On 1st September, the German Federal Ministry of Education approved a new collaborative project between DIPF EduTec and Cologne Game Lab named “Model for Hybrid Teaching (HyTea)”. The project’s total funding is Eur 750,000 and will be financing two PhD candidates at the DIPF and one a the Cologne Game Lab. The project’s Principal Investigators are Dr. Daniele Di Mitri from the DIPF side and Prof. Dr. Roland Klemke of the Cologne Game Lab (TH Köln).

Short project description Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can provide automatic, personalised and real-time feedback to learners in distance learning settings when a human expert is unavailable. AI feedback has the potential to be always available and can allow learners to practice deliberately and repeatedly at their own pace. Embedding AI feedback into immersive and multimodal technologies, like Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) or sensor-based systems, enables learners to train physical learning tasks alongside the more traditional cognitive tasks. We refer to these AI systems as Multimodal Tutors. One scenario that needs to be considered when replacing human feedback is that the AI system may deviate from the learner’s expectations and the teacher’s learning goals, risking becoming unethical. This challenge is known in AI ethics research as the “alignment problem” and refers to the importance of designing AI systems that align with human values. This project tackles the “alignment problem” in distance teaching in the particular context of presentation skills training. To tackle the problem, we design a Multimodal Tutor to train presentation skills such as body position, pauses, and voice intonation. The Multimodal Tutor features various game-oriented immersive scenarios on a mixed-reality headset to allow learners to practice autonomously, supported by AI-generated feedback. The human experts can monitor the learning process asynchronously via an Alignment Dashboard. They can assess the learner performance and the quality of the AI feedback, ensuring it is correctly aligned with the learning goals.