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What is Cognii and How Can It Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks

Cognii
(Image credit: Cognii)

Cognii is a big name when it comes to artificial intelligence use in education. In fact this is a multiple award-winning system that helps teach K12 and higher education students digitally.

On the surface this could look like the future of teaching, in which bots replace people. And with the AI in education industry predicted (opens in new tab) to be worth $80 billion by 2030, we may be going that way. But in reality, right now, this is more of a teaching assistant that can take a lot of the work out of marking and correcting, while helping students learn and grow more independently.

This can be used in the classroom or, more likely, for work at home so a student can still receive guidance from the system without the need for an actual adult presence, all thanks to intelligent tutoring and more. Imagine a Siri for education.

So could Cognii's AI system be of use to you?

What is Cognii?

Cognii (opens in new tab) is an artificially intelligent teacher. While that sounds impressive, the reality is that it is a way of helping students in question-and-answer scenarios with a set of pre-written guidance comments.

Cognii

(Image credit: Cognii)

This platform works across a host of devices, allowing many students to access the service. That can mean reading a body of work and then answering questions, with guidance based on answers, or direct assessments. It covers a range of subjects, including English language arts, sciences, social studies, engineering, technology, and math for grades 3-12.

Cognii does everything digitally, so responses and student ability are also recorded. As such, it's possible for teachers to assess individuals, groups, or trends from the entire class year, all with at-a-glance analytic data that is simple to navigate.

One of the stand out features of Cognii, over other assessment tools, is that it will allow students to write answers in their own words yet still have automated assistance to guide and mark them. But more on how that works next.

How does Cognii work?

Cognii at its most basic is a questions-and-answers digital platform. But it's more complex as it uses AI, so the system can recognize student answers, written in their own natural language, and offer guidance.

Cognii

(Image credit: Cognii)

So rather than simply getting students to complete a multiple choice assessment, to get quick marking, this lets students write answers in their own words. It then recognizes areas where the answer is missing parts, context or perhaps depth, and then offers feedback for students to improve.

Students then add more to the answer until it is correct before moving on to the next. It's like having a teaching assistant working over the student's shoulder as they progress through the assessment. 

Since all this is instant, with the response coming as soon as the student selects enter, they can work through the assessment without waiting for feedback from a teacher, helping them reach mastery of an area far quicker than traditional question-and-answer marking scenarios. 

What are the best Cognii features?

Cognii is available to students any time they need it and anywhere they are with a connected device. Consequently, it can make mastering subjects a process that works for them, without feeling alone or unsupported when taking it on.

Cognii

(Image credit: Cognii)

Thanks to the use of natural language, similar to a voice-controlled assistant such as Amazon's Alexa, the Cognii AI is able to understand answers typed by students in lots of different ways. That can make for more intelligent tutoring, in which guidance is specifically focused so students can see where they are lacking or making mistakes in an answer, before adapting and getting a new response. 

The chatbot-style conversational back and forth is likely something both students and teachers have experienced online already, making it very accessible. In fact, using the app can be like messaging a person, resulting in a very natural way of learning through communication.

Grading is automatic, which can save a lot of time for teachers. But since this is also stored online, teachers can get a clear view of areas and students that need more attention, aiding in lesson planning and subject coverage.

How much does Cognii cost?

Cognii is charged on a sale-by-sale basis. This means a host of factors will be taken into account, from the size of the school, how many pupils will be using the system, what feedback data is required, and more. Since this isn't widely published, don't expect it to be cheap.

While this tool is available for K-12 and higher education, it is also for use in the business world for training purposes. As such, the packages offered vary greatly and can be well-tailored to suit the need of the institution on a quote-by-quote basis.

Cognii best tips and tricks

Make it real
Before leaving students to use Cognii, work through an assessment in the class to give them an idea of how it works.

Use at home
Have students work on Cognii assessments at home so they can prepare for a class on that subject that will offer greater depth than the paper they worked on.

Critique everything
Have students share feedback in class on how the system works and doesn't work. Help them to learn that AI has its flaws and how they can work around those.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.