Most of us are familiar with chatbots and how they function. You ask questions, and the bots answer—pretty simple, right? This technology is often applied in customer service or support functions as a way to address frequently asked questions and engage with customers efficiently.
But AI-powered chatbots are also becoming increasingly utilized in learning. With the dizzying rise of technology and the advent of the pandemic, it only makes sense that these tools have become much more commonplace than before.
Today, chatbots are so much more than just a simple query tools. They can now predict concerns, adapt to user personalities, and create a customized user experience only possible through the use of Artificial Intelligence.
What Are Chatbots?
Chatbots are essentially just Artificial Intelligence-powered tools that provide instant responses to queries, thereby creating an interaction between an individual and the bot. You can learn by solving AI problems at ProjectPro Data Science Projects.
The key feature that sets chatbots apart from human support services is speed. Where humans would need time to respond, especially considering they may be catering to others, bots provide instant feedback and help.
As such, chatbots are becoming more favored for the value they add to businesses, organizations, and, now, learning platforms.
However, chatbots are not one size fits all. As simple as the core essence of chatbots is, the tool itself can vary in complexity. For instance, some bots may only be able to answer simple pre-programmed scripts and cannot provide more nuanced conversation.
On the other hand, more intricate chatbots have the ability to generate more insightful human conversations through machine learning for education and assessing user behavior, among other techniques to detect patterns in interactions.
Here are some examples of chatbots you’ve probably had the pleasure of encountering:
- Siri by Apple;
- Zendesk Answer Bot;
- WordPress Chatbot;
- Alexa by Amazon;
- Duolingo Chatbots;
How Are AI-powered Chatbots Transforming eLearning?
One of the more recent ways chatbots have been dominating is through the world of digital learning. More and more, learning management systems (LMS) are moving towards artificial intelligence-driven technology to streamline processes and provide better services overall.
More Personalized Learning
One of the limitations of our conventional learning setup is that students are often treated as a homogenous group when in fact, students are different in so many ways. And while many educators realize this, it’s often impractical to teach each student on a personal level.
AI-fueled chatbots bring with them the opportunity to provide more personalized learning to students without educators exerting too much effort in the process.
Through this technology, students can have their concerns addressed as if it were an actual person talking to them. Thanks to the power of tech, chatbots are now able to communicate naturally and learn about the user as the interaction occurs.
As valuable as human assistance is, people need to take a break. In the learning sphere, teachers are unavailable most hours of the day, especially during nighttime. While they certainly deserve the respite, it can be difficult for students to receive assistance during off hours.
Chatbots are a great way to circumvent this barrier and provide round-the-clock support to students whenever they need a few questions answered.
The nonstop support is also applicable for schedule conflicts. In the event that a student cannot get in touch with a professor during consultation hours due to scheduling issues, AI-powered bots are a much more convenient alternative.
Making Remote Learning Easier
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our educational landscape over the last several years, with remote learning suddenly becoming more prevalent across schools. Even now, as the world returns to pre-pandemic behaviors, it seems that remote learning is here to stay. So, educational app development is all the rage right now.
But remote learning did not come without its own challenges. With this setup, teachers not only have to fill the role of educator, but they also have to act as IT support for their students.
With chatbots, students can easily access information regarding their classes without ever having to ask their professor. This makes distance learning so much easier as AI fills in for the educator in so many different ways, such as the following:
- More convenient access to course details and related information;
- Easier and more organized activity groupings;
- Digitally proctored exams become easier to monitor and can be conducted with the assistance of chatbots.
Who Can Benefit From Digital Learning Chatbots?
Knowing that AI-powered bots have the potential to massively transform eLearning as we know it, let’s take a closer look at the stakeholders who can benefit from the implementation of this tool.
First and foremost, the students. As the main users of chatbots, students are given the opportunity to have better learning resources through the use of artificial intelligence.
They no longer have to wait for hours before a teacher or professor is free for consultation because bots can address basic concerns and even more complex ones if the chatbot is programmed to do so.
Some bots are even equipped to provide virtual tutoring sessions, which can be incredibly beneficial to any learner at any time.
Of course, educators benefit through chatbot technology too. Because bots are automized, they can save teachers plenty of time, not to mention they can make learning more personalized, which can be difficult with just a teacher-student system.
All of the time and energy saved with administrative duties and support for students can then be spent on what’s most important: teaching.
Because chatbots are able to fulfill many duties—often at the same time—teachers and professors have more leeway for crafting discussions, making presentations, and thinking of ways to make classes more engaging, creative, and fun.
Parents are one of the most important stakeholders in any learning system, especially in systems geared toward younger children. Although they aren’t the ones on the receiving end of education, they are still very much part of the learning process.
With chatbots, parent concerns, especially just general ones, may now be addressed with ease. This is especially useful for parents who may not be tech-savvy and struggle with managing digital education for their kids.
We advise parents to pay attention to the chatbot reviews on the web, as well as information about the developer of the chosen solution. Some chatbots are not free. Then, it is also worth making sure that the developers resort to financial technology consulting and all transactions are transparent.
Using Chatbots In Your Learning Management System
We now know much about how beneficial chatbots actually are in education. But how exactly are chatbots used in learning management systems?
Tutoring is one of the more complex processes that chatbots are now able to provide. While tutoring at first seems like an intimidating task, chatbots can actually give pretty insightful guidance to students.
Some chatbots do this by asking questions that students have to answer. If the user wants an explanation for the said answer, bots could also provide an in-depth analysis.
All that said, though, chatbot tutoring services are still not a substitute for actual in-person tutoring. While it is a good supplement to learning more about a particular course, tutoring services led by chatbots are still pretty limited in the sense that they won’t provide the organic connection that in-person tutoring can give.
As educators, it’s difficult to find materials and resources that are tailor-suited to individual learning preferences and histories. And while this would very much be the ideal scenario, student-to-teacher ratios are much too high for this to be a possibility.
Chatbots, however, are more than able to provide adapted learning services to students. AI-powered bots can do the following:
- Take a look at the student’s learning history;
- Look at the student’s grades;
- Determine which gaps in their learning need to be filled.
This can be done almost instantaneously by chatbots if they have access to the student’s information through the LMS.
Some more advanced chatbots can even change their tone to fit the needs of the student e.g., be more welcoming and accommodating.
When you’re an educator handling multiple classes all in one school year or semester, it can get pretty overwhelming to manage all of this. All the group work, individual activities, and class functions can be difficult to get a hold of.
But using AI and chatbots can drastically reduce the effort you have to put in to run a tight ship. You can use AI to generate groups and automatically give them their assigned tasks.
Students, on the other hand, can use chatbots if they have additional queries or concerns regarding the group work assigned to them. They can even use the chatbot to receive feedback on assessments!
There are endless possibilities when applying AI and chatbots to your Learning Management system, and the ones we mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. As technology develops, we are also going to see more dynamic AI applications in education.
Are AI-powered Chatbots the Future of eLearning?
AI-powered chatbots aren’t perfect. They aren’t exact substitutes for human connection, and we aren’t going to see them replace our educators anytime soon.
But are they slowly shaping the future of learning? That’s a resounding yes.
Chatbots, when utilized properly, are incredible tools for education. They save time and energy and provide more efficiency in the learning setup, efficiency that would otherwise not be there with the limitations of human capacity.
As we settle into a more digital future in education, we can expect that Artificial Intelligence is very much within the picture as well.
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