Caritas Fanling Chan Chun Ha Secondary School (CFCCHSS) has implemented Adaptive Learning for years, with the aim of understanding students’ capability from learning data. This year, the school is introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for data collection and analysis to further enhance the effectiveness of Adaptive Learning.

Standardising Data Collection and Storage Approaches

Mr Tsui Chak-lam, Seconded Teacher, IT in Education Centre of Excellence (CoE) Scheme said, over the years teachers of different subjects had been collecting and storing data in different ways, making data consolidation time-consuming and complicated. Non-standardised data attributes had also impeded sustainable data comparison, rendering data analysis ineffective.

Mr Chan Lap-lai, Career Master, pointed out that in addition to student data, information such as students’ socioeconomic status, family background and learning experience in primary school would also be collected. It would be easier for teachers to understand student learning progress when such information is reposited systematically.

In view of this, the primary goal of the school’s AI project is to unify data collection and storage approaches. Mr Tsui said the school was working with a service provider to develop an AI Learning Management System (LMS) for teachers to import data step-by-step. That made data management more standardised, complete and secure.

Competence-oriented Data Attributes

Mr Tsui said the data attributes were standardised and arranged to be competence-oriented, which allowed more effective and accurate data consolidation and analysis. Mr Anson Poon Kai-sing, Vice Principal, CFCCHSS, added that the competence-oriented data attributes were developed based on the Learning Objectives and Generic Skills listed in the Key Learning Area Curriculum Guide by the Education Bureau of the HKSAR, and could precisely reflect students’ capability.

Mr Ho Ying-hon, Principal, CFCCHSS, pointed out that the AI LMS would be a helping hand to cater for learning diversity, and develop students’ self-directed learning skills. He said by better understanding student learning progress, teachers could fine-tune the curriculum, way of teaching and assessment format in response to students’ needs. Teachers could also provide personalised feedback and guidance to students, facilitating them to set and achieve their own learning goals, thus enhancing learning and teaching effectiveness.

Mr Chan said the data analysis results indicate not only students’ academic achievements, but also development of other aspects such as sports and arts. The AI LMS would recommend extracurricular activities and competitions based on students’ talents and learning portfolios, so as to enrich their learning experience and empower them to develop diverse skills.

Sustainable Use of Learning Data

Mr Ho hoped the student data in the AI LMS could help cater for learner differences and support student life planning. He said a complete and objective learning portfolio could fully reflect students’ talents and capabilities, and serve as an important reference for students to make decisions on further study or future career development.

He also planned to establish a school talent pool to identify talents in different sectors through the AI LMS. Suitable graduates would then be invited to offer career guidance to their juniors; Meanwhile, a complete learning portfolio could be provided upon their request anytime.

The introduction of AI technology is part of the CFCCHSS’s School Digitalisation Project. The project kicked off in 2014 with the installation of network infrastructure, followed by the implementation of eLearning and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Programme.

Mr Ho said the project aimed to reduce teachers’ administrative workload. By increasing the school’s administrative efficiency, teachers could have more time to focus on teaching and catering for students’ needs, thus facilitating student learning and personal development.

Mr Ho said the use of educational technology is becoming ubiquitous and it is crucial for schools to get well prepared for it. Apart from making good use of the funding offered by the Education Bureau, schools could also seek professional technical support from service providers. Before integrating a new technology into learning and teaching, schools should also ensure that it could meet their actual needs, and that the teachers were proficient in information technology. It would be ideal if the development was led by a teaching staff member with expertise in information technology.