DO TEACHERS INTEND TO USE VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS? THE MODERATING EFFECT OF THE DIGITAL SKILLS AND THE AGE OF THE TEACHER
Public University of Navarre (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has transformed society in general. At present, ICTs are used in everyday life to the point that they have become essential. People no longer interact with each other, buy or seek information in the same way. This also has changed the teaching-learning process. Society must adapt to these changes. It is necessary that people develop technological and digital competence to advance scientifically and technologically in the current and future world.
In this environment, Artificial Intelligence (AI) arises to allow leaving certain tasks that humans do in the hands of the machines. In teaching environments, they can be very useful because they perform many functions that were otherwise performed by humans, although their introduction is still scarce. According to the functions developed by chatbots, we can distinguish two types of chatbots in education: those who do not have an educational intent and those who do. The first are chatbots that are incorporated into teaching tasks of administrative and supportive type. The tasks include the management of the calendar, the reminder of tasks and deliveries and the resolution of frequently asked questions about admissions, registration or technical problems with the email or virtual campus. This would involve automating the processes and administrative consultations that would save time and effort and encourage students or teachers to make more inquiries that, otherwise, would not do for the time they would entail or for being self-conscious, thus improving their performance or satisfaction with the center. While chatbots with educational intent are designed to directly favor teaching and learning and can act as tutors that accompany the learning process. The tasks include the facilitation and adaptation of content such as knowing the difference between two concepts or practicing a language chatting with your mobile phone.
Research on the interactions with artificial agents, in general, is until the moment scarce, partly because of the novelty of the subject. Specifically, in the field of education, we need to see how chatbots are understood and valued by teachers. Moreover, the characteristics of the teacher can also affect these interactions. User characteristics as digital skills, personal experience and age can also affect the result of the process.
The objective of this research is to examine the factors that drive the intention of using online assistants who answer questions to teachers. However, the level of digital skills of people will make them more or less comfortable with the help. Thus, our second objective is to examine the moderating effect of certain user characteristics on the intention of using assistants.
Our conceptual framework is based on the UTAUT model that allows us to examine the effect of the factors as effort expectancy and performance expectancy are positively related to the intention of using online assistants.
225 teachers in schools answered an ad hoc questionnaire. The results of a regression model show that there are three determinants of the intention to use this technology: the perceived ease, utility and performance. However, the perceived mental effort does not impact the intention of using the assistants. With respect to the moderating variables, neither the digital skills nor the age affects.
Keywords: Chatbots, digital skills, TIC.