5 Ways Chatbots Can Help Students in Distant Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

5 Ways Chatbots Can Help Students in Distant Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning have entered all aspects of our lives. We have smart assistants in the workplace, connected devices in the home, and even chatbots in the school classroom.

As distance learning grows more popular, the dependence on technology has grown as well.

In conditions such as the current global pandemic forcing students to stay at home, and teachers to discover new ways of educating, chatbots have a unique chance to shine. More than ever, we see how intelligent components can improve the way we learn.

Today, we will examine how chatbots are helping students to thrive in distant learning environments.

Personalizing the education experience

Every teacher knows that different students learn in unique ways. Just because one student responds well to verbal instructions, not everyone will. With chatbots, it’s possible to personalize the educational experience to suit the unique needs of each student.

The chatbot created by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation shows how technology can help in tailoring lectures to the needs of the student. This bot can determine the strengths and weaknesses of each student to help educators provide a more immersive class.

When embedded with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, the online classroom can learn more about what a student needs over time, gradually improving the experience by ensuring that each student has the right resources to get work done.

Increased engagement

Students don’t always have the best attention span, even in a traditional classroom setting. As distance educational environments become more popular, it’s even harder for some students to stay focused. After all, we have countless distractions battling for our attention.

Chatbots can help educators fight this lack of engagement by setting automated reminders that ask students how far along they are on assignments or remind them that they’re nearing deadlines.

Chatbots can also quickly provide students with answers to questions while they’re working on a project, rather than having to wait for a teacher to be available.

Improving customer / student communication

A chatbot is always available to answer basic questions for students. However, chatbots can also facilitate better communication between a teacher and a student when more human connections are required.

For instance, in the COVID-19 environment, teachers might struggle to keep track of a dispersed classroom of students. It might be difficult for a student to find time to talk to a teacher one-on-one. When integrated with calendaring tools, a chatbot can assess gaps in both a student and a teacher’s schedule to determine the best time for an appointment.

All the while, chatbots remove the need for teachers to answer repetitive questions from their students. This means that lecturers and educators can spend more of their time on solving more complicated issues.

Automating crucial tasks

Teachers have a very chaotic job at the best of times. When dealing with a distance-learning classroom, their to-do list may become even greater. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many teachers to rapidly adapt to an online learning environment, which led to substantial complications for less tech-savvy educators.

Chatbots can alleviate some of that stress. We’ve mentioned that bots can be an ideal way to answer questions about a deadline or project. However, they can also be programmed to keep track of important information, like how long a student spends on a learning platform each day. You could even implement AI tools that track attendance and student absences.

Teachers can also use chatbots to help with grading and collecting assignments. A chatbot could automatically request project files from students when they reach a deadline.

And because chatbots can integrate with everything from plagiarism tools to grading technology, they can even check to ensure that a student hasn’t been taking shortcuts in their work.

Unlocking the potential of industry 4.0

Although we mostly connect the term Industry 4.0 to manufacturing, it is a set of over a dozen emerging technologies revolutionizing nearly every industry.

Industry 4.0 encompasses technologies like the 5G network, blockchain, advanced analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and more, some of which are also entering the education system.

Chatbots are a byproduct of some of these technologies, most notably AI and ML.

Today, many websites offer chatbot assistance. They’re a common feature on eCommerce sites and websites of service providers, where they enable customers to get help outside of regular service hours.

With online conferencing tools and chatbots to answer questions at any time, students can also get an education, no matter where they are. This is particularly valuable to people in environments with limited access to schooling.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, we see first-hand how valuable chatbots are in maintaining connections between students and teachers at a distance.

Chatbots are ushering education into a new environment where remote learning is becoming increasingly common. This technology will continue to break down the walls to distance learning, providing an easy way for anyone to expand their knowledge, without having to visit a school in-person.

In the future, we’ll be seeing more examples of how Industry 4.0 technologies will affect education. It’s not unrealistic to expect remote vocational training using virtual and augmented reality, or distributed ledger technology driving more transparency across educational institutions.

And as already mentioned, chatbots driven by AI will drastically improve personalization opportunities to make education more accessible than ever before.

Chatbots are transforming the educational landscape

The COVID-19 epidemic has been a horrific experience for many. However, it’s also an opportunity for companies and educational facilities alike to see the benefits of disruptive technology. Everywhere we look, the world is getting an insight into the potential of 4.0, and how powerful the right digital tools can be.

Even after this pandemic is over, it’s safe to say that the journey into the digital landscape will continue, with chatbots leading the way.

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Ashley Wilson

Ashley Wilson is a content creator, writing about business and tech. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

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