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Enterprise Personal Bots in The Education Space — How Can Enterprise Personal Bots Transform the Education Space?

April 7, 2020 - Arpa Mukhopadhyay Senior Analyst – Product Management, EdgeVerve

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Introduction

An interesting version of the personal bot that we have talked about earlier is the Enterprise Personal Bot1, which is a type of personal bot that can be used in an enterprise scenario to automate various repetitive tasks. Unlike the regular personal bot, in this version, the enterprise controls the definition, i.e., centralized configuration, and the individual controls the execution on-demand, i.e., distributed execution. While most sectors would benefit from this version of the personal bots, one of the areas where we can see significant potential benefits is the education sector. In the education sector, time, funds, and resources are usually very limited. Many of the activities that teachers, professors, or administrative users execute are repetitive tasks that take up a considerable amount of time and effort, thereby steering them away from focusing on actual learning-related activities. Imagine if an Enterprise Personal Bot could take up all these manual, repetitive tasks, freeing the staff to spend time on using their creativity in designing the course materials, and imparting knowledge.

Use cases of Enterprise Personal Bots in Education

Let’s look at a few of the possible use cases of EPBs that can be introduced in the Education sector:

Assisting an Administrator

The Enterprise Personal Bot could work as a perfect assistant to an educational administrator who is flooded with repetitive work on a day-to-day basis. All administrators in a university or an academic institute perform activities like — accepting applications, and sending email receipts for the same, filling forms, receiving tuition fees, answering repetitive questions and providing admission.

Enterprise Personal Bots for each of these activities could be centrally created and managed for the use of all the administrators in the institution. From time to time, each administrator could then provide personalized inputs wherever required in each of these activities. The EPB could be configured with a standard set of answers to help the administrators provide quick replies to hundreds of similar questions regarding:

Having an EPB would, therefore, help substantially reduce the time, cost, and effort of the administrator and free him/her from performing repetitive tasks to executing something more meaningful for the organization.

Efficient Teaching Assistants

The shortage of teachers is real in the world2 and is only getting worse3 with passing time. Apart from memorizing lessons and staying updated on new curriculums and standards, teachers end up spending a considerable amount of time on repetitive student queries, taking attendance for every class and routine grading, thereby making their schedules extremely hectic.

Enterprise Personal Bots could be designed to answer frequent questions on lessons, deadlines, and curriculums. EPBs could also assist teachers in the various repetitive data entry and data review kind of activities. The other significant support that teachers could get from EPBs with Intelligent AI capabilities is in grading student assignments and essays. Whether we’re looking at a high school class with 40 students per class or an open university course where hundreds of students would submit assignments, teachers spend hours of their time individually assessing, grading, and then providing feedback to each of the students. It is an extremely slow and repetitive effort. Instead, an EPB with Machine Learning and AI capabilities could significantly help the grading and feedback mechanism. ML models could be provided with test data and be trained to grade papers and offer feedback. In some instances of low confidence, individual teachers could then intervene to complete the task.

Thus, having an EPB at their disposal would allow teachers to concentrate on establishing a stronger relationship with students, providing them with personal guidance, and helping enhance the curriculum with their interests. This way, teachers can be relieved of their hectic schedules that have increased the problem of teacher shortage and make their position more appealing to others considering becoming teachers. This would enable the existing teaching fraternity to provide more and improved mentorship.

Assistance to Students

EPBs could be of much assistance to students in an institutional setup. They could provide students with all the necessary information about their courses, modules, faculties, and facilities. The EPBs configured on the campus could act as campus guides and help the students as they arrive at the university/school. They would help find more information about the hostel facilities, scholarships, curriculums, schedules, and library memberships, thus not only saving the students’ time but also reducing the burden of the institutions in responding to repetitive questions.

An EPB would be a great addition in a library where it could be configured to help the students with well-curated information for different topics. This would save a lot of time for students, where they could avoid going through multiple websites, various searches as well as huge volumes of books to pull out the required information. Also, as the students interact with them, EPBs could collect a vast amount of data from the students. This data includes information about students’ search preferences and their behavior on the information that they cannot find. This could act as a feedback mechanism for the EPB, and it could utilize this data to track the students’ queries and then identify the areas where it needs to improve. EPBs could also help students in assignments as well as project work. For instance, during project work where a simulation or processing needs to run time and again with different data points, EPB could do the processing for the students and therefore come very handy and save time.

Feedback is an essential mechanism for improving the learning process. Just as teachers’ feedback is vital for students to identify points of improvement, the students’ feedback provides an opportunity for the teachers to identify gaps in their teaching. An EPB could be configured to analyze the feedback, compile the points mentioned by the students, and send them to the respective teachers. Thus, we can see how handy an EPB can be in assisting the students.

Assistance during Exams

Enterprise Personal Bots could be configured in systems with grading criteria for different questions in different exams. While exams are taken by students on these systems, the EPB could authenticate and authorize the students and then immediately mark the students based on the answers they are providing. They would grade the students based on the configurations done and park the answers where the teacher needs to provide manual intervention.

EPB could also be used to help in data analytics to understand and interpret the exam/test results in a meaningful manner, i.e., whether the paper was hard, which questions in which category could be answered or not, and so on. Furthermore, an EPB could also be used to email the report cards to the students and guardians as well as upload the results of the students on the university website. Thus, having an EPB assist during exams would save a lot of time and effort in authorizing, grading, classifying, and delivery of the results for an examination.

Cautions while implementing Enterprise Personal Bots in Education

As with any technology, Enterprise Personal Bots come with their cautions and challenges. And as with any sector, the Education sector is no exception to this rule. Since the EPB would be configured centrally with the execution controlled on-demand, ensuring the privacy and security of personnel data as well as student data is paramount. Also, since feedback and grading are fundamental functions that are going to be delivered by the Educational EPB, the EPB must be implemented with precision. Partnering with an experienced automation leader like EdgeVerve AssistEdge can help achieve this.

What Does the Future Hold for Enterprise Personal Bots in Education?

As seen in the different use cases above, we can see that the introduction of the Enterprise Personal Bots which combines the power of attended automation and personalization of intelligent bots with the control and discipline of the organization would be a big help in freeing up significant time and effort of the employees. Enterprise Personal Bots would play an important role in the revamping of the Educational space, with more cheerful teachers and administrators leading to happier students and better and more relevant learning.

References

Arpa Mukhopadhyay

Senior Analyst – Product Management, EdgeVerve

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