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The educational innovation project Virtual Interface for Smart Interactions Online (VISION) in which the Faculty of Science is participating has received a subsidy from the European Erasmus + programme. Vision aims to help higher education institutions to offer high-quality and inclusive digital education.

Vision is a collaboration between Universitaet Graz, Technische Universitaet Dresden and University of Amsterdam. The lecturers from IvI and SILS and the FNWI Teaching and Learning Center are involved in this project from the UvA. The UvA core team consists of Ana Oprescu (IvI) (local project leader), Ana Varbanescu (IvI), Erwin van Vliet (SILS) and Natasa Brouwer (Teaching and Learning Center).

The award stems from a special call from the Erasmus + Strategic Partnership, which has been opened specifically to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of helping higher education institutions to provide high-quality and inclusive digital education.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities worldwide have faced several challenges in the shift to online education. The Vision project will develop innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tools for educators and students to personalize learning in a didactically sound and targeted way.

Three tools will be delivered:

  • An AI-based Smart Authoring Tool (The Vision) to develop interactive, visually and didactically valuable courses that promote personalized learning and that can be integrated into any digital learning platform.
  • A course-specific Chatbot Tutor (The Visionary) that serves as a communication interface between students and teachers. It will also link to the Smart-Authoring Tool to provide dynamic and personalized updates for every student.
  • An E-course (The Visionar) for educators to professionalize and support them in using the aforementioned tools to develop education that aligns with their goals.

Vision is carried out by partners from Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, but its impact will go beyond national borders and institutions. By identifying, assessing and sharing best practices and knowledge sharing within higher education in general, this project will give the power to spread the developments more widely and to continue to strengthen education, even after COVID-19.

The project will start on 1 June 2021 and will run for 2 years. The total subsidy is 296,725 euros.