Jacobs Foundation Research Fellow

Jennifer Meyer

Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education

Research Focus

Jennifer Meyer’s research explores the potential and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) in education. She focuses especially on generative AI (i.e., artificial intelligence that can create new content based on the patterns it has learned from existing data). Her work combines psychological research addressing the role of student individual differences in learning with the potential of digital technologies. She conducts randomized studies in classrooms investigating the determinants of the effectiveness of AI-powered learning interventions, for example, AI-generated feedback. Her research will contribute to the effective and equitable use of generative AI to support individualized learning in schools.  

My plans for the Fellowship

During my fellowship, I will investigate how generative AI influences learning and education, and how technologies based on generative AI can be used effectively for fostering learning within classrooms. I will explore how generative AI can be used as an individualized learning opportunity to provide students with more specific feedback tailored to their learning needs. Using generative AI allows providing feedback even for complex performances such as writing. In this work, I will focus in particular on the role of potential disparities when students work with generative AI, for example, whether learning with generative AI differs for students with different social backgrounds or levels of prior knowledge, and whether AI-based learning opportunities can contribute to closing the achievement gap between student groups. To address these questions, I plan to collaborate with software companies implementing AI in digital learning platforms to collect data from real classrooms and study psychological processes when learning with feedback in authentic situations. 

In the network of fellows, I look forward to initiating new interdisciplinary collaborations tackling the potential and challenges of AI in education and many interesting discussions!

How will my work change children’s and youth’s lives? 

With the increasing availability of generative AI tools, there are ongoing discussions on how the technological developments in the field of artificial intelligence will impact the lives of children and youth in the years to come. At this point, we do not know how these new technologies will impact students’ cognitive as well as affective-motivational development. We need to figure out how to effectively design learning opportunities (e.g., individualized feedback) with generative AI and how to implement them in classrooms. During my fellowship, I aim to increase our understanding of what generative AI will mean for education, and how we can utilize its potential, but at the same time take on potential challenges and mitigate risks. To address these questions, we need large-scale studies from authentic classrooms in international contexts capturing both students’ and teachers’ perspectives to ensure that generative AI is used effectively and equitably in schools. 

My research will provide new insights on how we can foster learning for all students. Based on these findings, my long-term goal is to contribute to providing all students with the most effective learning opportunities, and make sure more learners receive the support they need to reach their full potential.