The AI assistant helping international students to thrive in online learning

The boom in artificial intelligence development has been difficult to miss. Without warning, AI seems to be integrated into almost all of the technologies we take for granted, and the possibilities this presents appear to be limitless.

Published: Tue 19 Jul 2022 14:10 CEST
The AI assistant helping international students to thrive in online learning
IU's Syntea can be accessed by computer, tablet or smartphone. Photo: Getty Images

The world of education is no exception. As many AI technologies are based on what is known as 'large language models', trained using specific textual content, it's possible to create tools that can synthesise, interpret and contextualise the content of a specific curriculum. This can save teaching time, resources and development costs.

The uptake of AI technology in the higher education sector has been swift and worldwide. One early adopter has been Germany's International University of Applied Sciences (IU), which not only offers AI-focused degrees, but now also provides AI-powered tools to improve student learning.

Introducing Syntea

Integrated into IU's online learning platform, in addition to its mobile app, Syntea is a ChatGPT-powered chatbot that is accessible at any time.

Drawing upon the course material of IU's wide range of undergraduate and master's degrees, Syntea fulfils two significant roles in student learning.

First, you can ask questions about course material at any time. Syntea will respond with relevant course materials that will help answer your query – incorporating text, video and audio material, and interactives.

Second, Syntea allows you to assess your learning at two important points. Before commencing a course unit, you can use Syntea to accurately assess what you've learned already, and what course units you should focus on to improve.

Part-time students taking the one-year MBA and other degrees, who are often juggling their studies with a career, find this an effective way to prioritise their learning and free up time.

Learn the skills of the future using the tools of the future. Discover IU's range of undergraduate and Master's degrees, and how AI can support your learning

Progression through technology

Syntea is just one of the tools that IU provides to support its students.

The majority of IU students complete their studies online. To enable effective learning, and deliver content in a manner suitable for part-time study, the university has developed a comprehensive online offering.

myCampus is IU's online learning platform that fulfils several roles. It's the primary means of delivering learning materials but also has several additional features – including the integration of Syntea.

From the myCampus platform, you can also choose the courses you take, manage your workload from the inbuilt calendar, access relevant course documentation and book a time to take your exams.

The IULearn app, available for Apple and Android, offers many of the features of myCampus, but also incorporates a number focused on mobile learning.

Note-taking tools are incorporated into the app, allowing you to make notes that link directly to the course material. The IU Learn app also includes a flashcard function, making course revisions much easier.

For IU's many part-time and online students, online exams are also an option. Using external service providers and securely monitored by online proctors, IU students have expressed a preference for this method of demonstrating their learning. It has also been identified as providing greater accessibility for students with disabilities.

Would you like to know more?

With undergraduate and Master's studies in areas as diverse as IT & Data to Health & Social Care, as well as highly-respected specialised MBA programmes, IU is one of Germany's largest and most respected online learning institutions, with the number of course offerings constantly growing.

To learn more, find out about the accreditations that IU holds, and what students think about their programmes. IU also holds regular webinars where prospective students can have their questions answered by IU staff and educators.

The smart use of technology is woven into every aspect of IU's learning programmes. Find out how



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