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Education, Training and Workforce Upskilling

Vanderbilt has a long track record of innovation in education, with faculty developing and deploying highly immersive learning experiences for youth and adults alike. By collaborating with learners from all walks of life and leveraging artificial intelligence and cutting-edge digital tools, we can meet the lifelong education and workforce training demands of the future.

Making Workforce Training and Upskilling Fun and Highly Effective

Individualized instruction provides more effective teaching to students and trainees, but what if you could go a step further by collecting data on interactions between teachers, students, and their environments to see how all these aspects impact learning? Then you could truly transform the educational experience at both the individual and group level. That is the goal of Gautam Biswas, the Vanderbilt lead researcher on a $20M NSF AI Institute for Engaged Learning to develop highly interactive learning tools dynamically adapted to the needs of individuals and groups. Interactions in this learning environment are continually evaluated using artificial intelligence to discover what works best (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. The NSF AI Institute for Engaged Learning at Vanderbilt offers interactive narratives for inquiry-based learning (left panel), with different role options for the learning support agents (center), and integrated multimodal analytics that evaluate motions, gestures, facial expressions, speech, and activity to maximize the learner’s experience (right panel). The Institute is a collaboration between Vanderbilt, NC State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Indiana University Bloomington, and Digital Promise.

Similarly, the Vanderbilt “Learning Incubator: a Vanderbilt Endeavor” (LIVE), a newly-created use-inspired interdisciplinary research center, is developing immersive learning tools for youth and adults using compelling virtual worlds and digital stories that bring to life the excitement of taking action, making choices, and connecting the digital world and the real world to solve current problems. The LIVE team can even support highly specialized training for otherwise dangerous environments in a very safe setting. The team is already collaborating with local communities and industry to create consequential learning technology for career advancement and upskilling in a world that continually evolves with new technology advancements.

Learn more about Vanderbilt faculty Gautam Biswas as well as the Learning Incubator: A Vanderbilt Endeavor (LIVE).

Developing Risk-Informed Future Community Leaders

Teaching future community leaders about natural hazards and climate change can be a challenge. How do you manage the risk of a flood or earthquake? What is risk anyway? The user-friendly, online risk education curriculum for secondary educators can help answer some of these questions. Vanderbilt faculty Janey Camp recently developed this curriculum as part of a HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition. The curriculum, presented as a series of standalone modules, focuses on improving risk literacy through understanding of concepts such as likelihood and consequences of climate change and disruptive events, as well as risk perception and mitigation approaches to empower future community leaders better prepare for the uncertainties of tomorrow.

Learn more about Vanderbilt faculty Janey Camp.

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