Technological advances are revolutionising businesses across verticals. The education sector has been at the forefront of this disruption. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a tipping point for the edtech industry which is poised to reach USD 30 billion in the next 10 years. As schools closed temporarily and shifted to online learning, teachers have used technology to ensure academics aren’t impacted and studies continue smoothly.
Among the multitude of innovations in learning, chatbots are perhaps one of the most fascinating and engaging features. Here are some key areas where chatbots have created impact or have the potential to be a gamechanger.
For students, clearing their doubts is one of the biggest challenges faced while learning remotely. School teachers are not available 24×7 and students find little time to get their doubts clarified. Chatbots help students with this by providing step-by-step clarification of doubts. These tools can be powered by either a large database of questions or AI-based solvers (primarily for mathematics). This space is particularly seeing rapid developments with multiple startups aiming to scale quickly.
Mentor-Bot: Reminders and alerts
A key element of personalisation in online learning is to guide and mentor students throughout the academic year. From a teacher’s perspective, a large number of components of mentoring are routine and process driven, such as regular practice and revision, following a timetable, and providing regular objective feedback. This can be configured in a mentor chatbot, and free up significant time for teachers/ mentors to focus on deeper needs of their students.
News, exam prep, and admission related queries
Another interesting use case of chatbots can be to answer frequently asked questions, such as registration process, latest syllabus, fees for a particular exam. While there is a lot of information available on the web, filtering the right set in an easy to read format can go a long way in improving user experience. Chatbots can also be configured to send news digests to students periodically, with an option to go deeper into a particular subject.
A conversational format of short quizzes can be used for the purpose of revision and practice. It is well established that conversational chats are much more engaging for users compared to the traditional Q&A formats. This would provide a ‘personal tutor’ experience to students.. Moreover, student data can be aggregated and used to provide feedback on improvement areas and as inputs to teachers to assess student’s progress.
As the shift towards online models of learning gains even more momentum, schools are increasingly open to leveraging new technologies to facilitate seamless and efficient learning. Having seen the potential of chatbots in other domains, it is a matter of time before edtech sees chatbots related applications as a common feature in their products.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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