Using a Chatbot for Education

Last Updated on November 4, 2020 by Sean B

College Graduates awaiting their Diplomas.More school districts and universities are using chatbots for education, and AI chatbots are making their adoption more common every day. Recently, the use of chatbots in higher education as well as in K-12 schools have increased dramatically during the Coronavirus Pandemic. We’ll get into the various ways schools are using a chatbot for education in this article.

Artificial intelligence is no longer a term based on a realm of futuristic possibilities. With the advent of technology, artificial is pervasive in the current world and found in every industry you can think of- mobile industry, automobile industry, medical industry, automotive industry, manufacturing industry, etc.

Artificial intelligence has come a long way- if you own a smartphone or have talked to a chatbot before, on a website, you are already plugged into the field of artificial intelligence. For a decade, science has been taking great advancement leaps, which has transformed our sci-fi ideas into a reality.

Currently, artificial intelligence and chatbots are being used in every industry. The applications of artificial intelligence are increasing at a rapid state.

From marketing, sales, and transport to healthcare applications, we find artificial intelligence chatbots everywhere around us. They play a major role in performing tasks with reliability and reliability. When it comes to artificial intelligence chatbots, there’s no room for errors.

It’s revolutionizing that any leading firms and organizations have started using chatbots for marketing, sales and customer service. The industries have adapted to AI tech. So, what’s one industry that’s on the verge to improve and adapt with the use of artificial intelligence chatbots? Education, of course.

A distracted student making faces for the camera.

Using Chatbots in Education

There are many ways in which education chatbots are changing structures of the education industry. Long gone are those days when students used to spend hours reading hundreds of books at the library. The wealth of technology has allowed students to access all kinds of books using their smartphones.

While expensive books are a click away, it takes less than a minute to find an online tutor to pursue your degree. Besides other advancements of technology in the education sector, we will see how education chatbots have changed the course of learning for students.

 Why is the Education Industry Using Chatbots?

To stay visible and relevant to the audience, many firms are using artificial intelligence to improve their customer service, sales, and marketing strategies. Educators and learners are also deploying chatbots for education for their ease and convenience.

Chatbots for education are those kinds of AI-powered conversational machines created to communicate with educators and learners on all high-school, junior, college, and school-level subjects. Even if you are in a university and need help with a subject or a topic, an AI-powered chatbot can help you teach, just like an online tutor.

While they won’t replace the human teachers ever, they will adapt the students, learners, and educators to modern education.

With the addition of chatbots for education, the largest impact will be on the students. Children of today, or what we call, Gen Z are growing up with technology. Not having access to technology to learn in the classroom might hinder their learning capabilities. The current generation, who majorly relies on the internet for accumulating data needs something familiar around them to learn.

Although, smartphones are seen as a distraction to students but using AI-powered chatbots for education might help to keep them engaged with the teacher’s learning material.

For instance, if the assignment is boring to be done on the paper, they can use the AI-powered chatbot to feed their answers or tell the correct answer during a conversation with the education chatbot.

Education chatbots have a lot of potential and applications. Right now, they are the most demanding machines for improving and enhancing the learning experience for students.

The busts of famous figures line a University Library.

AI Chatbots for Education: Looking Towards the Future

The increasing use of chatbots for education is changing the way students are absorbing information. AI chatbots for education provide a personalized learning environment to an individual student, which is nearly impossible if you are being taught in a class, by a human teacher.

Education chatbots have systems to detect if the individual has got the lesson or not. They can help a teacher know if their class has understood the study material or not. They make communication between the class and teachers easy.

Education chatbot is a game-changing education tech that is changing the structures of teaching. Here are some ways in which education chatbots influence the education sector:

Interactive Learning Through Education Chatbots

Chatbots are equipped with intelligent tutoring systems that provide an interactive learning environment for each student by analyzing their learning behavior, responses, feedback, and their understanding of the learning content/material.

In simpler words, AI-powered chatbots for education turn a boring lecture into a series of messages to make it interactive and compelling to the student. A standardized conversation about the learning content is easier to interpret for the brain as compared to learning a lesson. In addition to that, the chatbots for education also assess the student’s understanding and learning by presenting or asking a series of lesson-relevant questions. If the student scores good marks, the bot then moves on to the next lesson/learning session.

One example of an interactive education chatbot is Botsify. It presents its students the lesson in the form of videos, images, text, or a combination of three. After learning from the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, the students take the quiz or assignment and submit the results to the teacher. In this way, not only the teacher but the student also gets to monitor the progress in a particular subject.

Enhanced Engagement of Students

Gen Z is already familiar with instant messaging apps on social media sites. Whether they want help regarding a research paper or want to communicate with each other, they choose a social media messaging app to do so. Often, students need help with their assignments and projects. While some take the help of their online tutors, others switch to education chatbot platforms or take help from a virtual learning assistant.

Taking help from an education conversational bot can help the students to engage with the learning material more effectively. Communicating and connecting with a learning chatbot makes it easier for the student to submit assignments, take the missed lecture, or understand multiple times. In short, it becomes easy for the student to digest information.

