Meet Jill Watson, a first-time teaching assistant at Georgia Tech assigned to moderate an online forum for a computer science class.
During the first few weeks in January, Jill really struggled. This was Knowledge-Based Artificial Intelligence, after all, a course with the goal to “build AI agents capable of human-level intelligence and gain insights into human cognition.”
It’s no surprise then that she needed some coaching, since feedback is critical to student success.”The world is full of online classes, and they’re plagued with low retention rates,” said Professor Ashok Goel. “One of the main reasons many students drop out is because they don’t receive enough teaching support.”
A typical class posts approximately 10,000 messages in a semester. Even though many of these questions are routine, the other TAs monitored Jill’s answers until they saw improvement.