Conversational AI: Technology Redefining Online Education In Rural India

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to make a huge impact on learning, teaching, and education

Digital learning has become an integral part of the education system ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the accessibility to quality education through digital means has been hampered for students in rural Bharat because of the great divide between haves and have-nots. The sudden reliance on online learning has affected children in rural areas adversely. Even before the pandemic, education in such regions was marred by the dearth of an adequate number of schools, lack of pocket-friendly educational institutions, and inadequate infrastructure at government schools.   

Challenges in accessing education in rural areas have only increased with digital education. Factors such as lack of access to a good internet connection, inability to purchase digital devices like smartphones and laptops, and unaffordable cost of internet data have deprived children in rural areas of education post-pandemic. In terms of structural challenges, the teachers in rural areas are not well-versed in operating digital devices. The content available online is mostly in English, which is impractical in a country where language changes every few kilometres. Additionally, there is gender inequality as the penetration of online learning amongst the female population in the rural parts of India is even less.  

The advent of Conversational AI

Nevertheless, the advent of Conversational AI promises is working toward offering solutions to some of these challenges. The EdTech platforms are moving towards chatbot-assisted teaching and learning to boost the outreach of quality education in Bharat. The WhatsApp-based conversation AI chatbots are facilitating web-based, synchronous, & self-paced learning. WhatsApp-based chatbots have been the best choice because of the access to the platform in Indian households across socioeconomic backgrounds. The app’s user-friendly interface has made it the ideal solution to deliver education to students in remote areas while also enabling their parents to monitor and participate in the learning progress. 

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to make a huge impact on learning, teaching, and education. AI-enabled chatbots are generating insights on how learning happens, changing the way learning is assessed, re-organising the classrooms, and increasing the efficiency of teaching. In addition, there is a possibility of two-way feedback and personalization. In Conversational AI, tools like messaging applications and speech-based assistants use technology components such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Intent Recognition, Entity Recognition, Fulfillment, Voice Optimized Responses, Dynamic Speech-to-Text, Machine Learning, and Contextual Awareness to interact with humans. 

Here are some of the elements of Conversational AI that are redefining online education in rural India: 

Education Chatbots

These are used to mediate in a learner's interaction with learning materials (readings, assignments, exercises, etc.), peers, and instructors. Students can proactively use chatbots in their learning process. It helps in reducing teacher intervention as the chatbots provide immediate answers. This way, teachers can upgrade the courses based on individual student needs.

Ease of Learning

AI chatbots can converse with students in any surroundings through a sequence of standard text messages or multimedia files. Lectures can be changed into interactive conversation flows with the help of engagement tools and fantastic UI, and the chatbot can constantly access each learners’ understanding level and provide them with the next part of the lecture as per the set algorithm. The bot can also present the students with adaptive assessments.

Teaching Assistant

AI chatbots enable teachers to understand the needs of individuals based on the data gathered from their queries on the platform. Students get access to tailor-made solutions and figure out the learning gaps, strengths, and weaknesses of the students.

FAQ Chatbots

Children get quick answers through FAQ chatbots. It is more interactive, and bots can keep adding more questions to their data based on the queries from students. 

Voice-assistant Chatbots

A life-changing innovation, voice-assistant AI chatbots use various technologies such as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Advanced Dialog management, and Machine Learning (ML). They understand, react and learn from every interaction and assist students through automated voice responses more accurately.

Conversational AI has unlocked numerous benefits for students, teachers, and parents. Students are better able to retain information as they can learn at their own pace. Conversational AI allows pushing each student as per their personal needs. Through chatbots, educators can easily upload educational videos in vernacular languages. The AI-led algorithm connects students to the relevant content, and teachers have access to student data, which empowers them to keep track of the learning graph of every individual. Such personalized education experience was unimaginable in Bharat, but AI-based Conversational chatbots are making it a reality.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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