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7 ways chatbots are transforming learning and teaching in higher education

07 / 11 / 2017 AI , Reporting Saravanan

Chatbots are transforming higher education in more ways than we can imagine. Already, bots all over the world can complete a wide range of tasks quickly and easily with a simple series of messages or commands.  

The application of chatbot is widening every day. Several recent events are encouraging a proliferation of chatbots. Innovation and creativity are catching up with higher education very fast. Recently there has been a large hype over cloud, internet of things, big data and analytics that could have an astounding impact on learning and teaching. 

The natural language processing technology embedded in the chatbot enables it to not only understand the words, but also the student intent. The time is ripe for using chatbots and artificial intelligence in higher education. Chatbot will be able to answer queries to everything a student needs to know about applying for program, financial aid and helping in their admission decision. There are various chatbot possibilities in the campus, including the library, housing, co-curricular activities, healthcare facilities, alumni relations, student reminders, and more.

We have come across seven ways of using chatbot for higher education that could transform the learning and teaching.

1. Class scheduling

The intelligent virtual assistant uses natural language processing technology for scheduling classes for students based on their availability. This allows students to plan their week according to their preferences.

2. Course self-registration

Advanced search algorithms enable chatbots to search and navigate the course catalog database and provide the right information for students they are looking for quicker and easier course self-registration. 

3. Robot tutoring

Chatbots are a critical part of the higher ed experience, however, they will not replace the meaningful interactions with instructors. Chatbot is an easy and affordable alternative to personal tutoring. Instructors no longer have to explain the same things over and over to different students. Chatbot answers to student inquiries in a fast and accurate manner. 

4. Curriculum enrichment

Chatbots will have the opportunity to provide students with personal guidance and enhance the curriculum by adapting to student competencies. This way, students’ attributes and interest is a decisive factor to configure curriculum and improve learning outcomes.

5. Personalized learning

Chatbot technology makes learning more accessible, which appeals to a large crowd. They engage with students and identify learning gaps to chalk out a personalized learning program to walk students through their lessons at their own pace and at their leisure to learn better and more thoroughly without being discouraged by other students. 

6. Assignments

Students have to submit a lot of assignments in on time, so keeping a bot is a great choice. Chatbot will record all these assignments and their corresponding deadlines, and send reminders to students when the deadline is close.

7. Feedback surveys

Gathering detailed feedback on courses and teaching from a large group of students is tedious and difficult to accomplish. Survey chatbots come to the rescue by collecting student feedback using custom forms with a question and answer logic. Chatbot is smart enough to distribute student evaluation forms through custom links across multiple channels and devices. Chatbots are intelligent, conversational course evaluation software agents that provide outputs to increase the student response rates significantly. Response analytics provide meaningful insights for improvement opportunities in courses and also enable instructors to improve their teaching.   

The bottom line is that students are already spending a lot of time on messaging platforms. Chatbots will allow higher education leaders to engage with students in a new channel that’s ubiquitous, convenient, and easy to use. Many learning management tools are obsolete and don't keep pace with high tech innovations, and students are finding it difficult to access the right information in these outdated systems. Chatbots is a super-efficient and productivity tool for the administrators, students, faculty and the campus community. Hopefully, there will be a great advancement in the higher education sector when it comes to using chatbot technology.

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