AI support for learning management systems

Oct. 01, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) - i.e., the machine's ability to imitate human skills such as thinking, learning, creative behavior, or even planning - was only conceivable in science fiction literature for a long time. In the project AI support for learning management systems, three Fraunhofer Institutes have now investigated how digitization, artificial intelligence and BigData can be used in education.

In a non-technical study, the use of artificial intelligence techniques was prototypically investigated for the German Army Headquarters (Kommando Heer) in cooperation with the Army Training Command (Ausbildungskommando Heer) using the example of course-based individual training of the Army. To this end, possible added values of using AI to optimize training were identified and verified through a technical trial. A survey of technical requirements was conducted with the Army's decision-makers and stakeholders from the relevant area of responsibility. Four AI functionalities (learning recommendations, chatbot, adaptive tasks, a dashboard for teachers) were derived and implemented in a demonstrator. Thereby, the interoperable Fraunhofer Common Learning Middleware (CLM) orchestrates the services: a mobile learning application for collecting data and displaying the AI functions, data protection-compliant databases, and the various AI services. An AI-supported learning environment was created that was evaluated in a field test with an accompanying survey.

In the project, Fraunhofer FOKUS provided the learning application “Smart Learning App” to present AI functions. In addition, the scientists were significantly involved in the development of an overall architecture based on the Fraunhofer “Common Learning Middleware”. They continued to work on developing and optimizing AI services to support learners, such as a learning recommendation system or a chatbot. Another critical element of their research was data protection and data and IT security.

The study results showed the clear added value of using AI in training. At the same time, the necessary need for development and change became apparent. The study concludes that practical technical support of course-based individual training through AI functionalities is possible.

In addition to Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer FKIE, which was responsible for project coordination, and Fraunhofer IOSB were also involved in the project.