Education_BH: Innovation and Excellence celebrates the remarkable innovations implemented in Bahrain’s schools and universities. We learned about these innovations, the process, the challenges, and the lessons learned from some of the leading educational institutions in the Kingdom. Read more in our latest issue.
Leveraging Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence to equip students with skills for careers of the future.
Please share a brief background of your innovation.
As advances in technology drive globalization and digital transformation, teachers at the British School of Bahrain have embraced Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence to assist students in acquiring the necessary skills to succeed in the careers of the future. This year, the British School of Bahrain has engaged in piloting the Inspired AI platform and the VR-based learning programme.
The Inspired AI platform leverages artificial intelligence to create bespoke ‘pathways’ for students across both their classwork and homework, whilst at the same time providing real-time analytics and recommendations to both teachers and parents. Inspired AI uses initial ‘diagnostic’ testing to assess an individual student’s respective strengths and weaknesses and using this data, then creates tailored exercises and modules for each student across subjects including English, Math, and Science.
This approach ensures a student’s specific weaknesses are addressed and improved upon, whilst at the same time further amplifying their strengths across each subject. The VR and Metaverse experience provides children with a more exciting and dynamic interaction with academic material. Although the VR learning is a solo experience, the combination of the Inspired Metaverse allowed students from the British School of Bahrain to interact with students from across the Inspired Group of Schools whilst having a teacher present to guide learning.
Through VR-based learning, students are conducting nuclear science experiments, experiencing the scale and magnitude of the Pantheon and the pyramids, and learning about volcanoes from ‘inside’ the rock formation. Both innovations put the British School of Bahrain at the forefront of innovation and excellence in education.
How was the innovation planned?
The British School of Bahrain worked with Engage for the VR and Metaverse Learning Programme and Century AI for the Inspired AI platform. There were representatives from the school who had pilot meetings for the introduction of the projects. A pilot test was done for initial feedback. Then the platforms were tailored to the needs of the BSB students through further testing and design improvements. Further trials were run with some classes and adjustments were made before it was implemented across all the relevant year groups. Before trial and implementation, several training sessions were conducted with teachers and school leaders, and discussion forums were held. Teachers were given access to the platform designers to ask questions, make suggestions and bring in any preferred changes. The school’s IT systems were then integrated with the platform to ensure seamless access for every student.
What were the challenges faced during implementation?
The challenges faced were minimal. There was a vast amount of support and preparation provided to the teaching team to ensure that any disruptions to the implementation were minimal. Initially a few year groups only trialed the platform in May of 2023, before a full implementation in September 2023. As teachers and students got more familiar with the platform, usage increased and is now fully implemented across Year 3 to Year 11. Any minor challenges were handled case by case, with full support from the design team, and this support is ongoing.
Give us a brief assessment of your results.
The students using the Inspired AI platform saw performance increase by an average of 8.12 percentage points, the equivalent of an entire grade boundary. The vast majority, 84.90%, of teachers confirmed that the assessment information provided by the platform helped drive student progression.
The data collected also highlighted that the vast majority of students, 84.50%, felt that their learning and progression had been enhanced by the use of Inspired AI, whilst four in five, 80.18%, of teachers would recommend Inspired AI as a tool for learning. The BSB has had fantastic usage of Inspired AI with over 780,000 questions answered on the platform.
Over 79,000 ‘nuggets’ (short teaching units) have been completed, and more than 1800 students have individually used the platform to enhance their learning. We have a majority of our parents agreeing that VR learning in the metaverse has had a positive impact on their children’s education. A majority of our parents went even further and stated that the metaverse specifically caters for a particular way of learning that their child needs.
In hindsight, what were the most valuable lessons learned while implementing the innovation? Could things have been done differently?
Implementing AI, VR learning programmes and the metaverse in education has the potential to revolutionize the way students learn and interact with educational content. Some of the valuable lessons learned from implementing these technologies in education include:
Personalized Learning: AI can be used to create personalized learning experiences for students by analyzing their learning styles, progress, and areas of improvement. This individualized approach can help students learn at their own pace and focus on areas where they need the most help.
Immersive Learning Experiences: Virtual reality can provide students with immersive and interactive learning experiences, allowing them to explore historical sites, conduct virtual science experiments, or practice real-world skills in a safe and controlled environment. The use of VR can make learning more engaging and memorable.
Collaboration and Communication: The metaverse, which encompasses virtual and augmented reality environments, can facilitate collaboration and communication among students and educators. Through shared virtual spaces, students can work together on projects, participate in simulations, and engage in interactive discussions, regardless of their physical locations.
Ethical and Responsible Use: Implementing AI, VR, and the metaverse in education requires a focus on the ethical and responsible use of these technologies. Educators must ensure that students understand the implications of AI algorithms, data privacy, and virtual interactions. Teaching students about digital citizenship and ethical considerations is crucial.
Teacher Training and Support: To effectively integrate AI, VR, and the metaverse into education, teachers require training and ongoing support. Professional development programs can help educators understand how to leverage these technologies to enhance learning outcomes and adapt their teaching methods accordingly.
Continuous Improvement and Feedback: As with any new technology, continuous improvement and feedback loops are essential. Gathering feedback from students, educators, and other stakeholders can help refine the use of AI, VR, and the metaverse in education and identify areas for further development.
By considering these lessons learned, educators and educational institutions can harness the potential of AI, VR, and the metaverse to create more engaging, personalized, and inclusive learning experiences for students.
The introduction and implementation of the programme were smooth because of the support we have received.