“Hello, this is your AI Assistant Bot. What can I help you with today?”
Sounds familiar? Yes, this is a common way to start a conversation with chatbots. Encountering this message has become a pretty normal thing in the last few years. Although chatbots were not as helpful as they were expected to be initially, this technology has made tremendous progress in terms of functionalities and quality. In addition, they have more to offer than just answering simple FAQs.
Even though chatbot is a general term for this technology, people frequently use names like conversational AI, virtual, or AI assistant interchangeably. Despite the fact that they differ from one another slightly, this blog post will use the term chatbot only for readers to not be confused.
Booming of Chatbots
It’s been several decades since chatbot was first introduced and made steady progress until the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe. Businesses across many industries came across several challenges: human resources, not to mention financial ones. So what could be a better solution than chatbots? Whether it be existing chatbot companies or tech entrepreneurs, they foresaw those opportunities. So they dived into advancing chatbots at a faster pace. As a result, chatbots can now be found in almost every business sector, such as the Aviation, Healthcare, Beauty & Wellness industries, and more. Even Educational sectors have been benefiting from this particular technology. While there are basically two ways through which chatbots help institutions (or businesses) – teaching chatbots and assistant chatbots. We will walk you through the latter. The reason is the former has yet a lot to be worked on. And we will write about that in our future articles.
Chatbots in Education Industry
One thing for sure won’t happen is chatbots replacing our beloved human managers, librarians, teachers, and general staff at our schools. Instead, they may be a great assistant to providing a better school experience for students. There are dozens of claims on how the school system has to be revolutionized, and we can’t agree more. Thus we believe that chatbots can have their own contribution to that great cause.
This might not sound very appealing to many people but let’s consider colleges as businesses and students as customers. The better the customer experience and the quality of the education, the higher the revenue. So, where is the beginning of customer experience in the education business? Correct! It starts with the admission process. Whilst the admission process has various stages, the most straightforward task chatbots can help with is answering any questions regarding admission. There are primarily two advantages of implementing chatbots rather than using traditional website-based FAQ pages. First, it saves a lot of time for students by offering them keyword-based search options on their favorite messaging app. Second, admission staff can easily update and enhance the number of FAQs.
Did you know that Berry College has the largest campus globally – 27,000 acres? To put it in perspective, the average soccer field size is 1.76 acres. Therefore, most likely, anyone visiting this campus for the first time gets lost even though campus maps are placed all around the campus. Obviously, universities can not afford to provide every visitor with a campus tour guide. However, it would be a different story with chatbot campus guides. The reason for that is; first, they are way much cheaper than human agents, and second, they can perform better than offline/online maps. To enlighten more on this, visitors can simply ask questions via text (or verbally in case it is a voice bot), then chatbots can provide answers accessing the database. Plus, since they can be linked to online maps, chatbots can guide them to their desired destination based on their input and current location. Furthermore, chatbots can also inform visitors about the status of the facilities, e.g., temporarily closed or under construction.
Even the smallest libraries can have thousands of books, and managing them can get exhausting, especially during mid and end-term exams. Students come to look for specific books to borrow and return. How chatbots can help library assistants is they can answer FAQs and register themselves for borrowing or returning books. In addition, they can remind students about their due date for returning the books they have borrowed, make a queue for other students to borrow them, etc. Library assistants can focus on other things such as handing over the books in person or receiving them and making sure everything is in order in their library.
Traditionally, there are a few ways of informing students about updates at school. For instance, Learning Management Systems (LMS), the official webpage, and offline notice boards are the most commonly used methods. Moreover, social media has made it to that list in the last few years. Thanks to the popularity of those social media channels. Arguably chatbots can do the job better than all of those methods. Why? We can assume that 99% if not 100% of students have access to one or more messaging apps that they use on a daily basis to communicate with fellow students, friends, and family. If chatbots are placed on those messenger chat lists, the chances of the message being read are a lot higher than those other channels. In addition, university administrators can easily broadcast announcements from the back-end management platform of chatbots.
While there are tons of free good services like Survey Monkey or Google Forms available for conducting surveys, getting people to fill the survey is a real problem that has not been completely solved yet. One of the most common ways is to offer something in return like gifts or coupons. However, that is not something everyone can afford. The main reason for many people not wanting to take their time to answer survey questions is that it is just a boring thing to do. With chatbots, this can be done quite differently; more fun and more engaging. One question at a time in a casual conversation format can get people to fill the entire survey form in a matter of a few weeks, depending on the number of questions. Since schools conduct surveys regularly, chatbots can help them reach a more significant number of results at a low cost and in a short time.
Assignment Details & Class Notes
Although it is students’ responsibility to pay attention to assignment requirements and take notes during class, they might find it challenging to do them due to heavy workload, especially during exam periods. Professor assistants can set up chatbots to help students review assignment details and class highlights. In case you are asking, “Why not on LMS”? The answer is, “Why not an innovative, convenient, efficient solution?”
Everything aforementioned can be implemented using the essential functions of chatbots. And if you have noticed, they can help academic institutions pretty well, even with these simple qualities. Although, as the quote goes, “Sky is the limit,” we would like to finish this blog post by saying, “Sky is limitless with chatbots.”
Makebot has been collaborating with Korea’s leading universities, such as Yonsei and Hanyang, for the last few years to provide the best quality of education to their students. To learn more about how Makebot can help your organization as well, contact us here or visit our website.