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The Classroom of the Future: How Chatbots Can Enhance Student Experience

Building Relationships Teaching with Technology

The Classroom of the Future: How Chatbots Can Enhance Student Experience

chatbots - classroom of the future
Ever since reading the article about how Professor Ashok Goel used bots to enhance the student experience for his computer science class, we have been wondering how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in education. At our business school, we do not use this technology to manage our every day interactions, but, as part of a strategic reflection on the possibility of AI in our classes, we have begun to brainstorm about the promise that AI holds. Like companies, educational institutions are investing in improving the digital experience of students by using technology to create, manage, deliver, and optimize student experience anytime, anywhere. We believe there are ways to use AI to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the classroom.

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A note to readers: Bala Iyer passed away before this article went to print. His co-author would like to dedicate this piece to him. As dean of faculty, Bala inspired a culture of innovation and excellence in the classroom, and he will be greatly missed by the Babson community. [dropcap]E[/dropcap]ver since reading the article about how Professor Ashok Goel used bots to enhance the student experience for his computer science class, we have been wondering how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in education. At our business school, we do not use this technology to manage our every day interactions, but, as part of a strategic reflection on the possibility of AI in our classes, we have begun to brainstorm about the promise that AI holds. Like companies, educational institutions are investing in improving the digital experience of students by using technology to create, manage, deliver, and optimize student experience anytime, anywhere. We believe there are ways to use AI to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the classroom. The idea is to build a trusted relationship with students across touch points. In particular, we have been focusing our discussions on the use of chatbots—software and computer programs that mimic human conversation using artificial intelligence to perform tasks for humans. We are not advocating using chatbots to completely replace the student-teacher relationship. Instead, we argue that chatbots can help shift some of the student-teacher interactions to AI while providing more time for a focus on content. The following are ways that we see possibility for AI enhancing the students experience in and out of the classroom: In all cases, AI should be used ethically and transparently to augment the student learning experiences. While some of these suggestions are far from being implemented widely today, instructors should consider the possibility that AI holds for their own classroom. Before his passing, Bala Iyer was the dean of faculty and a professor of technology and operations management at Babson College. Kristen Getchell is director of rhetoric and visiting associate professor of rhetoric at Babson College. She tweets @kmgetch