CourseQ is an AI-powered chatbot platform that allows the teachers and students to communicate. The student can ask or post a question on the college group and the teacher or any other student will answer, thereby, solving the student’s doubts.

Secure and Smart Feedback

Regardless of who you are- a student or a teacher, it is important to enhance the learning process, especially if all the schools of the world have shifted to online education due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The feedbacks collected by an education chatbot from the students give the opportunity for the educators to identify the learning and teaching gaps so that they take every student together in the classroom.

Many education chatbots provide a teacher’s feedback to the students using an online platform so that they can work on areas they are weak in. In addition to that, chatbots can easily generate assignments, tests and quiz for the students and even score them, based on their performance and answers.

One example of such an education chatbot is Hubert. The bot interacts with every student in the class and asks about the class’s experience as an individual. Furthermore, he asks interactive questions like, ‘what should be changed in the class?’, ‘is there anything you need to improve in the online class?’

Some students are introvert and shy. They rarely open up to their teachers about the class’s environment. However, this type of education chatbot can help to express themselves freely. The chatbot, Hubert then accumulates the responses, highlights the troubled areas in the forms, and submits the feedback so that online learning could be improved.

Non-Resting Teaching Assistants for the Students

We have seen many students put ‘do my assignment’ requests on Facebook groups so that they can find someone with credible knowledge to help them with the assignments. Similarly, the busy teachers of this era need someone to plan their day. Nowadays, education chatbots are being used by educators as well as the students to perform repetitive tasks and seek education guidance respectively.

Chatbots for education are always there, 24/7 to answer the learner’s query about the deadlines, assignment, quiz, course outline, course module, etc. In addition to that, they can help learners track the progress of their students while allowing them to give constructive feedback to them.

Moreover, chatbots for education are smart enough to analyze the student’s performance and recommend learning material resources accordingly.

One example of such an education bot is SnatchBot. It helps the teachers to foster an online learning environment.

Instant Help for Learners

Gen Z will never stop its hunger for education. It will find ways to learn everything instantly. Fortunately, there’s technology and the internet to help their quest for education. Whether it’s sending an email to a teacher, submitting an assignment or reading a teacher’s feedback, a student can do everything by a click.

To draw the attention of Gen Z learners, many schools, vocational institutions, colleges, and universities are switching to smart and intelligent learning.

Every year, thousands of students visit the prestigious colleges’ websites in order to know about the teachers, the learning environment, and the fee structure. Most of the questions are repetitive.

Many colleges and schools have integrated their websites with an education chatbot to help answer frequently asked questions by the students or their parents. The students won’t even have to wait to talk to a customer representative. They can get their answer instantly through a chatbot and have their problems solved.

College Graduates awaiting their Diplomas.

Real-Life Educational Chatbot Examples

Different education chatbots have different AI functionalities that help them to be a great learning tool for educators as well as students. We have explored a lot of education chatbots but the following stand out among others:

iTalk2Learn

it is speech recognition, AI-powered education chatbot created specifically for primary students. Through Natural Language processing, the chatbot can communicate with the students the same way as a flesh and blood teacher.

The chatbot analyzes each student’s behavior and individual capabilities to create a personalized tutoring system.

The best feature of this chatbot is that it used speech recognition to listen to students’ answers and talk back to them. It assesses a student’s performance and progress through speech recognition. Moreover, it also creates a study plan for individuals to absorb maximum information and knowledge during the learning session.

Thirdspace Learning

It is the biggest mathematics learning platform in the UK. They have integrated their website with an education chatbot that creates a personalized curriculum for each student, based on his daily progress and learning capabilities.

Through this app, each student is offered an online tutor who can communicate with the student in real-time. Moreover, it uses smart technology to warn the teacher whenever the students misunderstand the lesson. The chatbot uses missing student’s data to come to a harsh conclusion like this.

A student breaks his pencil while doing homework.

The Use of Chatbots in Higher Education

More colleges and Universities are finding effective ways to use chatbots every day to help their staff and students. I’ll go through just a few examples here to give an idea of how chatbots can be helpful in higher education.

Using Chatbots to Improve Student Mental Health

Several Universities are using chatbots to help their students deal with the stress that can come with a new environment, tests, and the ever-changing routine required by some majors. Using chatbots to help students maintain their mental health can include providing everything from support for the daily stresses, guiding students to financial aid and other financial resources as needed, and helping them manage their studies and family obligations.

A recent study by Stanford University
found that students using Woebot over a two-week period experienced a significate reduction in Anxiety and Depression symptoms compared to a control group that were directed to an ebook titled “Depression and  College Students” from the National Institute of Mental Health. Among the students using Woebot, 85% used the chatbot on a daily or almost daily basis.

Using Chatbots to Improve Student Success

Vincent Tinto, a Professor Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Syracuse University wrote a wonderful article about how to improve student persistence and completion. In his article, he talked about a number of experiences that shape student motivation, but focused on the three he felt were the most important:

  • Self-Efficacy: This refers to the student’s belief in their ability to succeed.
  • Sense of Belonging: This refers to the sense of community that students have.
  • Perceived Value of the Curriculum: This refers to the value the student sees in the class or classes they are taking.

