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Territorium's AI Tool Advises Students on Job Skills

The global ed-tech company is bringing an AI-driven platform to the U.S. that uses academic performance, co-curricular activities and other data to paint a clear picture of a student's skills for prospective employers.

Tech training skills
As ed-tech companies work to outshine one another in the competitive market for digital learning tools, software developers have looked to artificial intelligence to build platforms that handle everything from grading to exam proctoring to content management. With fierce competition in the U.S. ed-tech market, Texas-based software company Territorium has developed a new use for AI – comparing student abilities against job openings – and announced plans last week to bring it to American schools and universities.

According to a news release from the company, the Comprehensive Learner Record (TerritoriumCLR) platform measures a student's academic performance, personal interests and co-curricular activities to paint a full picture of their competencies and skills. Leveraging these metrics, along with class rubrics and instructor feedback, the tool can compile a "complete digital record" of a student’s learning progress, which it measures against skill sets mentioned in advertised job openings.

Vice President of Business Development Darrell Lane said the goal is not just to measure grades and academic metrics, but also social achievements and unique talents related to potential career paths. The program allows institutions to record courses, clubs, athletics and other activities that students engage in outside of class.

“We don’t just capture, measure and collect skills that are learned on campus in academic courses, we also [measure] the co-curricular,” he said. “We like to say, ‘Learning happens everywhere.’”

Through aggregated data on academic performance and extracurricular engagement, the software can make recommendations to help students close specific career skill gaps, such as enrolling in specific classes or skill-building programs.

Lane said the program can measure a student's aptitude in problem-solving, subject expertise, communication, leadership and technical know-how, among other metrics.

“We start with jobs and end with jobs. Our system sends out ‘spiders’ and reads real job openings,” he said. “It reads those job descriptions and translates those into competencies and skills. Based on the keywords in the job description, it translates, 'these are the competencies and skills required for that job,' and it does that for thousands of jobs.

“It creates a career path for that student to eliminate their gaps in competencies and skills and recommends classes, courses and labs. Then as students complete those learning experiences, with the evidence that’s been defined and the rubrics defined by the faculty, those skills go into the Comprehensive Learner Record,” he added.

TerritoriumCLR includes an app for students to check their progress, and it works with most learning management systems to help plot courses and career development activities. Each student also gets a Skills Digital Wallet that can share their CLR with prospective employers.

Lane said the company serves about 9 million users, mainly in colleges, universities and government agencies focusing on workforce development throughout Latin America. He said most of its clients are in higher education, but the platform can be used within high school career development programs as well.

He said he thinks the tool will stand out among others in the U.S. market due to its detailed measurements of student skills and career guidance, and its compatibility with widely used learning management systems such as Canvas, Blackboard and Google Classroom.

“We would love to work with government agencies in the U.S. because our platform can help them retool their citizens and the thousands of people in their state that have become unemployed [through] no fault of their own due to COVID-19 and the shutdowns,” he said.

Territorium co-founder and CEO Guillermo Elizondo said in a public statement last week that the AI tool could prove useful in workforce development efforts to prepare students for the changing responsibilities of an increasingly tech-integrated job market.

"By identifying skills gaps at all ages, students, parents, teachers and administrators all have the needed information to ensure proper learning is happening and make any corrections early and in a highly personalized manner," the statement read. "As the future of work changes, the need to understand skills and competencies is becoming increasingly critical."

Lane said Territorium has reached out to several potential clients in the U.S. who expressed interest in the platform since its introduction to the U.S. marketplace last week, but details remained pending as of Wednesday.
Brandon Paykamian is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from East Tennessee State University and years of experience as a multimedia reporter, mainly focusing on public education and higher ed.