Conversational Artificial Intelligence or Conversational A.I. as it is popularly known has been around for a while. Smartly programmed chatbots are changing the way in which brands interact with customers. The rise of social media and the increasing need to get a solution as swiftly as possible to improve the customer experience has now made chatbots an essential part of the business model. Look at these chatbots as a rudimentary or basic form of conversational A.I. tools. The same holds good for the automated / programmed voices that you hear when you dial the toll-free number of your bank/airline to raise a complaint or a request. You might be wondering how is all this related to eLearning? Let’s explore how conversational A.I. can bring about a revolutionary change in the way digital learning solutions are designed and how they can be a key feature of the actual learning delivery platform itself.
Chatbots and Conversational A.I.
When one uses the word “conversational” it does not just mean voice-based interactions. Any form of two-way communication comes under the ambit of “conversations”. Digital learning solutions have traditionally relied on a story-telling approach to engage learners and increase the retention of learning. One of the most commonly used elements of an eLearning program is having an “avatar” or a character who guides learners through the program.
Let us take this a step forward and assume that the eLearning program or the learning delivery platform has an in-built solution that interacts with the learners based on the inputs that the learners provide. The program is able to reply via text messages in the chat feature built into the platform and also recommends appropriate and relevant courses to the learners or helps them in completing the assessments in a program with relevant hints and clues through messages. Would it not improve the overall learning experience? The system should also give learners the option to enable or disable the chat feature so that it does not hinder the learning experience for people who feel that they would be able to learn better without the chat function prompting them at different points in the learning journey.
Using Conversational A.I. in eLearning – Opportunities and Possibilities
Before we go further, watch this video from IBM, which explains how chatbots work:
Now that you have understood what chatbots are watch this video to learn what conversational A.I. does:
The key difference is that normal chatbots are based by defined boundaries and can only respond in specific scenarios to a set template of frequently asked questions as a single-response interaction. Conversational A.I. on the other hand develops a multi-response conversation with the user and creates a dialog to offer the user a resolution or answer queries posed by the user.
Use-Cases for Conversational A.I. in Digital Learning Solutions
For creating learning nudges
Spaced learning and learning nudges are used in eLearning to offer learners the chance to recollect information faster and ensure that they do not forget what they have learned. Conversational A.I. can play a key role in delivering these learning nudges at spaced intervals on the screen. It can also be programmed to trigger notifications on the learners’ smartphone in the form of WhatsApp messages.
As a source of motivation
One of the biggest challenges that L&D experts face is to sustain the interest of the learners when they undertake a detailed eLearning program. This could be because of various factors ranging from the complexity of the topic, poor design, or a mismatch in course content and learning outcomes. Conversational A.I. can be used to create motivational messages and prompts that greet learners when they sign into the LMS, LXP, or mobile learning app to access the eLearning content.
Personalized learning paths
Personalized learning paths can be configured based on a pre-defined set of questions that the learners answer. Based on their inputs, the system can display recommended learning paths / programs, which can help the learners achieve their professional goals with ease. This can be configured into the learning delivery platform as a value-added feature to provide a truly personalized learning experience.
Self-paced eLearning solutions are designed with the premise that the eLearning program is self-contained and will be easily understood by the learners without the need of an external guide or instructor. What L&D teams forget is that not every learner is adept and experienced to complete the self-paced program without the guidance of an instructor. In such a scenario, conversational A.I. can work as a virtual instructor to guide learners with their queries.
The above-mentioned use-cases are just some of the many possibilities available for integrating conversational A.I. in digital learning. The future is likely to bring up many more innovative scenarios where this technology can be used to provide a better learning experience.
Popular Conversational A.I. Products
Senseforth, Simplifai, MindMeld, AmplifyReach, Haptik, Tidio, and Avaamo are just some of the popular names in the highly competitive conversational A.I. platforms market. The key point to note is that these are commerce-driven and sales-focused platforms that focus on customer retention and customer success for products and SaaS-based solutions. The market is wide open for a conversational A.I. product that focuses solely on digital learning. The next few years are going to be crucial and we are likely to see major announcements from major tech-firms in terms of APIs for such products. The first-mover advantage will definitely benefit the learning tech firm, which comes up with a full-fledged conversational A.I. platform of its own.
At S4Carlisle, we build digital learning solutions that push the envelope of learning tech and user experience design to provide a wholesome learning experience. Would you be interested in an eLearning solution that uses chatbots or conversational A.I.? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.