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How to use Copilot to benefit your school – Part 1

Microsoft 365 Copilot

AI has the potential to enhance the efficiency and productivity of faculty and administrative staff, as well as enrich the learning experience for students. That’s why it’s crucial for all stakeholders to be well-equipped with the necessary skills and solutions to navigate an AI-driven future.

Of all the AI technologies now in the market, Microsoft Copilot for Education, an AI-powered assistant for general day-to-day computing, and Copilot for Microsoft 365, an advanced AI tool for work-focused tasks within Microsoft 365, have been making strides in improving various aspects of higher education.

Benefits of AI for Teachers and Administrative Staff

1. Streamline Administrative Tasks

The primary mission of teachers is to teach, so why not let AI tools relieve them of routine and time-intensive tasks that are meant for graphic designers or executive assistants? This way, they can channel their time and energy on how they can improve their teaching.

Educators can leverage Copilot for Microsoft 365 to create polished PowerPoint presentations for their lessons using just a simple prompt. By describing their presentation in the chat box and sharing key points, topics, and any specific content they’d like to include, Copilot can generate a first draft of their presentation in a matter of seconds. The first draft includes content, images, and even animations. Teachers can then build on this first draft and make tweaks as needed, with Copilot assisting through the process.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 can access and process data from multiple sources such as emails, documents, chats, and the web to generate context-aware and accurate results due to its seamless integration with Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams.

2. Teachers Can Create Better Learning Experiences for Students

Microsoft Copilot simplifies lesson planning by providing teachers with suggestions on course outlines, activities, or assessments aligned with learning objectives. What’s more, teachers can use Microsoft Copilot to create rubrics for their lessons. Aside from saving time in lesson plan creation, teachers can make Microsoft Copilot a brainstorming partner for new ideas on activities, assignments, and resources that can help generate more student interest and participation.

There are also SaaS assessment platforms in app marketplaces that offer AI-powered quiz generation tools that sit on top of the Microsoft 365 workspace to help educators generate question-and-answer pairs. This feature can be used for formative assessments or simply injecting some fun in class while learning new concepts.

3. Enable Teachers to Provide Better and Timely Student Feedback

Microsoft Copilot can help teachers provide prompt feedback to students by assisting them in drafting initial feedback on their work, which can be edited and personalized before sending it out. Providing students with better and timely feedback not only helps them understand their strengths and areas for improvement but also allows them to make the necessary adjustments promptly, leading to more effective learning experiences.

Microsoft Copilot can also help teachers draft reviews or testimonials on students’ progress. In addition, if teachers are spending less time on initial feedback, they can spend more time on actionable discussions with students about how to use the feedback and improve.

4. Personalize Learning Experiences for Students

No two students learn in the same way and providing the best learning experience means being able to address diverse learning needs and styles. Microsoft Copilot makes personalization a simple task by helping teachers personalize lesson plans, quizzes, rubrics, assignments, and other class resources to suit individual needs.

For instance, Microsoft Copilot facilitates easy access to the required information based on students’ reading levels, and teachers can create learning materials using the language that the students prefer, bridging language barriers, facilitating communication, and understanding among diverse groups of students, regardless of their native languages.

Microsoft Copilot makes personalization at scale possible by learning patterns from existing student data and understanding the context and intent of the language, enabling new ways of creating content for differentiated instruction. This paves the way for better engagement and deeper learning for students. However, as with any AI-generated content, educators need to check and review it for accuracy as part of due diligence.

Benefits of AI for Students

1. Quickly Find Resources Relevant to Assigned Lessons

Copilot for Microsoft 365 uses GPT-4 Turbo, OpenAI’s latest generation model, to analyze student queries and generate contextually relevant responses. This allows students find relevant resources fast, saving them time and ensuring they focus on what’s essential for their assignment and learning. Copilot suggests accurate information, summarizes content, and provides source links, allowing students to assess the source or dive deeper into the topic.

2. Provide Personalized Course Recommendations Based on Skills, Preferences and Accessibility

Microsoft Copilot can provide performance-based course recommendations using data analysis to understand each learner’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferences based on previous quizzes or assessments and other existing information. This allows Copilot to offer the most relevant and personalized guidance possible.

Copilot can also adapt to the learner’s needs by adjusting the difficulty and pace of the course content based on individual progress, ensuring that students are challenged appropriately. AI-aided learning can also be infused into curricula in areas such as languages to augment familiarization with new vocabulary so that students can better express themselves.

Microsoft Copilot Studio can also be used to enhance accessibility for learners with diverse abilities through speech-to-text and text-to-speech applications, making educational materials more accessible and inclusive.

3. Manage Schedules and Submissions More Efficiently

Students benefit from Copilot’s automation capabilities because it can generate reminders, due dates, and notifications, ensuring timely submissions and organized workflows.

Teachers can also manage schedules, lessons, assignments, and assessments, which students can access when needed. Students can track their submissions, receive reminders, and consolidate deadlines tailored to their needs, preferences, and learning pace. This way, each student stays on track with their coursework and deadlines.

PMD want to take you further into the conversation in Part 2…
With all these benefits it does come with its risks which we will explore in part 2 of our next post – in the meantime email us on sales@pmddatasolutions.co.uk and check out our Microsoft 365 Copilot Readiness and Sustainable Adoption if you’re looking to implement Copilot in your environment.