Chatbots in education: Latest technology and AI trends

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Between 2018 and 2022, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of AI in the U.S. education sector is going to be close to 48%, reaching $85 million by 2022. These trends, according to a market research report by Technavio, show the increasing importance of chatbots to the education system in the U.S. These trends are spreading across the world, especially in higher education, but the use of chatbots is not just limited to universities. 

The benefits of automated communication in education

As the younger generations are more willing to embrace new technologies, bots can be used across all channels and platforms so that students can access them easily. Young people are willing to engage and respond quickly on various channels, reducing the need for colleges and universities to have multiple email accounts or online portals. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, chatbots offer instant personalized assistance at all levels to students, teachers and administrative staff in education.

Admissions become easier

When students are considering recruitment or are in the process of admissions they need to ask a lot of questions that can vary from when applications are due, fees and other general topics about campus life. Chatbots are an effective way to relieve the administration staff from answering these common questions and their simple answers so that they can to get on with other important work. 

Effective admissions process

Admissions staff can concentrate on helping students that need personalized attention while chatbots can do easier tasks like course registrations, student housing and other queries like how to get from one part of the campus to another. 

Keeping the students interested through engagement

A common phenomenon for many universities is what they term “the summer melt”. This refers to the students who have been admitted but do not show up for admissions. This problem is common among students who may have parents that never attended university before.  These young people are often not sure how to navigate the system and lack the necessary support from home. Chatbots are invaluable to the process since they keep the students engaged, send reminders and answer questions. 

Predictive data is provided to the university

Bots can monitor and send data about student performances to teachers and these can be used to understand student needs. Problems can be identified early and these students can be offered extra assistance to bridge any gaps. The university also benefits by having a clearer picture of its programs and teaching staff and can make adjustments like offering new courses or hiring more teachers. 

Keeping students informed 

Student queries regarding deadlines, lesson plan and curriculums can be instantly resolved as these are available through the chatbots 24/7 for them to consult. 

Tailored instruction

For students who are struggling with a specific course, chatbots can offer instruction and recommend additional resources, all at a moment’s notice. These abilities that chatbots offer are also one of the reasons why online courses will increasingly become more popular and will be able to reach far more students than traditional lectures. 

Student assessments

Learning material can be handed out to students by chatbots through a test, images, videos or audio and the students can be quizzed to assess their progress by the bot. The results, once submitted to the teacher helps to monitor performance in far less time than the traditional manner and extra learning material or tuition can be offered to weaker students.  

Creating an education bot is easy with SnatchBot

With the SnatchBot Builder Platform, anyone can build a suitable bot for their education-based business. The bots are easy to create and no coding skills are needed. This is an example of an education bot template that can be used from the SnatchBot platform.  

Once the bot is built it can be tested and used across a multitude of messaging channels where it will create the tasks it was programmed for. 

“New technology is something that all young people are familiar with. At all levels of education they are prepared to embrace what it has to offer them and this also includes the use of chatbots. Teachers are also willing to embrace these changes because bots not only make their jobs easier but also allow them to interact with and understand their students better.” (Avi Benezra, CTO, SnatchBot)

What does the future of bots look like in education? 

Since the creation of the first bot, ELIZA, developed in 1966 by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum, great strides have been made to enable the creation of more sophisticated ones. These can offer all the recent technological advancements for far-reaching effects and advantages in the classroom. 

The educational sector often has to pay the price when there is a lack of funds, leading to shortages in resources, qualified teachers and administrative staff. The fast and cost-effective way in which chatbots can be implemented can be used to the advantage of the education sector.