Creating pathways into the economy of tomorrow
Athabasca University is proud to be part of the AI Pathways Partnership (AIPP)—a consortium of post-secondaries from across Alberta coming together to advance artificial intelligence and machine learning, cultivate excellence, and provide opportunities for Albertans to thrive in the global digital economy.
Building skills for the future
Our province is home to several world-class research hubs that are driving innovation and working with industry to harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). As post-secondary institutions, the AIPP recognizes that we have a responsibility to prepare the next generation for the future, and ensure Albertans of all backgrounds and skillsets are able to navigate this dynamic environment and capitalize on momentum.
Programs will begin in 2021, and will include technical, business, and professional interpersonal skills—competencies that have been identified as being crucial for success by employers and industry organizations.
For more information visit AI Pathways Partnership.
Developing and increasing pathways for learners at AU
To serve learners’ needs, no matter where they are at with their educational journeys, AU offers online bachelor, master, and doctoral programs alongside online courses for personal and professional development. Whether they take a course, a certificate, or an entire degree, AU wants learners to be able to bring their existing knowledge and gain a higher education that will give them the skills to thrive in Alberta’s rapidly evolving workforce.
This partnership will help to facilitate pathways for learners into AU courses and programs from other post-secondaries in Alberta. Not only will they be able to access AU’s flexible and open approach to university level education, but they will also be able to learn with innovative digital tools in new and exciting courses from some of Alberta’s leading researchers and educators.
Preparing AU learners to lead in the digital age
The Faculty of Business at AU is preparing learners for the challenges ahead in our digital age. To not just be work-ready but to be promotion-ready, with the technical knowledge but also the soft skills learners need to get ahead.
Using innovative digital business education tools, the Faculty of Business has enriched and enlivened course content. For example, in the Bachelor of Commerce, there are already a number of courses that have integrated simulated, experiential learning methods. The Bachelor of Commerce program also offers the opportunity to put their business knowledge and skills into practice while developing stronger soft skills through the world’s first AI-powered virtual learning experience.
AI-powered virtual cooperative
AU is already offering courses that include some AI-powered components, as well as a business co-operative opportunity in which AI coworkers and a virtual boss simulate the experience of a job placement.
ADMN 405 helps learners to become better decision-makers and to work more effectively with others. In addition to the course topics, the course helps learners to develop in a safe environment, including areas such as online etiquette, ethics, emotional intelligence, and decision-making criteria.
The simulation uses AI to help students develop “soft” skills (people skills) in strategic leadership, ethics, and communication. This simulation puts students in the role of an executive management trainee in a variety of situations, such as a major financial merger and acquisition. Students move through series of projects individually and as a cohort to challenge skills such as decision making, ethics, online etiquette, and written communication. Each project is completed through a series of emails with the fictitious co-workers and others in the simulation, as well as debriefs with an AI mentor and the course’s educator.
AI and ML at AU
AU’s School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS) provides opportunities for learners to study topics related to AI and ML at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a variety of degree and certificate options. Courses can be completed online and at your own pace, making it one of the most flexible options out there to earn a degree.
What’s more, many researchers within the Faculty of Science and Technology are working on a wide variety of AI and ML topics, incorporating quality research with highly interactive research-led teaching. This contributes to AU’s mission through exploring modern learning technologies including online learning, adaptive learning, mobile learning, social networking, learning analytics, and semantic web.
Beyond the theoretical topics of computation, faculty members’ and graduates’ multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, aims at developing methodologies that provide effective solutions to real-world problems in Canadian industry and the wider community from every other discipline, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of learning and the quality of life.
For more information, visit the School of Computing and Information Systems website.