University of Denver professor promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in education through AI technology
CU Denver STEM Education Professor Geeta Verma has empowered women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through her grant from the National Science Foundation and other activities of research. Verma embarked on a new journey and founded a new online platform called LivedXMT. The platform harnesses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to accelerate opportunities for minority and marginalized youth. LivedX was recently included in the Forbes Next 1000 list.
Growing up in India, Verma recognized the glaring educational and economic disparities in society. This and his STEM education work became his motivation to develop LivedX, an ambitious tool used to reduce some of these disparities by valuing the lived experiences of all young people, especially minorities and the marginalized, in formal degrees.
“I envisioned LivedX after talking to students, educators, and administrators who work hard for high school and college students to graduate,” Verma said.
Identify the problem of yield gaps
Gaps in achievement continue to persist among historically disadvantaged students in Colorado and across the country. The latest CMAS K-12 data available (before the pandemic) showed that in all grades, black and Hispanic students lagged behind their white peers in math and English.
From 2019 to 2020, college graduation rates in Colorado averaged 66.7% for Native American students, 72.8% for Hawaiian or other Pacific Island students, 75.4% for college students Hispanic or Latino, 76.6% percent for black students, 86.7% for white students, and 91.2% for Asian students. Across the state, there are not only racial / ethnic achievement gaps, but also achievement gaps for students from low-income families and first-generation students.
What is LivedX? How does that help?
LivedX is designed to minimize the impact of unequal backgrounds in the lives of minority students. The platform helps individuals create a data-driven profile of essential life skills guided by their life experiences. By leveraging machine learning, these skills are transformed into micro-accreditation categories such as collaboration, communication and global citizenship skills. Students can also earn college credit by accumulating their LivedX micro-accreditations through the University of Colorado at Denver.
According to Verma, she’s trying to solve two problems: getting these students to the finish line of graduation by helping them earn extra credits and capturing their stories – stories of persistence, creativity and other skills for broaden the notion of success beyond academic credits.
Verma said, “I felt compelled to change the status quo by creating a socially fair AI tool that supports, motivates and enables diverse students and women to document and impart their important life skills in ways that help them. to overcome the gaps in opportunities for success. . ”
Measurable results for LivedX to date include over 2,000 student user profiles and high user satisfaction ratings. The responses from the participants were as follows: “I feel that my life matters” and “the technology is really easy to use”. Many plan to mention the skills they have documented in LivedX in employment and higher education applications.
“Going forward, this tool will also connect students with adult and peer mentors and learning opportunities to create an ecosystem that enables students to be successful in all aspects of their lives,” said Verma.
Currently, LivedX is in partnership with several high schools as well as universities in the United States. Students are informed by their school / university that they are eligible to engage with the platform at no individual cost. Through a partnership with CU Denver and its School of Education & Human Development, individual students can earn CU Denver transcribed credits for completing activities in LivedX at a cost of $ 74 per credit for U.S. high school students and $ 119 per credit. credit for American students. .
In 2022, Verma plans to expand the use of the LivedX platform to young people living around the world.