.

AI tools will be important in VET because there is a lot of knowledge requirement in VET subjects for example in hairdressing. Also, knowledge about business is important in many occupations – for instance running a hairdressing salon.

Personalisation of learning is needed as VET students have a broad distribution in terms of their ability and prior knowledge. It is the same in engineering where what is needed is the application of knowledge.

Much more support is needed for students – teachers in VET do not have enough time at the moment.