Essential Features and Critical Issues with Educational Chatbots: Toward Personalized Learning via Digital Agents
In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Modern Educational Technologies, Applications, and Management. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
15 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2019 Last revised: 7 May 2020
Date Written: January 10, 2019
Conversational agents, also known as chatbots, are automated systems for engaging in two-way dialogue with human users. These systems have existed in one form or another for at least 60 years but have recently demonstrated significant potential with advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. The use of conversational agents or chatbots for education can potentially reduce costs and supplement teacher instruction in transformative ways for formal learning. This chapter examines the design and status of chatbots and conversational agents for educational purposes. Common design functions and goals of educational chatbots are described, along with current practical applications of chatbots for educational purposes. Finally, this chapter considers issues about pedagogical commitments, ethics, and equity to suggest future work in the field.
Keywords: chatbot, conversational agent, web chat, pedagogical agent, educational technology, automation, digital learning environment
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