Can AI close gaps in education by creating personal tutors?

A recent survey by found that about a third of college students have used ChatGPT to help them complete assignments, and some students are trying to use it as a tutor.

Dr. Gayeski serves as a research advisor for and provided this commentary:“Most tutors do much more than provide content – they structure study time, they provide modeling and motivation, and they help to diagnose where learners are having trouble and can then structure the explanations and practice to overcome those obstacles,” Gayeski says.

Instead of a total replacement for tutors, Gayeski sees ChatGPT as an important tool that may be used in the development of intelligent tutoring systems (ITS), computer systems that provide personalized lessons and feedback without a human teacher.

“Over the past thirty years, there has been great interest in creating intelligent tutors. These are programs that not only provide content, but they do so by learning about each user’s interests, prerequisite knowledge, and application areas,” explains Gayeski.

“Intelligent tutoring systems hold a lot of promise for more effective learning – especially in cases where learners are having difficulties in comprehending and applying content. For instance, if I wanted to learn accounting, an intelligent tutor could provide examples of how I’d set up various kinds of reports for my small consulting business, and it could figure out that I lacked prerequisite knowledge in how to set up a spreadsheet for a profit-and-loss statement and provide that remedial teaching before we went on to more sophisticated concepts,” she explains.

Dr. Diane Gayeski

“It could present me with questions and track the speed and accuracy with which I answered them to tailor the rest of the content, including specific feedback related to any misconceptions it could detect. ChatGPT may be one of the many tools that instructional designers can use to create these intelligent tutoring systems and many other specific tools are now under development,” Gayeski finishes.