The Evolution of Research on Digital Education
How does AI&EdAIED; today compare to 25 years ago? This paper addresses this evolution by identifying six trends. The trends are ongoing and will influence learning technologies going forward. First, the physicality of interactions and the physical space of the learner became genuine components of digital education. The frontier between the digital and the physical has faded out. Similarly, the opposition between individual and social views on cognition has been subsumed by integrated learning scenarios, which means that AIED pays more attention today to social interactions than it did at its outset. Another trend is the processing of learners' behavioural particles, which do not carry very many semantics when considered individually, but are predictive of knowledge states when large data sets are processed with machine learning methods. The development of probabilistic models and the integration of crowdsourcing methods has produced another trend: the design of learning environments has become less deterministic than before. The notion of learning environment evolved from a rather closed box to an open ecosystem in which multiple components are distributed over multiple platforms and where multiple stakeholders interact. Among these stakeholders, it is important to notice that teachers play a more important role than before: they interact not only at the design phase (authoring) but also in the runtime phase (orchestration). These trends are not specific to AIED; they depict the evolution of learning technologies as a whole.