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Online business course utilizes artificial intelligence

Online business course utilizes artificial intelligence

April 12, 2019 at 12:28pm

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

FIU is making a digital leap into the future with a pilot program that features artificial intelligence (AI) in one of its online business courses.

David-John Palmer, an instructor at FIU and associate director of educational technology at FIU Online, has spearheaded the recent AI initiative in his own Introduction to Information Systems course in partnership with Cognii Inc., a leading provider of AI-based educational technologies.

His course, offered through the  College of Business, is the first online FIU course to feature AI in instructional design.

Palmer has a passion for the use of technology to enhance learning experiences. In his capacity at FIU Online, Palmer is charged with oversight of instructional systems used in online and blended courses. From this pilot program, Palmer will assess the tool’s potential and see how is can be scaled for us in other courses.

In Palmer’s course, Cognii’s virtual learning assistant (VLA) technology functions like an AI tutor. Students are using Cognii to learn a number of topics in information systems management. The conversational AI technology measures their knowledge, comprehension and business application skills, and guides them toward conceptual mastery with personalized tutoring.

“With a growing focus on online education and innovation, FIU is an ideal partner in our pursuit to improve the quality and affordability of education,” stated Cognii founder and CEO Dee Kanejiya.

Over the past semester, the Cognii team collaborated with FIU Online instructors and support team members to custom design and pilot a number of modules that support this innovative pedagogy. Once a faculty member programs the VLA with information, it can automatically grade students’ open-response (short essay) answers and extract rich pedagogical insights and analytics to improve faculty members’ productivity.

“We need to explore what will become the new norm—humans and AI working together to educate the generations of tomorrow, and we are excited to partner with Cognii,” said Palmer. “As we pursue FIU’s strategic plan, we believe EdTech innovations such as Cognii virtual learning assistant will play a key role in improving our scale, efficiency and sustainability.”

- Monica Smith contributed to this article

For more information on FIU Online, visit