Most of us are familiar with Alexa and Siri and have employed them to help us out in some way or other. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse. And now chatbots similar to Alexa and Siri are finding their useful way into higher education and schools as well. Chatbots can benefit universities in a number of ways.
Simplify the application process
Applying to study at a university can be a daunting undertaking. Chatbots can help to simplify the administrative formalities for students. As it is, applicants find the admissions system confusing.
The admissions process involves a significant amount of paperwork like completing and submitting forms, submitting certificates and referrals, and more. All of these steps generate loads of queries from students. This is where a website chatbot can be indispensable. They can answer all queries 24/7.
Provide website information to students
Educational chatbots take the effectiveness of a university website to the next level. The interactive presence of a chatbot can create a friendly interface between the website and all its visitors, including students and applicants. By being able to answer questions about academic, administrative and financial matters, campus services, IT services, scholarships, etc., chatbots save visitors the time and effort to sift through various department and subject websites, let alone trying to find a person to speak to.
Introduce newcomers to the campus and campus life
Every year when new students arrive on campus, they have the same questions as previous freshmen. Chatbots can easily be programmed to answer these and other questions about life on campus. How to find the library, how to pick the best courses, what are the best clubs to join, where to find a counselor are all questions that a chatbot can answer. Chatbots can help newcomers to familiarize themselves with the campus in a short time.
Can chatbots work for schools? There are a number of applications for chatbots in schools. We touch on some of them here.
Chatbots in the classroom
One enduring problem in education is how to properly educate students at their personal level of interest, ability and skills. Personalized education is the ideal, but impossible to execute in a normal classroom. It is possible for chatbots to deliver personalized learning experiences for students. Chatbots can also modify a curriculum and tailor it to each student.
Admissions at schools
Just as in higher education, chatbots can be rolled out to streamline the admissions process at schools. Imagine parents going through the entire admissions process aided by a chatbot service that promptly attends to all their queries.
General information assistant
Chatbots can assist with general queries, saving parents and students the time to make phone calls to the office. Chatbots can answer the usual questions that come up a thousand times a week: Is school closed today because of the snow? Is there choir practice tonight? What time does the bus leave on Friday for the trip to Boston?
There is undoubtedly room for many roles that chatbots can fulfill in both universities and schools. And in time they will take on more and more tasks. In no time they will become so ubiquitous that we won’t be able to imagine a life without them.