The education sector is one of the industries that has taken the biggest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools all over the world have shut down to prioritize the health and safety of both students and faculty members, and although it meant the end of traditional learning, it paved the way for the rapid adoption of distance learning. Chatbots can help schools ease into this transition by automating tasks, assisting educators, and providing academic support to students in a remote setting. Here are the different ways how:
Virtual Teaching Assistant
Chatbots can act as virtual teaching assistants and entertain questions from students, like how Jill Watson, an AI chatbot of Georgia Tech, did back in 2016. Jill answered questions in an online discussion forum at more than 90% accuracy that the students never figured out that they were interacting with a chatbot the whole time. With a chatbot as a teaching assistant, teachers can maximize their time by letting the chatbot handle the interaction with students and make sure that they are always caught up on lessons and announcements.
More and more businesses are opting for chatbots for they can automate responses to inquiries and concerns and deliver excellent customer service. Educational institutions can leverage chatbots the same way and provide 24/7 instant support to parents and students. A prime example is K12 Insight’s Let’s Talk! Assistant which serves K-12 school districts in Illinois and Indiana by answering people’s inquiries and getting their feedback. With a chatbot taking care of queries about learning tools, schedules, and other frequently asked questions, schools can improve parents’ and students’ experience with online learning.
Virtual College Adviser
Many colleges have already succeeded in using chatbots for enrollment and admissions, but they can also be utilized for academic advising. A chatbot can guide students towards the next step in their academic journey by assessing their qualifications and options. Oli is an AI college adviser chatbot that can help students choose the right school, complete college and scholarship applications, and learn about financial aid and COVID-19 support services. Oli offers real-time assistance by answering inquiries and sending helpful information as well as reminders and updates.
Tutoring remains to be one of the most effective approaches in enhancing student learning and could be a powerful solution to the learning disruption brought about by COVID-19, which is why professor Neil Heffernan at Worcester Polytechnic Institute is developing technology to create AI-powered tutor chatbots that can support human tutors. These chatbots will be able to match human tutors with students who fit in their schedules or perform large-scale, one-on-one tutorials. Since chatbots cost cheaper and have a much wider reach and availability, they can benefit more students especially those who cannot afford or don’t have access to human tutoring.
With a chatbot, online learning can be a truly transformative experience for everyone involved. Book a bot demo and see how a chatbot could work for your institution!
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