The Medical School Tutor will deliver personalised and scalable guidance to medical students to prepare them for clinical practice.

NANYANG Technological University, Singapore (NTU) recently collaborated with IBM to develop a virtual tutor designed to assist the learning of medical students at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine).

By leveraging on IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning capabilities, the proof-of-concept Medical School Tutor aims to give students access to a personalised, interactive AI learning support system. The virtual tutor will take various forms, such as a mobile application, a computer programme with voice command or integrated into the school’s team-based learning platform.

The goal is to design a virtual tutor with the ability to adapt learning to each individual with algorithms equipped to analyse students’ performance, weaknesses and strengths, and help them polish up areas that they may need help with.

NTU education deputy provost Professor Kam Chan Hin said the initiative aims to enrich the LKCMedicine’s established team-based learning pedagogical model to tailor learning and teaching to the needs of each student, while enhancing their ability to achieve the expected learning outcomes.

“This collaboration is truly a game changer for medical education. This is an important milestone in NTU’s move in the last few years towards technology-enhanced learning, which uses multimedia components such as 2D/3D animations, simulations, augmented and virtual reality,” he said.

The Medical School Tutor will have the potential to supplement teaching as it aims to deliver personalised and scalable guidance, to enable students to better assimilate and apply their knowledge, and prepare them for clinical practice in a range of healthcare settings, from the clinic to the emergency department.

“Intelligent tutoring has long been the ultimate goal of personalised learning and using an intelligent tutor to help augment the training of future doctors is possibly one of the best use-cases of an intelligent tutor,” said IBM cognitive sciences and education technology research global leader Dr Satya Nitta.

“Given how demanding medical education is, and how much more complex it is to layer an AI tutor on top of an already demanding domain, we are very pleased to be collaborating with NTU Singapore to tackle this difficult challenge together,” she added.

This collaborative initiative was made possible due to LKCMedicine’s extensively digitalised curriculum accessible to all students, 24//7.

In the school’s initial conceptualisation, a key part of feeding the Imperial medical course into LKCMedicine’s new curriculum was the digitalisation of content material.

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