(Authored by Nitin Vijay, Founder and MD of Motion Education)
Predictive modelling or predictive analytics is a statistical technique based on machine learning (ML) and data mining (DM) to forecast likely future events while analysing trends and patterns. Alike other industries, predictive modelling is also leveraging the education sector and making learning more focused and fruitful. On the one hand, this technology helps educators in the assessment of students; on the other hand, students find it beneficial in improving their analytical skills because its ultimate goal is making one quick and effective in decision-making.
No facts for fear
It is true that over-dependence on technology is highly undesirable and even it may deviate a student from processed learning to shortcut results because a few negative incidents happened in the past where some students have exploited the predictive modelling for illegitimate success in the academic life. However, on the basis of some rare incidents of cheating or fraud, reluctance in adaptation to Ed-tech solutions based on predictive modelling will be an irrational and pessimistic decision by the educational bodies in India.
Even if it is assumed that Data Science or predictive modelling can be misused for predicting questions of the engineering, medical, or other elite entrance exams, but it doesn’t ensure that those questions will definitely come in the exam paper. Traditional ways of examinations are replaced by highly smart and tech-enabled evaluation procedures. For instance, National Testing Agency (NTA) in India has already adopted the unique question paper criterion for JEE Main exam. Secondly, technology may get failed if a student studies only the predicted questions and the Exam Board decides to change the paper pattern or gives weightage to Chemistry and not Physics as predicted by the Data Science.
Ed-Tech and customised learning
These days, leaders in the prep and coaching industry are instrumentally utilising predictive modelling for 360-degree evaluation of their students and then helping them with customised learning solutions such as separate Daily Practice Papers (DPPs) for every individual student. These DPPs are based on AI technology, made in such a way so that students can do proper revision of all the important topics and concepts. While preparing for competitive examinations like JEE and NEET, the most important thing any student need is the periodic and proper revision of the topics covered to score good marks and rank in the examination. DPPs help find out students’ weaknesses and enable teachers to overcome them through customised content.
It generally happens that students focus only on the current topics and forget about the previous ones. But, DPPs help students in the proper revision of the entire syllabus. Through deceptive methods, one may improve one’s chance of cracking the exam; there are bleak chances of getting success in the job market.
Need for a positive approach
Technologies like predictive modelling in the learning and education sector are evolving at the speed of light. They are effective as well as controllable as long as there is no mishandling by human intervention. If there are a few shortcomings, they would also be overcome soon. Moreover, as most of the time glitches are caused by human negligence, the staff should be trained regularly on safety and security issues.