Conversational AI is bringing transformational changes in the education sector. In this blog, we will look at the top 5 use cases that can reshape learning experiences for students and teachers:
- 24/7 Student Assistance Chatbots
- Personalized and Adaptive Teaching
- Interactive Learning through Games, Quizzes, Immersive Experiences
- Virtual Study Buddy for Students with Special Needs
- AI Teaching Assistants for Grading, Student Engagement, Admin Support
The Rise of AI in Education
The global AI in education market is projected to grow from $1.57 billion in 2022 to $15.74 billion by 2029 as per ResearchAndMarkets. Conversational AI and chatbots are seeing increased adoption to provide personalized and interactive learning.
According to HolonIQ, the K-12 and higher education sector accounted for 45% of the $105 billion global edtech market spend in 2022.
Here are some key drivers accelerating deployment of conversational AI in academic institutions:
- Need for 24/7 assistance to resolve student queries quickly
- Leverage data to provide customized teaching for better outcomes
- Improve student engagement through interactive methods
- Reduce teachers‘ administrative workload to focus on teaching
- Make quality education accessible to students across geographies
As per a survey by Pearson, 65% of respondents believe AI can make education more personalized and efficient.
1. 24/7 Student Assistance Chatbots
Round-the-clock availability of assistance via chatbots helps in providing quick resolution of student queries.
According to a study by Chatterbots Magazine, about 73% of students prefer to seek information from a chatbot than a human. Chatbots for student assistance can handle FAQs related to:
- Courses, faculty, exams, assignments
- Fees payment, scholarships, financial aid
- Clubs, campus events, accommodation
- Subject-specific help with assignments
For instance, Georgia State University‘s chatbot Pounce provided aid to around 324 students who claimed they would have dropped out without the timely guidance from the bot. Pounce answered queries on financial aid, course registration, scholarships etc. round-the-clock.
As per a survey by AdmitHub, students preferred answers from their chatbot over email and appreciated the quick response time. Around 65% felt the bot provided sufficient information.
2. Personalized and Adaptive Teaching
AI-powered chatbots are being used as virtual tutors to deliver personalized teaching customized to each student‘s:
- Level of understanding
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Interests, hobbies, aspirations
- Learning habits
For instance, Carnegie Learning‘s Mika chatbot provides tailored math lessons to students based on individual needs. It assesses each student continuously and adjusts the teaching methodology and pace accordingly.
As per a study published in JRTE, students using Carnegie Learning‘s personalized math software performed up to 160% better than the control group.
By analyzing patterns in student‘s conversations, Mika can predict learning obstacles and offer assistance to address them proactively. Such personalized learning ensures better academic results.
3. Interactive Learning via Games, Quizzes, Immersive Experiences
Interactive, game-based learning platforms powered by conversational AI make education fun and engaging for students.
They incorporate elements like:
- Educational games and quizzes
- Role-playing exercises and scenarios
- Immersive simulated environments using VR/AR
- Interactive fiction chatbots with branching narratives
For example, Mursion provides a blended virtual environment where teachers practice classroom management skills with simulated students. The AI convincingly replicates student behaviors to provide realistic teaching experience.
Alelo‘s Tactical Language simulator uses AI chatbots in immersive scenarios to teach communication skills. As per their research, students demonstrated 92-97% proficiency improvements compared to traditional methods.
Such experiential learning platforms lead to better engagement, retention and outcomes.
4. Virtual Study Buddy for Students with Special Needs
Conversational AI chatbots provide customized support as virtual study buddies for students with disabilities like:
- Learning difficulties
The chatbots help students by:
- Answering questions patiently
- Explaining concepts through videos/visuals
- Assessing learning continuously and objectively
- Building communication and social skills
For instance, Mira, developed by Anthropic, engages autistic students in natural conversations to improve their communication abilities. Mira provides over 40 hours of lessons based on clinically-validated ABA therapy techniques.
StradVision is developing an AI assistant that can read text aloud to help dyslexic students. The tool tracks text on screen and highlights sections simultaneously while reading aloud.
Such innovations demonstrate the promise of conversational AI in making education more inclusive.
5. AI Teaching Assistants
AI teaching assistants help academics and administrators by automating repetitive tasks. This enables teachers to focus on delivering quality education.
Some applications of AI teaching assistants include:
- Grading assignments and tests: AI can instantly grade multiple choice and short answer questions saving teachers‘ time. Jill Watson has graded over 40,000 student responses accurately.
- Engaging dormant students: AI bots can track class participation data to identify inactive students and recommend interventions.
- Administrative support: Chatbots assist with routine tasks like attendance, scheduling, event announcements freeing up staff.
- Parent interactions: AI bots can automatically address parent queries regarding fees, exams etc. through messaging apps.
As per an MIT study, AI grading matched human graders‘ accuracy while being 5x faster. Such automation of repetitive tasks through AI assistants boosts productivity.
While conversational AI adoption in education is still in early stages, the use cases indicate its immense potential for improving learning outcomes. Here are some future possibilities:
- AI tutors that can dynamically generate personalized lessons and assessments for each student
- Bots that recommend content like articles, books, videos based on individuals‘ knowledge gaps
- AI assistants that can intelligently source answers to students‘ questions from textbooks and other resources
- Virtual labs and interactive environments for conducting science experiments through AR/VR
- Chatbots that can take inputs through speech and other modalities making learning accessible
However, there are challenges to scale up adoption:
- Concerns over data privacy and security
- Integration with existing legacy edtech systems
- Cultural acceptance by teachers and skepticism about AI
- Lack of expertise to train AI models on pedagogical data
By starting small, securing stakeholder buy-in, and focusing the AI implementations on improving student outcomes; academic institutions can make the most of conversational interfaces to drive the next wave of advancement in teaching and learning.