Tracking the Virtual University

The system of students, teachers, courses, departments, classes, majors, materials and so forth is a complex one, is highly interconnected, and tends to vary dramatically from department to department, let alone when you start dealing with multiple institutions and students moving between them. This is prime territory for a knowledge graph, not only for seeing the evolution of a student’s course in multiple dimensions but also as a way to model new programs and determine the best course of study for those students.

Building the Online Library

Textbooks and curricular materials have become ever more virtualized as static books, chapters, and sections become virtualized modules and gamification adds layers of incentives, rewards, and entertainment to instruction. Knowledge graphs in the form of digital asset catalogs can tie such virtual content together with personalization profiles, providing discoverability, relevance, and history to the educational materials in a student’s virtual library.

Mapping the Student Journey

We are entering the era of mass customization not just in terms of consumer goods but also in terms of education. Knowledge graphs in conjunction with machine learning pipelines can be used to assess a given student’s competency and make suggestions about what courses that student should take next. This virtual guidance counselor (really a form of recommender system) can consequently steer a student towards mastery of a given area of study while at the same time encouraging breadth of knowledge as well as depth, regardless of how skilled or unskilled that student is or what kind of learning style they have.

Encouraging Collaborative Learning

Learning comes from exploration, interaction with others, and collaboration. Knowledge graphs make sharing information between systems easier. Collectively, these graphs can be arranged in a data fabric of interconnected stores that allow for the concentration of topic domains without trapping that information in silos. This federated approach to information makes it easier for subject matter experts to build shared domains of information that experts in their respective fields can curate.

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