Some of the best ways chatbots can be applied for social good are in the education sector. Providing hyper-personalized services, chatbots for education can offer an individualized approach to education. In addition to tutoring, teaching assistant bots can field common questions for students while school chatbots can do the same for parents. The possibilities are endless!
Those who want to develop chatbots for education should keep a few things in mind. This is because education is a serious matter, and users may often have special needs to take into consideration. If you don’t know where to begin, start with these best practices for chatbots for education.
Plan Your Bot
Will your bot be accessible via voice or text? What platform will it make its home? These questions are important to ask for a learning or higher education bot because they will determine how accessible or inclusive it is for students.
After choosing a platform, develop a clear goal and use case for your bot. Will it answer routine questions as a teaching assistant bot? Will it help students with their homework? Does it teach an entire course? Map out conversations users will have with the chatbot to ensure things run smoothly and without confusion.
Use Natural Language Processing
Botmakers must always make the choice of using on-rails or natural language processing to power their bots. But for educational chatbots, the choice is obvious: NLP is the way to go. This is because these bots can be used to help users learn a language or to score an essay on grammar. In addition, bots should be sophisticated language skills to reframe confusing facts so students can better understand them.
Speak Their Language
Bilingual or multilingual chatbots for education are always a plus, but inclusivity doesn’t stop there. When developing an educational chatbot personality, give it the language and diction to match that of students. This makes it feel as though the bot is another one of their peers—not just some cold and calculating AI teacher. Furthermore, the bot’s language should remain encouraging.
Educational chatbots shouldn’t just respond to questions—they should ask them, too. This is useful for two reasons. Asking questions about the user helps with personalization; an educational chatbot can learn a user’s study habits, strengths and weaknesses this way. Second, a curious bot can encourage students to be more probing in their studies, promoting inquiry during the learning process.
Be Careful when Segmenting and Profiling
A learning or higher education chatbot should be careful in how it profiles students. A student that’s profiled as under-performing could be fed back resources and information that hinders, rather than facilitates, growth. It’s important to offer a comprehensive look at students’ individual strengths and weaknesses that offers students a plan to improve. Ensure your educational chatbot doesn’t create self-fulfilling prophecies through its user segmentation.
Have a Crisis Response
This is an important but easily forgotten one of our best practices for education chatbots. Learning can be difficult and stressful at any level. Whether you’re developing a higher education chatbot or a bot for younger students, it’s incredibly important that your bot responds adequately to messages about stress, poor mental health issues and suicidal deviation. When the bot detects extreme language, it should point to crisis resources to help the student. For basic comments about stress, it might suggest that users take a break.
Focus on Context
Contextual responses make it easy for students to follow the path from one concept to another when using chatbots for learning platforms. A teaching assistant bot that answers questions should provide contextual options to help students find the information they need quickly.
Check Analytics and Improve Your Bot
You should always stay on top of chatbot analytics to see how and when people use your bot. Using a tool like Botanalytics lets you analyze key metrics across different bot platforms, including engagement and retention rates. Identifying your most engaged users and their conversations can help you find the best uses for your bot.
In addition to those basic metrics, you should also check conversation steps, activity times and confusion points where the chatbot made an error. Together, these chatbot analytics give you a comprehensive understanding of how to improve your bot. You can learn more basic tips about iterating bots with chatbot analytics here.
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