Using AI for Personalized Learning Plans
Creating path to success for post-secondary students
State mandated studies are far too generalized and give students no preparation for their futures. According to a study by ACT called College Choice Report, 64% of students choose a major that doesn’t align with their academic strengths and interests. Let that sink in a moment. More than six in ten students select a major they’re unhappy with. Many will change majors causing them to take more courses and incur more debt. Others will stick it out with the wrong major and enter the workforce unhappy in a career they don’t want. Where’s the solution? Personalized learning plans for high school can help develop a better understanding of what career paths will appeal to them and how to get there.
In many states, curriculums are exactly the same as they were 20 or 30 years ago. In some states, required course loads haven’t changed at all. Students aren’t provided many choices, but the few electives they have are often wasted on a course that “sounds cool” or someone recommended. No one spares a thought for whether a class will interest or engage a student.
Let’s run a hypothetical. A student falls in love with a technology course. It’s the only one he or she has to take to graduate, so our student doesn’t have to take another technology-related course to graduate despite interest in the subject. Instead, a friend recommends a theater course because the teacher is funny. Our student goes to take the drama course, entirely moves away from tech, changes college majors twice, and ends up in a career he or she doesn’t enjoy.
How about we re-run that hypothetical with a twist? The student gets a personalized learning plan based on his or her interests and personality. Our student falls in love with a technology course, but we already knew that would happen. Now he or she enrolls in the other technology courses laid out in the learning plan and leaves high school with a clear path for the future and an exciting career choice.
Where do we start?
Everything starts with understanding the students’ needs. The idea that every student graduating high school needs to know how to calculate integrals or write a report about Moby Dick is outdated and ineffective. Of course, general knowledge has an essential place in our school system, but dominating a student’s studies with courses that don’t engage or interest them hurts their future prospects.
So, we need to know what interests the students and why. The solution is already out there. Personality tests with suggested careers are readily available from a multitude of sources. Most are backed up by academic research like Holland’s Theory of Career Choices. Holland’s Theory helps explain what career choices lead to success on the job and job satisfaction. Getting the data is excellent, but what is step two?
Turning data into success
These personality assessments are a wonderful source of useful information, but what should you do with it? This step is where AI comes in to save the day. Analyzing the assessment data through machine learning helps us make sense of the answers. Personality assessments can shape everything from curriculum to after school activities.
Using AI for personalized learning plans means taking invaluable information straight from the students and plugging it into a specific course roadmap. Helping students get a better idea of what makes them tick and what makes them happy will improve their high school career and beyond. They’ll begin to understand why they’re taking a course instead of just being told they have to.
What else can we do?
Having a personalized learning plan isn’t enough to truly prepare students for a successful career, though. Adolescence is a period of dramatic development. Teenagers start considering abstract thoughts like love, fear, and the future. School only provides a portion of that development.
Extracurriculars like after school programs and internships give students real world experience away from textbooks. There are hundreds of organizations catering to different interests from arts to sports to engineering. Newly armed with a better understanding of their personality, students can find extracurricular activities to accelerate their career trajectory.
Shamrck Education is a service built for students that goes far and above other personality assessments by creating personalized learning plans and mapping students to local resources. The decisions made during high school have dramatic effects on a student’s future, so having granular information and guidance is invaluable. Our program understands that student needs come first, and the best way to help them be successful is to start with what makes them tick, and it’s never too early to start.
Right now, you can learn more about Shamrck Education and our Early Access program Here.
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