We are all familiar with chatbots – these little algorithm-based artificial intelligence systems that enable us to have human-like interactions across the spectrum. We have chatted with them when checking out a property online, or trying to book a holiday or even while ordering a pizza. Chatbots are set to revolutionize the way the world functions. With the right kind of creative work going in behind-the-scenes, bots will gradually be able to take over a range of tasks, most of which are repetitive, but necessary in everyday functioning.
What it primarily seeks to do is reduce man-hours that go into repetitive tasks, yet complete them with the exact precision that is needed. This naturally means that the scope of chatbots is getting larger with each day. One of the fields that it is making a slow entry into, is that of education.
By and large education has been slow in taking on technology to teach students. Innovation in this sector generally tends to take a while. However, the importance of bringing in technology to enhance the way teaching is done, is now gaining more traction.
What makes bots easy to incorporate into education, or just about any field is that the technological side is becoming accessible. Very soon, even non-developers will have the ability to create a functional, useful chatbot. Also, one of the primary reasons why chatbots will do well is because they make use of mainstream messaging apps. It eliminates the need to download yet another app.
With students taking to technology quite quickly these days, interacting with chatbots is going to give them a personalized approach to education. Besides being a useful tool for students, it will also greatly enhance the teaching abilities of teachers and allow them to do justice to a larger number of students. In fact, such dependability will also make things easier for administrators.
Let’s take a look at what chatbots in education can do for students, teachers and administrators alike.
How Students Benefit
Enabling Students with Varied Approaches: In any class, it is a given that each student has a different set of skills and interests. This greatly influences the way they study. While for some, simply listening to a concept is all that is needed, others may need personal time with tutors, along with detailed descriptions. However, hiring people to offer detailed study for students can be an expensive affair. Chatbots, instead, can interact with students and develop study approaches, concept plans and answer questions just as well as a teacher would.
Learning and Relearning: If there is one thing any teacher will tell you is that students learn things, then leave that knowledge behind as they move deeper into the concept. This brings them to a point where they have to go back a bit and relearn concepts. Spaced interval learning can help students keep track of key chapters and offer reminders to get back to the basics and relearn them.
Access to Education at Any Time: Every student studies differently and would like access to their teachers when a doubt arises. Being able to use a chatbot, which can also act as a virtual teacher’s assistant, means that a student is able to understand concepts at his own pace.
Getting Individual Feedback: Whether you are in a physical class or an online one, submission of projects, essays and the like is a part of the deal. For a teacher, getting through the scores of a papers can be a huge task. Often the lack of time does not allow for personalized assessments unless in a crucial case. This is where chatbots can come in for assessments as well as personalized feedback, allowing the teacher to be free to work on aspects of improving class. For the student, the ability to comprehend this feedback and incorporate into his next attempt becomes easier.
Receiving E-Learning Support: One of the main deterrents to students completing an e-learning course is the lack of support and feedback post the online classes. This is a gap that chatbots can fill very well. Especially since they can be combined with the chatbot working as a teacher’s assistant. From filling in the gaps during learning, to personalized assessment and feedback, chatbots can help students learn at their own pace.
How Teachers Benefit
If there is one worry teachers have, is that technology will ultimately replace them. That is far from the truth. Technology in education is always going to be about enhancing the role of the teacher. When time, funds and resources are in short supply in the education field, chatbots can ensure the proper use of all three for a better learning experience. Here are some of the ways in which chatbots can help teachers:
- Students who have missed class or not taken down notes can have questions on approaching deadlines, missed lessons or the curriculum answered at any time.
- Assessing assignments just like the teacher would and going a step further to provide analyses on student performance based on that assessment.
- Staying current is important for teachers and bots can help teachers stay up-to-date on new standards as well as assessment models.
- With not enough hours to help address queries from multiple students, teachers can depend on bots to help students understand particularly difficult concepts and give them the feel of learning from another person.
Across the spectrum of education, whether for students or for teachers, the general benefits of bots are that they are quick to respond, are available round-the-clock, and can be made available on multiple channels. They can be molded to be assistants, administrators, tutors and more.