Chatbots have long been used by eCommerce websites as part of their customer service. These AI programs answer customer queries and engage target audiences, helping businesses garner a larger and more loyal customer base. In recent years, there has been greater use of chatbots in education too.
What Is A Chatbot? How Does It Work?
A chatbot is a computer program or software that simulates spoken as well as written human conversations. This allows humans to interact with digital devices through voice or text interactions.
A chatbot may be a simple program that delivers a single-line answer to simple queries. Or it may be an advanced program that provides personalized responses based on information it has collated and processed.
In education, chatbots can be deployed to streamline the learning process in a way that helps both students and teachers in a number of different ways. The fact that the younger generation finds it easy to embrace new technologies has helped in the growing use of chatbots in education. However, although they are transforming the way schools and students interact with each other, there are no signs that chatbots can replace teachers or schools altogether. At least, not any time soon.
Here’s a look at some of the main chatbot advantages in the field of education.
6 Advantages Of Chatbots In Education
1. Provide A Dedicated Learning Environment
One of the major downsides of classroom learning is that every student learns at a different pace. This is where chatbots provide a more personalized learning medium.
Chatbots teach students using a series of messages that mimic a chat conversation. The series of messages are not random. Instead, they are derived from lectures and designed to impart the relevant lesson to the student. It doesn’t stop with just teaching. The chatbot also analyzes the student’s responses and way they interact with the artificially intelligent learning content. They use this information to assess the student’s progress and accordingly provide with the next step of the lecture. This allows students to progress at their own pace, which is difficult in a traditional classroom.
2. Provide Help Instantly
Every year, millions of high school students go to get information about admissions, fees, courses, and other college-related queries. It can take several days or even weeks to get all the information a student needs to make a decision.
Regardless of the query, chatbots can provide the answers in a fraction of the time that it takes search engines. This is mainly because most of the questions are repetitive, allowing institutions to easily set up their chatbots once with the necessary answers. When a student asks the chatbot a question, they receive the answer instantly.
3. Boost Student Engagement
The enforced virtual learning during the pandemic brought a complete halt to student-teacher as well as student-student interactions. Many students found themselves struggling to learn through impersonal virtual platforms. One of the biggest disadvantages is that students could not get the help they needed when they needed it.
Under these circumstances, chatbots can be of tremendous help by interacting with students continuously. Students can take the help of a chatbot anytime of the day, getting their queries clarified instantly. In addition, students can also create project groups or alumni groups on chatbots. These groups increase student-student interactions, making it easier for students to exchange essential information about assignments, projects, deadlines, and more. This creates a more conducive learning environment.
4. Provide Smart Feedback
Receiving feedback is another aspect of learning that students failed to receive during the enforced virtual learning during the pandemic. In many ways, lack of feedback can become a major obstacle for students as well as teachers. Without relevant feedback, students are unable to identify their weak areas and where they need additional help. For teachers, the lack of feedback makes it difficult to identify the areas that their students need help with the most.
Chatbots help bridge this gap by providing students with relevant feedback so they know where they need to put in extra effort. Chatbots also gather all the feedback in one place and highlight common points, making it easier for teachers to take the necessary action.
5. Give Students Much-Needed Support
College can sometimes feel like an endless succession of things to do. What makes it even more stressful is getting it all done within strict deadlines. Trying to stay on top of it all can feel overwhelming. This is where chatbots can provide students with the support they so desperately need.
Students can access chatbots 24/7 to get updates on anything, from class updates and assignment submission deadlines to course modules and scholarship opportunities. This helps students feel less overwhelmed so they are less likely to drop out of school.
6. Assist Teachers With Repetitive Tasks
Teachers spend a lot of their workday doing mundane, repetitive tasks. This includes tasks such as sending out student assignments, tracking student attendance, and scoring test papers. This can be both, frustrating and exhausting.
Using chatbots to perform these repetitive tasks can free up time that teachers can use to focus on more important things that directly improve students’ learning experiences.
The Future Of Chatbots In Education
There’s no doubt that chatbots have enormous potential in education and have cemented their future in this field. They improve students’ learning process by providing instant help, smart feedback, and a dedicated learning environment. By performing routine tasks, chatbots free up teachers’ time, which can be used to focus on improving students’ learning experience. While all this might be the case, make sure you understand the implications of Chatbots on students as well.