Conversational Chatbot-based learning: AI solutions to global education challenges
June 2, 2021
5 min read
100% literacy by 2050! That’s a very bold claim, but isn’t it something that the world should be working for in collaboration? Education today is a privilege, but what if with the right technology and support it can be a basic human right? Well, sceptics will always doubt the boldness of a statement like that. But if the current global crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic is to be considered, and how global educational institutes have shifted to online, and AI apps and chatbot based education, to keep matters functioning as usual, then probably the claim is not entirely untrue.
AI solutions in EdTech, especially educational chatbots have often been considered as a feasible and affordable solution to mass educational challenges. Considering the low dependencies on infrastructure, time and cost, education might just take a somersault with AI based chatbots. AR/VR solutions for training and education are already being explored worldwide especially in the corporate sector, and it won’t be long when AI educational chatbots will be the norm.
Children today are smart, and they need smarter solutions. And if anyone doubts that, the recent drop in AppStore ranking for Alibaba’s DingTalk, a homework based application, is proof of it. Considering school shutdowns (to prevent the spread of coronavirus), school systems in more than 300 cities in China including Wuhan, had teachers streaming classes, grading homeworks etc. through DingTalk. Not very happy about the ongoing classes, students started to give the app a 1 star rating on the AppStore with the hope that it will soon get removed! While the app did not get removed, though its rating had fallen from a staggering 4.9 to 1.4, it is indicative that the inclusion of smart AI based tech in education is all about being smarter than the user.
Understanding Conversational AI Chatbots for eLearning
Educational chatbots work with conversational AI, a set of technologies that help computers understand human language and communicate with them. The rise in the demand for conversational AI is majorly due to the shifting nature of need for novel technology for streamlining tasks. Conversational AI is the driving tech behind new-age chatbots and virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, making voice the most dominant form of human-machine interactions.
According to Business Insider, 80% of corporates will be using chatbots at the workplace in the near future. And the prediction is not limited to the corporate sector only. Current global slowdown and pandemic is providing the foundation for EdTech companies to revisit old structures and redefine them by implementing AI software in EdTech for a personalized and effective form of learning.
AI Chatbots in Education: Why is it needed?
Embracing new tech is more than just a cool thing to do – it is a survival necessity. Digital transformation is everywhere and without the right tech backup, it won’t take too long to go into oblivion. Using technology like NLP, Deep Learning and Machine Learning for business there is little doubt as to why EdTech of the future is one that twins with chatbots.
With users moving away from single-use websites to social platforms, Edtech startups are implementing chatbot solutions to meet the needs of the younger audience. Not only is it serving the needs of meeting their audience, but it is also helping with improving the learning experience, making students better learners and easing the task of teaching students as well.
Benefits of Chatbots in education: Why choose chat-based learning
Chatbots can help businesses scale:
The biggest challenge with e-learning platforms is that they have not been able to help businesses scale up to the extent they would wish to. E-learning platforms require personal laptops, have long videos and long format content making it unappealing to people. However, with the introduction of bot-based learning, these challenges can be overcome easily. Chatbots are ideal for smartphones, and they provide a personalized environment as they can analyze responses of the student and understand whether they have been able to grasp a concept or not. According to techjury, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users, hence, making chatbots a much more user-friendly tool than e-learning platforms.
A good example is Utter, a chatbot based learning platform developed in India. The platform aims to help blue-collar workers in India by providing on-demand skill learning. It has already garnered 500,000 institutional (B2B) learners and 100,000 retail (B2C) learners within six months of it going live.
Chatbots can make learning more effective:
Chatbots can also make learning more effective. The introduction of chatbots in the education industry has fundamentally changed the learning landscape. With the help of Natural Language Processing, chatbots can convert an entire lecture into a conversation making it more engaging and appealing to students. The bots can quiz the student on the subject matter and these results can be presented to the teacher, for the teacher to understand the progress of the student. If the bot assesses the student can understand the lesson well, then the bot can present the next lesson to the student.
A key component of the success of bot-based learning is the use of technology. Top AI development companies are relentlessly working on finding smart solutions, especially now when online and app based learning is the alternative to classroom systems.
For instance, Botsify, an AI chatbot works in a similar manner. It quizzes students by showing them pictures, texts, videos for a specific topic. After the students learn the topic, they are quizzed on the subject. The results can then be shown to the teacher for him to assess the student’s performance.
Chatbots have low infrastructure requirements:
Probably, the biggest reason why we can imagine a future where we might achieve complete literacy is because of this advantage. The chatbots developed for educational institutions cost one-tenth of the cost of developing an e-learning platform. Chatbots are easy to develop, cheap and can be quickly made. Chatbots do not require heavy, expensive infrastructure to support the learning module. With a chat-based learning platform, we would easily be able to observe the application of AI in everyday life. Only a smartphone would be necessary, helping students access their learning materials anywhere in the world. Apart from learning materials, the platform can also help students with their assignment due dates, connect with each other and know about important information/events.
Chatbots like CourseQ help with such requirements. The platform helps students and teachers communicate with each other. It can also be used for announcements and even to resolve queries.
There is of course the matter of UI/UX designs for AI platforms to consider in this case. The implementation of AI into education means that interfaces have to be upgraded in order to provide a personalized experience. Conventional laws of designing take a backseat while designs to improve the user experience gains ground.
Chatbots can help students and teachers:
Chatbots can prove to be a blessing for the entire education system. Another amazing benefit is that chatbots have the ability to help teachers and students. AI services for chatbots and education can help immensely.
With chatbots, several repetitive tasks of teachers like answering questions about when an assignment is due, course modules, deadlines can be answered. Aside from answering these questions, chatbots can also help with monitoring the progress of students. Chatbots can also ease the burden of the administrative staff by answering repetitive queries of prospective students like questions about scholarships, admission requirements and fees, helping students receive a faster response. RPA solutions are often integrated with AI services in such cases to provide the best experience.
As far as students are concerned, AI and Chatbot literally have the potential to change the learning environment. With hands-on-experience provided by AR and chatbots, students will engage with better learning experiences and be better equipped to deal with the skills required in the future. Chatbots can provide personalized feedback to students to enhance their learning experience, answer questions related to the admission process, scholarships, and can even offer student support when required. An online chatbot can guide students about courses, modules, faculties and other facilities available to them, making students feel comfortable.
To conclude, the big data in education industry is going to be revolutionized with the introduction of chatbots. The adoption of chatbots during these times has enabled students to learn from the comfort of their own homes, helping fill the gap teachers would not be able to during times of such crisis. Whether it be a student, a teacher or even a prospective student, everyone in the education fraternity can benefit from chatbots. With improved learning experiences, better communication, and more effective learning it is only a matter of time before there is widespread acceptance of chatbots in the education system. The use of technology might just get back the joy of learning, giving students the opportunities they need.
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