The way we engage with technology has been completely transformed by artificial intelligence (AI), and chatbots are a prime example of this change. Computer programs called chatbots are made to mimic human interaction through voice- or text-based interfaces. Chatbots are growing more smart and are able to offer unique and interesting user experiences as a result of advancements in AI technology. AI-powered chatbots have the ability to revolutionise how we interact with technology and one another in this era of digital transformation, making it possible for us to be more effective, productive, and connected than ever.
AI as a disruptive technology in the education sector
Artificial Intelligence, known as AI, is seen as a disruptive technology in the education sector because AI-powered educational solutions may tailor learning experiences, pinpoint student needs for additional support, and automate administrative work, freeing up teachers to concentrate more on instruction. Moreover, AI can make it easier to create engaging and interactive learning environments, including virtual and augmented reality, which can improve student comprehension and engagement. Furthermore, AI-powered assessment tools can offer more precise and objective evaluations of student performance, improving student outcomes. Aside from the necessity for instructors and educators to acquire new skills to successfully incorporate these technologies into their teaching practices, there are worries about the potential biases and ethical issues surrounding the use of AI in education.
What are chatbots?
Computer programs called chatbots are made to mimic human interaction through voice- or text-based interfaces. Applications for chatbots include customer service, virtual assistants, and chat-based user interfaces. They are often built to comprehend natural language input and produce suitable, grammatically sound responses that are relevant to the context.
- Rule-based chatbots: These chatbots are designed using predefined rules and are limited to specific tasks. They are not as flexible as AI-powered chatbots but can be useful for handling simple tasks such as answering frequently asked questions.
- Retrieval-based chatbots: These chatbots use pre-existing responses to answer user questions. They work by matching the user’s query to a database of pre-existing responses and selecting the best match.
- Generative chatbots: These chatbots use machine learning algorithms to generate responses to user queries. They can learn from user input and improve their responses over time
- Hybrid chatbots: These chatbots combine multiple approaches, such as rule-based and generative models, to provide more accurate and personalised responses.
Ultimately, the choice of chatbot depends on the specific use case and the requirements of the user. Recently, ChatGPT has garnered the attention of social media and piquing the interest of school leaders, teachers and students. ChatGPT is a generative chatbot that uses a state-of-the-art language model called GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) to generate responses to user queries. ChatGPT is a type of deep learning model that has been pre-trained on large amounts of text data and can generate human-like responses to new input based on what it has learned from the training data. ChatGPT is capable of understanding natural language input and generating appropriate responses that are contextually relevant and grammatically correct. It is designed to be flexible and can handle a wide range of queries and topics, making it suitable for various applications such as customer support, virtual assistants, and chat-based interfaces. Websites, messaging apps, and social networking platforms are just a few of the places where chatbots can be implemented. By giving prompt and accurate answers to user inquiries, they can improve user experience through automating customer-care related tasks, making personalised recommendations, and automating customer service functions.
How can educators leverage ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a valuable tool that educators can use for generating lesson ideas and creating resources. With ChatGPT, educators can easily create comprehensive lesson plans by inputting relevant prompts such as “Develop a lesson plan for third-grade students on the subject of subject-verb agreement.” ChatGPT then generates an elaborate lesson plan that includes clear lesson objectives, a list of necessary materials, step-by-step procedures for conducting the lesson, and suggestions for assessing students’ learning at the conclusion of the lesson. This feature enables educators to save time and effort, allowing them to focus on other aspects of teaching and learning.
Educators can also use ChatGPT to quickly generate essay samples on any given topic, saving time and effort that would otherwise be spent sourcing samples from books or online resources. These generated essays can be used in a variety of literacy activities. For example, educators can print the essay and cut out the various paragraphs to create a sequencing activity for their students. Here are some examples of how else ChatGPT can be helpful in the classroom:
- As a virtual teaching assistant, ChatGPT can respond to student questions and offer further explanations.
- By the use of virtual and augmented reality simulations, ChatGPT can provide interactive and immersive learning experiences that can improve student comprehension and engagement.
- Teachers can modify their lesson plans by using ChatGPT to analyse student data and provide insights on student performance.
- By automating administrative activities like scheduling and assigning due dates, ChatGPT frees up teachers’ time so they can concentrate on instructing and giving each student their undivided attention.
- With the help of ChatGPT, teachers may create tests and quizzes, give students immediate feedback, and modify their pedagogical approaches in response to student performance.
Moreover, ChatGPT can be used to create thematic texts that can serve as reading comprehension passages. For instance, a thematic passage on the topic of ‘Social Media’ can be generated, and educators can prompt ChatGPT to create comprehension questions that focus on specific reading comprehension skills such as vocabulary and inferential questions. However, it’s important to note that the questions generated are not always consistent with the prompt. For instance, some content questions were generated instead of inferential or vocabulary questions. Additionally, the AI may incorrectly classify the questions as inferential, highlighting the need for teachers to exercise critical discernment when using content generated by ChatGPT as lesson material.
How can students benefit from ChatGPT?
As educators explore the various ways to incorporate ChatGPT into academic settings, it is essential to also teach students about the responsible use of the tool. Many students have been curious about ChatGPT even before it gained widespread attention. The appeal of instant access to information that can be conveniently accessed via various devices has led many students to use ChatGPT for research and to seek answers to a range of topics such as science, history, and math, among others. While some students have used ChatGPT to complete assignments, many others have been keen to test the AI’s ability and knowledge. Given this heightened student interest, educators can leverage ChatGPT as an engaging and effective tool that students can turn to for queries and assignments.
For students who find writing tasks intimidating, ChatGPT can provide a starting point for gathering initial ideas for an essay. By searching for prompts such as ‘painful lessons in life,’ students can generate ideas for an essay that focuses on writing about a painful experience or lesson learnt. However, it is crucial for students to use their discretion when selecting relevant ideas and to ensure that they do not directly copy the content generated by the AI. Educators can model this as a practice activity in class and use the generated ideas, suggestions, and prompts for various school work and assignments.
Additionally, ChatGPT can provide suggestions for grammar, spelling, edit errors in sentences, and provide explanations for the corrections. This feature enables students to edit their work and learn from their mistakes simultaneously. Moreover, ChatGPT can summarise texts, which could aid students’ comprehension of challenging or complex texts by helping them quickly grasp the gist of the content. This feature could be particularly helpful for students who are reading long online articles. Lastly, while ChatGPT can also act as a language learning tool, students should exercise their discretion as it only offers basic language skills.
In conclusion, AI-powered chatbots have the potential to revolutionise the education industry by giving students individualised and interesting learning experiences and enhancing teachers’ efficiency and effectiveness. Aside from the necessity for instructors and educators to acquire new skills to successfully incorporate these technologies into their teaching practices, there are worries about the potential biases and ethical issues surrounding the use of AI in education. Ultimately, AI-powered chatbots have enormous potential to change the educational landscape, and with proper planning and implementation, they can contribute to the development of a more effective and efficient learning environment for both students and teachers.
Examples of ChatGPT’s responses to different prompts:
- Edits spelling and grammar errors
- Provides prompts for writing topics
- Summarises texts or information into comprehensible passages
- Creates essays based on a provided topic