Wed | Apr 14, 2021

The importance of Machine Learning

Published:Sunday | February 3, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Machine learning is a subcategory of artificial intelligence where one builds models, programmes and applications, which become more accurate over time at predicting outcomes without explicitly being scripted or programmed to do so.

With machine learning, one creates or defines algorithms that can receive input data and use a ­combination of statistical analysis techniques to predict an output. Once created, the model grows and can predict additional outputs as new input data become available. Good models learn from feedback given based on their predictions and adapt to improve.

Machine learning is a new phenomenon in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

In education, technology is constantly finding new ways to improve how teachers showcase new ideas in front of their students. Machine Learning has ­tremendous potential, and using its power correctly, can bring some amazing benefits. The main ­challenge is actively integrating it within the educational process, and to date, this hasn’t been done in Jamaica or the Caribbean. So you have to wonder, how can machine learning improve the life of a student, teacher, or school administration?

Predicting student performance

One of the major advantages of machine learning is that it allows you to predict student performance naturally. It allows a teacher to identify weaknesses and provide some suggestions on how to improve. This leads to a more personalised and efficient learning solution that students will appreciate and enjoy.

Creating custom lessons

Thanks to machine learning, teachers can easily identify what type of activities and knowledge seem to be preferred by the entire class. That makes it easier to target those activities and improve on them all the time. This way, teachers can bring in some additional assistance and learning tools that will help achieve those goals naturally.

Boosting retention rates

On top of that, machine learning also helps improve retention rates. This comes from learning analytics and other tools that help identify any risks for students and addressing those concerns on the spot. This helps a lot, and it delivers all the benefits and assistance you want at the best value and quality on the market.

It’s easier to organise content

Another great thing about edtech and machine learning in particular is that it makes it easier to organise content efficiently. The trick here is to actively figure out how to move on to the next skill and build upon the current knowledge. You get to have a cleaner and very effective learning system that can help immensely in the long run.

Create student groups based on their current knowledge

Once you start using machine learning, you will have a much better understanding of how you can group students. Creating a group based on personal knowledge can help pay off a lot, and it has the potential to do wonders all the time. It helps teachers make learning a lot more fun, and the overall results can be super impressive all the time due to that.

Fair grades

Another great way to use machine learning is fair grading. The idea here is that you can remove any human biases as you figure out many writing and exercise mistakes, thanks to software tools. This helps eliminate any bias so that students can have fair grades all the time.

It all comes down to using this technology and integrating it in the best way to fit your organisation. Of course, every educational establishment has its fair share of requirements, so you will have to customise it to suit your needs.

Machine Learning is a great investment that will have a positive impact on the generations to come.

Theon O’Connor is a team member of SmartTerm, which is working to see how education system in the Caribbean can be improved. The company is creating an open-concept environment allowing a tailored solution to fulfilling the needs of schools. For more information on SmartTerm visit