Education 4.0: University Launches World’s First Degree Driven by 4.0 Technologies

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As academic leaders are embracing change this summer and planning for the next semester, universities and colleges around the world are also working on the next big thing after Education 3.0: Education 4.0.

Current generations are going to engage with state-of-the-art technology and Industry 4.0 advancements. It only makes sense that they should receive an equally advanced Education 4.0.

The University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom, is creating a new two-year program in world History where education 4.0 advanced technologies are going to provide a more expansive, engaging, and personalized educational experience. The pioneering undergraduate History degree program was designed in collaboration with Jisc, a U.K.’s education technology not-for-profit.

This world’s premier Ed 4.0 is set to take advantage of new education technologies. The History course will be taught with a blend of traditional methods and innovative solutions which include flipped classrooms and online teaching, but will also use Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (XR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to create an engaging and effective learning experience. The Classroom 4.0 is expected to maximize teacher-student interaction.

According to the University of Buckingham, the program, which is anticipated to start in January 2022, is going to offer an ambitious view of history which will start with the Big Bang and will continue exploring the history of the world in parallel with other academic disciplines such as physics, biology, anthropology, and sociology.

The syllabus is going to investigate the birth of the modern world by using immersive technology and applications such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). The students will have the opportunity to virtually interact with historical figures as well as partaking in global history events. 

The Fourth Education Revolution or Education 4.0 is very different from the Third Education Revolution also called Education 3.0. The Third Industrial Revolution brought personal computers and the Internet.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution brings the innovations that become possible from those technologies and the digital know-how. Advanced technology is what makes Education 4.0 possible. Using textbooks and teaching through lectures in a Victorian sort of style while students are taking notes is obsolete.

The Future of Education: Education 4.0 

Students are not all the same. They are individuals with different interests, abilities, capabilities, timing, and preferred learning methods. They should not be taught in the same way and submitted to the same assessment scale. Here is where academic equity comes into play.

Decades, even centuries ago, educators could not allow themselves the luxury of tailoring to each student’s individual needs. However, thanks to Education 4.0 that has forever changed.

The University of Buckingham’s Education 4.0 program is set to augment the relative strengths of tutors and technology by:

  • Offering a personalized learning experience through the use of Artificial Intelligence to create personalized course content which adapts and is tailored to each student’s individual preferences, specific abilities as well as learning methods. In addition, students will have free choice of units to take from other subjects including those taught in other Schools of the University
  • Delivering content in innovative and immersive ways after the AI assisted tools have assessed each student’s current level of knowledge on arrival at University. The AI tools will also assess their preferred learning methods. Traditional content will be enhanced with new interactive technologies including applications such as AR and VR. The immersive learning environment will contribute to knowledge retention and the development of critical thinking
  • Reducing administrative workload on the tutor by using AI and intelligent platforms to monitor student engagement and understanding. This will help staff to see who and when is falling behind or need extra materials to aid their learning. By freeing up time, tutors can focus on more personal interaction with each student, guidance, and encouragement. Digital assistants and chatbots are going to help reduce administrative workload on both students and staff. Chatbots will answer simple queries, set reminders for events, and make sure lectures and seminars are correctly prepared
  • Monitoring student welfare and mental health will be an AI task. AI routines can flag up at-risk students and alert University staff to check if a student needs extra attention before there is an impact on a student’s mental health or academic progress. The information will also be drawn from chatbots
  • Developing digital skills and hands-on experiences that are recognized and valued in the job market will be paramount for tomorrow’s young professionals. The key practical technological skills that this program is going to teach will allow students to leverage digital materials in new and innovative ways. Having a solid historical perspective enables people to better understand today’s changing world. The program also teaches students to think for themselves, to work under pressure, and to make a great argument from the evidence, contributing to the development of their critical thinking.

In preparation for the future Education 4.0, join Fierce Education and higher education executives for a ‘Business & Leadership: Summer Edition’ virtual event on July 14 to discuss immediate topics that need to be tackled this summer, and to learn what some university leaders are doing to alter their business models to excel in the Education 3.0 world, a stepping stone into the future of education. Register here.

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