The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we lived some time back. Education which was channelized through schools/institutions in different formats, has now got a new look. Virtual classrooms, online exams, online forums, activities, etc. are no longer introduced by few. And soon, it will be a new normal for every education organization moving forward.
EdTech is the now the buzz and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making significant inroads in the education industry. What has helped the most is the fact that the younger generation is quick to embrace new technologies. Integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and other social media apps, the Conversational AI in the form of educational chatbots can engage students and provide short but valuable information.
What is Conversational AI?
Conversational AI, as a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI), can enable the user and the machine to interact in the user’s spoken or written natural language, just as he/she would, when interacting with a human. It places the responsibility on the technology interface to learn what the user wants and to adapt accordingly, rather than the user having to learn the technology, saving time, and enhancing the user experience.
Ease of Learning
The most useful and sought-after application of AI is the automated, intelligent tutoring system that provides a personalized learning environment to study in and then analyses the students’ responses and their patterns of interaction with the learning content.
- AI chatbots can interact with students in these environments, either through a series of standard text messages or multimedia such as images, videos, audios, and document files, which would make them feel like it is a regular classroom.
- Lectures can be broken down into interactive conversation flows with the help of engagement tools and impressive UI so students can learn anywhere and at any time.
- The chatbot can continuously assess each student’s level of understanding and provide them the next part of the lecture as per their progress.
- After learning the topic, the bot can present the students with adaptive assessments. The results gathered from these assessments can be visualized in interactive dashboards to better understand how the students are learning different subjects and topics.
Enhanced Student Engagement
Students prefer texting to any other form of communication. They are active across all instant messaging platforms and social media. Whether they want to communicate with each other, research topics, or find help with their assignments, they reach out through these platforms.
- This gives us the opportunity to enhance the students’ learning process and increase engagement by integrating AI chatbots on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and others.
- These apps can then act as a medium for student-teacher communication, just like in the classroom, lab, or activity clubs.
- This will make it easier for the students to get information on their assignments, due dates, and other important upcoming events.
Safe and Secure Feedback
A very important and significant aspect of the learning process is feedback, whether it comes from a student and is directed towards the teachers or the other way around. Feedback helps students in identifying the topics that require extra attention, as well as, helps teachers figure out areas that they can improve their teaching abilities in.
- Conversational chatbots can conduct surveys such as feedback on how the courses could be improved, how did the students like their previous lecture, or the overall quality of their learning experience.
- Similarly, the teachers can provide feedback on the tests or assignments submitted by the students.
- The bot can collect all the feedback and analyze it to highlight the most common points mentioned, giving the teachers the opportunity to identify gaps in their teaching efforts and do better.
- The teachers’ feedback allows the students to identify the areas where they need to do some extra work. This not only leads to a deeper learning experience but also helps them understand lessons and course concepts better.
AI-Based Teaching Assistants
Students often put ‘do my assignment’ requests over the internet to find an assistant who can help them in completing their assignment or to get a clearer explanation of a specific topic that they are struggling with. Similarly, teachers also want help in simplifying their everyday tasks.
- Conversational bots can act as virtual teaching assistants to take the burden off and help teachers focus more on providing quality education to their students.
- The bots can answer the students’ queries about the course module, lesson plans, lecture schedules, assignments, and deadlines.
- They can monitor the learning progress of the students, provide personalized feedback, and recommend more relevant learning content by analyzing their learning skills and capabilities.
24/7 Student Assistance
This generation is so used to getting everything instantly — whether it is sending an email, making a purchase, or posting a picture — it likes it done in as few clicks as possible. The educational institutions must also speed up their student communication process to draw the attention of this fast-paced generation.
- With millions of prospective students enrolling in colleges and universities across the world, the number of queries each institution receives over its website is massive. These are mostly repetitive, such as queries regarding the admission process, courses, scholarships, fees, etc.
- Chatbots can easily step in and save all the time that it would take to manually reply to these queries. This would not only save a great deal of time for the students but would also diminish the burden of the institutions.
- “The most promising opportunity to use this technology is to support a much more personalized approach to on-campus services that still appeals to a large crowd. The system will also help lower the burden on stressed-out faculty, as they no longer have to explain the same things over and over to different students.”
Better Support for Students
It is imperative that every institution guides its students thoroughly by giving them timely and accurate information. But it is nearly impossible to make sure each student is being taken care of fully without any technological intervention.
- An AI chatbot can help students get updates on almost anything — admission processes, assignment deadlines, upcoming events, course modules, and more.
- The chatbots can further help new students find out more about scholarships, hostel facilities, library memberships, and so on.
In the unprecedented times that we all currently find ourselves in, virtual learning is set to become an essential part of every educational institution. Conversational AI will not only benefit the overall teacher-student interaction and improve the classroom environment, but will also enhance the learning experience for the students.