Chatbots are conversational interfaces that can integrate artificial intelligence with different use cases. They are currently quite popular and organizations of all kinds are giving completely innovative uses to this technology.
Little by little, chatbots have been entering education, their job so far is not to replace the figure of the teacher, but rather to assume repetitive tasks and of low cognitive level. This is how bots can improve productivity by answering frequently asked questions and as helpers or tutors that accompany the learning process.
Specifically, in the educational environment we find chatbots of two types. First, there are those who do not have an educational intent and work to favor management processes and as personal assistance to students. And then there are those who have a clear educational intent and function as tutors that accompany the student in their learning process or create a more concrete exercise and practice environment.
A chatbot represent an alternative to conventional education, here we share some cases of very effective uses that have already been launched.
Chatbots can provide personal assistance to students to facilitate personal productivity. Tasks include calendar or email management and reminder of tasks and deliveries or collection of evaluations. This way, professors can take off the enormous administrative weight from thuse tasks and at the same time the students have uninterrupted attention with a fast and personalized service.
A bot can answer frequently asked questions of students, related to administration or learning concepts and content. These conversational interfaces can give information about admissions and enrollment, financial services, technical problems (email, virtual campus, etc.) or frequent doubts related to the study content.
Chatbot technology can accompany students in their learning process. They are able to respond emotionally, monitor the student's understanding (cognitive control) and can put scaffolding and make suggestions to the student when needed.
They facilitate and adapt the contents of an educational program, they can even send the adapted program according to the student's preferences.
Chatbots are being used as a positive motivational reinforcement. They help increase student retention, something especially relevant in online education settings.
For language learning, chatbots can be very useful as students can practice the foreign language with them. These allies simulate conversations with different levels of complexity, with context, different roles and speeches.
They can simulate specific professional situations and can provide support or therapy. Technologies such as Spaced-interval learning can predict when the student is about to forget what he has memorized and refresh his memory while maintaining the knowledge.
They can help students regulate their own metacognitive processes (reflection on the process of their own learning), function as an expert partner and can collaborate with a livelihood that facilitates learning.
A reflexive bot of this level has not yet been developed, however it is only a matter of time to start seeing the first examples in educational institutions.
With all these uses, chatbots are increasingly revolutionizing educational environments, from schools to higher education. Now let's see some of its benefits.
Teachers must do many repetitive administrative tasks, such as keeping the attendance list, absences, etc. Chatbots can automate these tasks by leaving the educator free time to take care of others that are more related to knowledge.
Facilitating access and retrieval of information is the first step in a series of tasks that educational chatbots have the obligation to perform. They also have an important role to play in simplifying the administrative procedures that are part of the enrollment in an educational institute.
According to one study, companies that use e-learning strategies and tools can increase productivity by up to 50%. The situation is not very different in the educational environment.
This technology provides instant information to students of all stages, can provide information on topics, clarify doubts and give useful advice for exams.
Research reveals that this technology improves student participation in the classroom. According to one study, retention rates for digital learning are up to 60 percent higher than face-to-face retention rates.
In other words, students remember more information received in class with the help of this technology.
Students commit more with the help of a chatbot, as they can ask as many times as necessary information about the class and get instant response. Basically they act as personal tutors who help students.
The use of chatbots in education and their contributions to accompanying the learning process abound. Before installing a bot in an educational institution, it is important to probe what it can contribute and the educational, organizational and technical needs.