Using chatbots can assist with all three points, providing updated to-the-minute information related to their coursework through a chatbot, means that students are not only more likely to see the value of what they are studying, but can increase their belief in their own ability to succeed. If they can tie a historical event to something more current can improve the student’s understanding of the historical event and improve overall interest.

Bethel University, a small Christian Liberal Arts College in Mishaka, Indiana is using a chatbot from EdSights which reaches out to students who are at risk of failing certain classes via text messages. Wilhelm uses AI and connects to EdSights backend, which engages with students with their chatbots and collects data about their college experience to identify areas where they may be struggling. The effects can be enormous, both on the struggling student and the school. EdSights claims an 89% accuracy in identifying students at risk of dropping out, and a 12% increase in student retention.

Using Chatbots for Administrative Tasks

Many Universities are already using chatbots to help with everything from Admissions to Campus Tours. Andrew Magliozzi, the CEO of AdmitHub, a company that creates chatbots focused on the education market, explained that their chatbots now focus on over 6,500 different topics and can provide information on every stage of the college experience. Magliozzi explains that the goal of their chatbots was to point students to the right resources.

Students can engage with the AdmitHub chatbots about any topic, like whether there is a Coffee Shop on campus to where they can file for Disabled Status or an extension on a particular exam in case of a family emergency.

A woman studying in the library of her college.

The Advantages of Using an Educational Chatbot

Chatbots for education are beyond facilitating learners’ and teachers’ requests. As a user interacts with the bot, it gathers a lot of data. The accumulated data can be used by the bot to give friendly yet constructive advice, learn the students’ performance pattern, their ability to learn, etc. With the growing need of today’s students, chatbots are being equipped with advanced technology to improve the education and learning process for all students.

Choosing the Best Education Chatbot for Yourself

The greatest flex of education chatbots is to identify the user’s intent. Without understanding the user’s intent, a machine is not able to process the request or give back relevant information. Whether you are a college student, a university student, or a teacher yourself, you need to choose an educational chatbot that’s different from a regular chatbot.

Education chatbots are dedicated to administrations, learners, educators, students, and all of the education industry across the globe. They are equipped with the latest technology, NLP and artificial intelligence to give teachers and students, the assistance they need to get by.

In Conclusion

Education is an ever changing field, every year there is something new to teach and to learn. It makes sense then, that the school districts and colleges would turn to technology to help them keep up with the latest trends. The variety of uses that chatbots have in edication however, is quite surprising:

  • Administrative Chatbots can help simplify some of the repetitive tasks for both students and staff.
  • Human Resources Chatbots can speed up the processes with hiring and training staff.
  • Marketing chatbots can reach out to potential students and guide them through tasks like Admissions and Campus Tours.
  • Educational Chatbots can help students with specific topics and majors.
  • Retention Chatbots can help identify students that are at risk of dropping out and intervene.
  • Mental Health chatbots can help students deal with the stresses of school.

And I know I’m missing more in this brief list. My point is that every school and college should be looking toward this technology to help improve the lives of both their students and their employees.

We hope you found this article helpful and informative,
and we would love to hear what you think in the Comments Section below.

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2 thoughts on “Using a Chatbot for Education”

  1. Hi Sean,

    I think I was initially somewhat wary about using a chatbot for education, as you have even mentioned yourself that the use of smartphones is generally frowned upon in certain schooling environments.

    However, the further I got into your article, the more I could see what a fantastic resource this would be.

    The use of chatbots for interactive learning has been around for a number of years now I guess, but it makes perfect sense, and as you say, it can turn a “boring” subject into something far more entertaining (for want of a better word).

    I honestly believe in the modern-day-and-age, and especially with our “Generation Z” kids, this could be ideal learning platform for many students.

    I also love your idea about using chatbots for mental health purposes.

    Brilliant.

    I think we’re all aware of just how difficult being a child and growing up can be sometimes.

    Our children are faced with so many different scenarios and changes in their environment (and in themselves of course), but they often feel as though they have no-one to turn to.

    As you say, this could typically just be because they don’t wish to discuss certain subjects with a teacher, or any adult for that matter.

    The use of chatbots for students to discuss their thoughts and fears, and then being provided with solutions, or even just a “shoulder to cry on” is a must as far as I’m concerned.

    Thanks
    Partha

    Reply
    • Partha,

      Thanks for the comment, personally, I think every school should be using a chatbot for mental health and to report bullying. The bullying reports should be kept anonymous in my opinion. The benefits of using a chatbot is that the schools will be able to find students that are struggling or being victimized and they can reach out to those kids privately. I think if this was handled well, it could literally save lives.

      As far as educational chatbots, they can help provide students that are behind with assistance and they keep students engaged. They can also be programmed with multiple choice questions and used like a button bot for test preparation, so it provides an interactive way for the students to learn. My favorite examples are the chatbots being used to teach language. They can help correct pronunciation issues and explain word usage, and the more advanced ones can go on to be a full conversational partner to help the language become more natural.

      Thanks for the comment,
      Sean

      Reply

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