but these approaches do not take full advantage of
the interactivity possible in this medium. The video
lessons in the online KBAI class, by contrast, was constructed with interactivity as its foundation. Every
lesson is built around an example of some type of reasoning an AI agent could perform, and students are
frequently asked to simulate or predict the results of
this reasoning themselves. Rather than adding simple questions after the fact, this interactivity was the
foundation of the initial course scripting process. As
noted above, we observed that online students outperformed residential students in fall 2014 on the
course assessments; if this result is due to the superior instructional material, it suggests this design decision improves students’ learning outcomes and satisfaction with the course.
Empowering the Student Community
As noted above, arguably our greatest lesson from
teaching this course has been the role of the com-
munity of learning in the online KBAI class. First, the
student community in the program is remarkably
well-qualified: nearly a fifth of students already have
graduate-level degrees of some kind, and many have
worked professionally in software development, data
science, or related fields for years prior to entering the
program. The community knowledge surpasses the
material we could ever deliver intentionally through
preprepared lecture material. Nothing we do can
replicate the power of having actual AI researchers as
students (and later, teaching assistants) in the class.
Not only are the students fantastically qualified, but
they also take significant ownership over the class
experiences. Figure 4 shows a snapshot of the level of
student activity in the class: students created four dis-
cussions, three questions and a poll in 36 hours dur-
ing the Summer 2015 semester, drawing over three
dozen responses and two student answers to class-
mates’ questions. Three of these posts involved stu-
dents sharing to help their classmates, while a fourth
posed a philosophical discussion question and a fifth
was purely social. No incentive was given for partici-
pation; this student ownership is purely organic.
In response to this discovery, we have learned to
take active steps to empower the student community in the online KBAI class. Thus, we have created a
more accommodating collaboration policy to maximize the extent to which students may learn from
their well-qualified classmates. We also stress usage of
a peer review system that pairs each student with several classmates on each assignment, allowing them
to benefit from the professional experience of other
Leveraging Research for Authentic Projects
As noted previously, one of our approaches to using
AI to teach AI is to engage students in authentic
research projects that can immediately translate to
publications or participation in active groups. This
requires two unique efforts. First, the projects that
students work on within the class must be designed
in such a way that there is the potential they may
translate to real-world publications and research. In
KBAI, students re-create and contribute to an ongoing body of research pursued by the community.
However, creating projects that have the potential
to carry over into real-world research does not guarantee they actually will. Steps must also be taken to
support students interested in continuing to pursue
those projects. We have accomplished this in a number of ways: by specifically offering students the
opportunity to collaborate on a publication based on
their project work; by opening master’s projects and
theses for students to continue developing their projects for class credit; and by setting up a research lab
targeted at online students.
Recreating Features of the Residential Class
One of the common criticisms of online education is
the perception that to offer the class online, certain
material, relationships, or procedures must be
removed, thus weakening the class. We have
observed that many of these, such as student-student
and student-instructor interaction, are no weaker
online than in person (and in fact, may be stronger).
Figure 4. Discussion Snapshot.
A snapshot of the discussions created by students in a 36-hour period during the summer 2015 offering of the KBAI course.
Training/Learning AI agent
Which basic D problems are you having...
Funny AI-Gone-Wrong Shirt
Tip: Java snippet to render image Calcu...
I was wondering what should we write i...
Do assignments have to focus exclusiv...
What is creativity?
Question about lecture 23
• An instructor thinks this is a good note
• An instructor thinks this is a good note
• 2 Unresolved Followups
ou w r .
v to u e
WEEK 7/5 - 7/11