Chatbots are everywhere. People have come to expect them and sometimes even prefer using them. In a 2017 trend report, Gartner predicted that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse. Obviously, they didn’t know that in 2020 we would all be trapped in our homes with no one to talk to BUT our spouses. We’ll forgive them for that oversight. No one could have predicted 2020.
First things first, what is a chatbot?
A chatbot (shortened from “chat robot”) is a computer program that simulates human conversation, either via voice or text communication.
Chatbots can be customized and used in many ways, including:
- Smart home devices like the Amazon Alexa or Google Home
- Through chat and messaging platforms like SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and LINE
- Customer service chat windows on websites
More and more companies are taking advantage of the intelligent round-the-clock digital support offered by chatbots in addition to the typical phone, email, and social media channels.
But did you know that chatbots are also a great learning tool for L&D professionals?
A basic chatbot can help learners decide what training to select from or even provide just-in-time (JIT) training.
In this webinar, George Hanshaw, Director of eLearning Operations at Los Angeles Pacific University showed how anyone with general technical skills can build a simple chatbot quickly.
5 Steps to Build a Chatbot for L&D
1. Define the bot’s purpose
What task or problem are you trying to make easier for your users?
2. Create the feel
How do you want the person interacting with your bot to feel? Who are you trying to reach? This will influence your bot’s graphical design.
3. Define the pathways
Create logical pathways of information, moving from topics to subtopics. A flow chart is a great way to map this out.
4. Build the FAQs
Create your script for the bot. This will give it the information needed to respond to user-generated questions.
5. Build the bot
There are many sites and software tools to build bots. Start with the pathways and entering the FAQs into the system. Share the bot with a few people to test and get feedback.
George’s department at Los Angeles Pacific University uses a tool called Engati to build their bot. From there, the bot is easily embedded into their Moodle LMS. You can also add the bots to other LMS and websites.
Using a chatbot in your LMS can give learners an individual experience as the chatbot learns about the learner. Think, “other shoppers have also purchased these items,” but for recommending eLearning content. It’s the next frontier of eLearning!
Watch the webinar recording to learn more about building a chatbot for eLearning.
Download the webinar handout here.
Don't want to build your own chatbot? Let our custom content development team build one for you!