Using AI, Big Data To Design The Right Curriculum

by Bhupesh Daheria    Jul 09, 2018

edtech

The world is evolving faster than ever thanks to the proliferation of technology brought about by an increasingly connected global market. And while the changes in education system was slow a few decades ago, the course curriculum was not required to be updated frequently. However, with today’s fast pace changes in market needs, new curriculum is required almost every few months. This is primarily due to the fact that while technology, knowledge, and the job market can and do change almost overnight, the education system is rigid, often bureaucratic, and in many cases even resistant to change. This ever expanding gap between academia and the real world has resulted in a whole generation of students who while undoubtedly talented, intelligent, and hardworking simply do not have the skillsets required for employment. This is especially true in the tech world, and when we look at the statistics, we discover a very chilling reality.

Up to 60% of the 800,000 engineering students who graduate from Indian universities each year are unemployed according to a report by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). In cities like Delhi, the mean salary for an engineering diploma holder is lower than that of the average cook or driver. With appalling numbers like these, it’s no wonder that in the academic year 2017-2018 the AICTE shut down 800 technical colleges. The state of higher education in India is in dire straits, and if a university hopes to not just be successful but actually emerge as a centre of academic excellence, it must go back to the very fundamental pillars of education, and accept the role of technology to strengthen their efficiency in planning, administration, and teaching.

There are different pillars of education - Course Design & Launch; Student Recruitment; Teaching; Administration; Skills beyond Curriculum and Career Management. In this series, we will be exploring each pillar in a separate article. Product Development, which is also known Course design, development & launch, is essentially the steps that a centre of learning must take in order to develop a commercially viable, academically excellent and recruiter friendly course, while making sure that it imbibes in students the practical knowledge they require, not just in securing employment, but excelling in their respective fields.

Methodology that are used in product development/ course design involves Market analysis that shows the gap between demand and supply, designing the curriculum that bridge the gap between demand and supply, identify the right faculties and formulation of Fee structure. Product development is a very important pillar that helps your idea from concept to marketable product. Here are two steps that must be considered when creating a new programme.

Current market relevance

Perhaps the most important factor to consider when formulating a new course is by making sure that the subject matter it entails is relevant to not just the current job market, but at least to some degree the job market of the future as well which can be done by consulting with industry experts, and more importantly by analysing market trends through the proper implementation of data analytics which is now big data analytics. This is in sharp contrast to the traditional method of course formulation which involves using focus groups of industry professionals, subject matter experts and academicians. This approach tends to be fundamentally flawed in today’s time when market requirement is changing dramatically, newer job roles emerging every day which even the most experienced experts fails to comprehend the current and future needs as they are constrained by human limitation to make sense out of large volume of data hence resulting in these courses beings far less based in reality and more academic and theoretical in nature. In the current time of fast adapting world, the job trends change with changing market requirement.

AI and big data can help in identifying various jobs in demand and the skills needed to meet these jobs requirements. Based on relevant data acquired through big data and AI, the new curriculum can be designed.

A program or course with real world demand increases the employability of students and as it meets the recruiters skill needs which make it a far more tantalising prospect for future applicants. At mUni Campus we have devised AI model based on big data to help academic institutes and corporates to design and develop right kind of courses to suits and current and future skills needs. One of such beneficiaries is Aegis School of Data Science which has rolled out one of the most relevant programs and courses sought after by candidates and at the end recruiters.

[The author is CEO, Aegis School of Data Science, Cyber Security, Telecommunications, Business]