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VFS Global, Oxademy launch AI MOOC

VFS Global, the world’s largest visa application contractor, has announced they will launch a new MOOC service in conjunction with UK ed tech startup Oxademy. Through its education arm, VFS Global Edu Support Services Pvt. Ltd, it  will create VFS-Oxademy.

VFS-OxadmyIn addition to the MOOC platform, VFS-Oxademy will also provide an app, which they say will prompt students outside of learning hours. Photo: Pexels.

VFS-Oxademy will offer postgraduate courses as well as executive education programs

The new venture claims to break new ground in the MOOC sector, by using artificial intelligence to personalise students’ learning path.

VFS provide “identity management” for governments and immigration services around the world. Its move into the MOOC market comes amid frustrations connected to identifying students in online-only environments.

Alongside VFS’s provision of security techniques and technologies, they offer physical bases around the world. These are currently utilised for visa processing, but will be used for final examinations and possible classroom teaching in the new venture.

“I was particularly interested in their claim that they can identify strengths and weaknesses of individual learners”

Oxademy hope to address the lack of personal contact and personalisation that can be a weakness for massive open online courses.

Its AI technology aims to adapt content to the students’ needs, by automatically understanding the areas individuals are struggling with. For example, when a student is taking longer than average to read a passage of text, the AI will amend the future course content immediately.

Founder and CEO of Oxademy Syed Shahzad said by adopting technological leaps VFS-Oxademy will increase the effectiveness of MOOC learning.

“We are bringing learning to people instead of people to learning and it’s done by embracing the latest technologies available in digital human interaction and by using a huge amount of data,” he said.

Speaking to The PIE News, founder of MoocLab, an online learning reviews website, Carolyn McIntyre said the innovations VFS-Oxademy claim to bring to the MOOC sector could prove to be a key development.

“I was particularly interested in their claim that they can identify strengths and weaknesses of individual learners, and base content on those specific strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “If that goes as deep as the content within an individual course then that becomes very interesting.”

VFS-Oxademy will also provide an app, which they say will prompt students outside of learning hours.

The new VFS-Oxademy will offer postgraduate courses, such as MBAs or master’s of Science in Organisational Leadership, as well as executive education programs, such as the Global Leadership Program.

These will be available in both fully online formats, and blended courses, which will involve some classroom sessions alongside online teaching.

VFS-Oxademy said its AI and cloud technology will also be used outside of direct learning, to allow students to undertake work placements without travelling long distances.

OX360 will facilitate ‘virtual work placements’, which the company said “widens the pool from which companies can recruit work placements”.

VFS-Oxademy hope to partner with HEIs across the globe to offer affiliated courses online.

Oxademy currently has links with Kazan Federal University in Russia, where it provides modules for the MBA program; and with Northwood University in the US.

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