20 June 2024

Economist unravelling the pros and cons of intelligent learning tools

Sapere Aude Grant

Long has digitalisation been hitting the classroom – but what is the potential and are there hidden risks? Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen, Associate Professor at SODAS and the Department of Economics, will find out with the help of a Sapere Aude grant.

Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen
Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen is an Associate Professor in Economics and Social Data Science at University of Copenhagen. The majority of his research focuses on education related behavior and policies.

Digital technologies have made their way into our education programmes. However, a key question arises: Can these technologies both support learning and take into account individual learning patterns?

"I want to investigate the potential of intelligent learning systems to enhance student learning and add a new and improved measurement of learning," says Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen, Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and SODAS.

His project is made possible by a Sapere Aude grant of DKK 6.2 million from Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Distinguishing students' backgrounds

In the project "Coded Clues: Unravelling Learning at High Resolution", Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen and his research team will use data from digital learning platforms and administrative data from primary schools in Denmark.

This combination of data makes it possible to investigate the short-term and long-term effects of intelligent learning systems on student performance and learning.

"We are interested in increasing equality in learning, and we want to investigate how different factors, such as gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background, affect student performance and learning in the systems," he explains.

Drawbacks and ethical dilemmas

The project is, like Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen himself, interdisciplinary and utilises methods from economics and data science. The researchers will use new models from data science to measure students' knowledge and skills and examine the ethical aspects of these models.

"The work will result in new measures of student knowledge that we will use to investigate how learning speed is affected by teaching and effort both in and out of class," says Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen and elaborates:

"Our research will provide a better understanding of how technology can be used to improve children's learning learning, but also whether there are possible drawbacks and ethical dilemmas in using intelligent learning tools," he expects.


Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen
Associate Professor, Department of Economics and SODAS
Mail: abn@sodas.ku.dk 
Phone: +45 35 32 44 17

Simon Knokgaard Halskov
Press and communications advisor
Mail: sih@samf.ku.dk 
Phone: +45 93 56 53 29


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