Artificial intelligence to improve academic success: The Ministry of Education is making an “unprecedented” transformation

Quebec is investing in an “unprecedented” digital transformation aimed at improving academic success through artificial intelligence, which will make it possible to identify and effectively intervene with students at risk.

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The adventure was already underway at the scolaire service center at Cœur-des-Vallées, in Outaouais, about two years ago.

In this service center, we wanted to act upstream rather than waiting for a student to be absent from school for a few days before sounding the alarm.

A tool was designed in collaboration with a private company: it is used to predict which teens are likely to drop out. We take into account, of course, not only school results, but also many other factors (absences, behavioral problems, etc.).

Since the beginning of the year, school administrators have received a monthly list of students to keep a close eye on. School teams can therefore tailor their interventions and services to this monthly list.

“It’s a really cool tool, it allows us to spot students who are in a gray area and who have been in a rift before,” says Daniel Bellemare, general manager of this school service center.

He adds that the school team, which no longer has to perform data analysis by itself with the means at hand, has more time to devote to its students.

digital intelligence project

This type of initiative is part of the “Digital Intelligence Project” the Legault government announced on Monday.

The Minister of Education, Jean-François, noted that the scolaire services au Cœur-des-Vallées as well as the Val-des-Cerfs, in Monterrey, had “shown the way” by acting as “pioneers” in this regard. Roberg. “We have been inspired by what they are doing to do better,” he added.

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real time image

In addition to making this type of tool available across the school network, the Ministry of Education will rely on the use of “real-time” data to enable better management of the education network.

Until very recently, data was collected manually in the school network, which represented a real “uphill battle”. Minister Robertge said this way of doing things, which has slowed the school network during the pandemic, is “no longer acceptable” in 2022.

He added that the use of digital intelligence will produce “dashboards” that will serve to better guide government and school network decisions with the aim of improving services provided to students, while setting up parallel to the changes made to the ministry. Health since the beginning of the pandemic.

From the start of the 2022 school year, the first integrated data will be available on student absenteeism and success, needs in terms of school staff and school workflow. More real time data will be added later.

This is the “first major AI project for the government of Quebec”, for his part, noted Minister Eric Kayer, who is responsible for the strategy for integrating AI into public administration, who emphasized its “nervous” side.

Quebec is investing $10.6 million over two years in this project. It will work with well-known partners, such as the Quebec Institute for Artificial Intelligence (MILA) and the Institute for Data Valuation (IVADO).

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