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Through collaboration with Amazon Web Services, UD will offer students unique digital learning tools and services
Through collaboration with Amazon Web Services, UD will offer students unique digital learning tools and services.

Exploring AI innovation

Photo by Evan Krape

Through collaboration with Amazon Web Services, UD will offer students unique digital learning tools and services

While still a nascent tool in many industries, generative artificial intelligence (AI) has been reshaping education as we know it for several years. A 2023 study revealed that more than half of American college students are incorporating the use of generative AI tools into the completion of their academic work. This study also illustrates that while university faculty are working to catch up to their students, only about 22% of them are using these same AI tools.

To harness the potential of AI and to help close the gap between student and faculty use, a University of Delaware team — spearheaded by UD Information Technologies’ Academic Technology Services — has been working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to produce generative study tools that enable UD students to take greater control over their learning and academic success.

For years, UD has accrued vast digital academic resources, including archived video files and text transcripts from more than 300,000 UD Capture classroom recordings. These resources enable UD to leverage the expertise and pedagogy of its faculty partners who opted to participate in the pilot and the global leader’s ability to build out its capacity for offering unique digital learning tools and services. These tools include the creation of digital flashcards, study guides, practice quizzes and more, all that are to be embedded within the University’s online learning management system.

AWS is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centers globally. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster.

The collaboration between AWS and UD has resulted in an innovative pilot program that is currently underway and we look forward to presenting an early version of UD Study AiDE at the end of the spring 2024 semester, said UD’s Academic Technology Services (ATS) director Erin Sicuranza. A division of UDIT, ATS is committed to improved teaching and learning through the adoption and application of technologies and digital resources.

“What began as an idea from the team leader of our Educational Software Engineering team, Jevonia Harris, is now taking shape each day through our innovative work with AWS,” Sicuranza said. “Bringing our two teams together to collaborate will significantly benefit our students and place the University of Delaware at the forefront of AI-enhanced teaching and learning, both regionally and nationally.”

“It’s exciting to be at the forefront of this technology innovation,” Harris added. “This gives us the opportunity to set important standards for how generative AI will be used in the higher education landscape and, in partnership with AWS, we can scale our work thoughtfully and ethically.”

Artificial intelligence is among the University’s foremost commitments. UD is developing innovative teaching practices and policies related to AI through the work of its AI for Teaching and Learning Working Group — a collective of more than two-dozen faculty and staff members, including Sicuranza and Harris, that is engaged in the exploration of these technologies.

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