There's no doubt that technology is growing fast, and people are adapting more quickly than ever before. Talk about any generation, the kids, teenagers or adults, almost everyone is caught up with a device. While there's no doubt that all sectors are leaping to become better, the education industry is no exception.
Yes, technology is making education better, and one such technology is chatbots. So, what is a chatbot, anyway? In a nutshell, it's a software that allows for a messaging style or conversational interface that simulates human interaction.
How can we rise to the occasion and use chatbots in education? Let's start with the why.
It's a Fresh Experience 🤩
We all know that youngsters tend to adapt faster to the latest technologies and are excited by new forms of learning. While to no one's surprise, students (at all levels) do use some form of messaging service to communicate with each other and, occasionally, with their teachers.
These may include Google Classrooms, and other class management systems which allows them to build a better understanding of the subject, favouring the learning process.
With chatbots, this process can be replicated on a large scale, empowering students to discuss any topic with an "expert", ask queries, and help validate their understanding of different topics.
While distractions will always play a part when students have access to such technologies, the trick is to keep them engaged with value-centric learning material, which is often easier said than done.
An easy-to-reach Mentor that's always available 👩🏻💼
One of the hardest parts of teaching is reaching out to every student. Also, research shows that an average teacher manages 45 students, and at times, it's hard for the teacher to reach out to each of them individually.
This is where chatbots can play a role. Employing chatbots to become mentors and study partners of students of all levels, we could help them understand and develop each topic at their own pace.
This approach will help students to get into a knowledge-hungry mode. It will also encourage them to share what they learned, creating a positive exchange of knowledge.
Plus, there are always a few kids who need more attention than others. For them, having someone to reach out to at all times can be a real game-changer. With chatbots, they can go back and forth as much as they like until the idea is clear.
It's time to make it easier for them to finish their assignments, meet deadlines and stay updated about important events.
Time saver for Teachers ⏳
If you are a teacher, think about the repeating questions you get every day; the time spent on supervising classwork, homework, assignments and more.
There are a lot of activities that eat up time for a teacher. Chatbots can come to teacher's aid, reduce workload and save time.
Create bots that can do repetitive tasks. Collect the data to learn the progress of each student. Create reports for parents. Use the data with other apps in the workplace to generate a 360-degree view of the entire academia.
The new time can be spent on research or future course material or to connect with the entire class on a personal level.
It's time to check out, what are some of the direct use cases of chatbots in education.
To state, the sky is the limit. Still, to give you a broad sense of understanding, here are a few handy ideas to start from.
The administrative staff at an institution go through a lot of repetitive tasks. Whether it be the student admission process, visitor management, fees or scholarship related questions or new changes in operations, they have to repeat their work process over and over.
A bot can easily handle 90% of these questions with ready-made answers. It is easy to create and maintain. Guide the staff or student to right resources without the need for real human interaction.
If you can create one chatbot to address each of the problems mentioned above, the work-efficiency will be top-notch.
Prospective students may able to browse through the courses listed on an educational institution's website. Yet, they will still have questions before they can make a decision. Their questions can be related to fees, scholarship availability, duration of the course or the impact of the course on their careers and more.
Answering each and everyone is a hurdle. To make the enrollment smooth, use a chatbot that makes it easier to get the answers to common questions. There will be questions, that cannot be answered by the chatbot.
Such questions can be directed to the right person, and you can get back to the student via email. A course selector bot will be helpful to both the student and the staff.
Chatbots are useful assistants to teachers. No, they cannot replace teachers. It can function as their virtual assistant to explain common concepts interactively.
Making an interactive chatbot to teach a complex concept is far better than putting the content in a slide-show. Slide-shows or web pages and even books are one-dimensional.
Sharing content using interaction is two-dimensional and more appealing to students. The idea is to break apart complex concepts that can be digested easily by the students.
Please remember that you cannot use a chatbot to teach just any subject or concept. Pick out concepts that are taught systematically every year. If those concepts can be converted into a conversation, then you can successfully create a mini-tutor.
Quizzes are like exams that validate the knowledge of a student, and yet it does not give you the feel of writing an actual exam. They are meant to be a fun way to test students.
It's easy to hard code quiz material inside a conversation. Every time, the student hits the wrong answer, the chatbot will tell them so.
We even have customers who have created interactive quiz chatbots to engage their users and capture their interest. It's simple to create, and teachers can easily see all the answers attempted by the students.
In every institution or organization, feedback is critical to growth and management. The tough part is to capture honest and regular feedback at the right intervals.
Most often, it is the lack of a proper framework to collect and measure feedback that is lacking. Chatbots can come to the rescue there as well. The first step is to find clear and concise questions that need to be asked about a course or the performance of a teacher. Refrain from asking too many questions.
Add them to a chatbot and also collect the profile of the student or parent who fills it in. Since it's a conversation, they are more likely to complete the chat and give you all the details.
Introduce these chatbots at the right intervals. They can fill it up anywhere, on any device, at any time at their convenience.
Once the data is collected, it can be aggregated to see the bigger picture and make better decisions powered by data.
It's the best time to try chatbots 👍
"Every business is a technology business", a mantra for the concluded decade. And this applies to the educational industry as well. As you are reading this post, already a wide range of industries have adapted to chatbots, the list includes automotive, telecom, and finance companies.
As you are reading this blog, both enterprises and startups alike are taking the next step, adopting smart services like chatbots into their organizations. And a similar trend is being followed in education as well.
Chatbots in education is way more than a piece of software as they not only facilitate student's learning process but also assist teachers by easing out their teaching processes. That's why, in the coming decade, educational chatbots will play a more significant role in the learning cycle.
"Better early, than late."
Wrapping Up 🤗
The younger generations are typically among the first to embrace new tech, and recent trends are showing a massive move towards the chatbot adaptation only.
Traditionally, the educational sector is a bit slower than the rest to adapt to new technology. Still, industry leaders have recognized the value of chatbots as a cost-effective, simple way to engage more students and streamline their processes.
Students (or teachers) can interact with a chatbot and get a response in seconds, eliminating the need for traditional email accounts or online portals. This is why the adaptation is way quicker than you'd probably expect.
A chatbot is very flexible towards its application, and it acts more than just a tool. It improves access to education by its unique way of interaction. It is neutral and unbiased. It does not consider the resources, timing, background or demographic of the student.
With a chatbot building platforms like Collect.chat, you can deploy chatbots on all your channels with a single click.
Now it's your time to share thoughts on how chatbots in education would transform the industry. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.