Chatbots: Can they work for your school?

Chatbots have had a notable impact across tech industries. Utilising current advancements in AI, chatbots are tools that simulate conversation to provide assistance and learning.

Many of us will likely have interacted with a chatbot at some point, the more likely places being voice assistants (such as Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Microsoft Cortana) or via messaging apps (like Facebook Messenger or WeChat).

So what possible applications could chatbots have in the education sector…in schools? Could we use these as tools for learning in the classroom? What about for admissions or marketing? Let’s take a look.

In the Classroom

Chatbots can deliver an equity of learning: An issue many, many schools face are pupils who attend the same class but with very different skills, interests, and abilities. Having a personal tutor in place for each pupil is rarely possible, so how about chatbots to deliver personalised learning experiences?

With AI, chatbots are able to assess each pupil’s knowledge, learning ability and style and then devise a curriculum especially tailored to them. Acting as a guide, the chatbot can adapt the work and course to suit the pupils’ ability.

Automatic scoring: The time taken to review essays and tests, and grade them accordingly, can have a large impact on teachers’ schedules. Chatbots and AI make it possible for work to be graded in incredibly short amounts of time.

Testing methods like multiple choice are easy to do in this way. Where AI is getting clever is in reading essays; by feeding a machine-learning algorithm thousands and thousands of essays it is possible for chatbots to accurately review at the same level of an educator (but in the space of seconds).

Space Interval Learning: The spacing effect is a learning technique where pupils relearn / reassess their knowledge on topics after a certain amount of time, which gets larger each time. The concept suggests that this will help pupils retain knowledge more effectively over the “traditional” cram study sessions before a test.

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With a chatbot application this process becomes far simpler to role per pupil; the AI can learn when pupils are more likely to forget (i.e. the spaces of time) and prompt them to relearn subject matter.

In #SchoolMarketing

Admissions: Chatbots can be rolled out as a useful tools for many things, from tasks as simple as ordering a pizza to more complex issues such as dealing with complaints. Schools can make use of chatbots to help streamline their admissions process.

We are already seeing this in the Higher Education sector, and their is room for the independent schools sector to follow suit. Imagine parents being able to go through an entire admissions journey using a chatbot service, having all their queries answered quickly and accurately. This frees up time for admissions staff to focus on other areas and deliver elsewhere for the school.

General Queries: Being able to talk to a chatbot allows parents, and pupils, to ask general questions about the school. Is school closed today because of the snow? What time is the hockey game tonight? How much are tickets to the Christmas concert? This reduces the time needed for the school to take calls to the office, or for parents to try and find that information online.

We are looking to utilise AI in this way using Alexa. Interested? Request a demo from us today.

The possible applications for chatbots will undoubtedly grow exponentially as AI becomes more refined. We are at an incredibly exciting junction in technology right now and it is fascinating to see how new technologies are integrated into the education world.

The #FutureSchool is one that correlates with the #FutureWorld, where we take it has no limits!

We’d love to hear about any experiences you may have had with chatbots in the education sector, or your views on using AI as a learning and service tool. Please do comment below.