Otermans Institute, Brunel University London (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 784-795
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.0272
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
The use of learning chatbots has increased over the past decades, impacting the education of individuals across the globe as a virtual teaching coach. This study will increase our understanding of the significance of these chatbots in education enabling us to understand how it could heavily benefit individuals universally. To aid and assist underserved women globally, allowing them to achieve their goals on the platform using a conversational agent as a coaching tool. This study focuses on underserved women in South Africa, a sizeable user group with whom such a coaching tool has not been tested previously.

Two methods were undertaken: (1), the use of online surveys and (2), focus groups.

Eighty-eight participants took part in an online survey to measure and evaluate how they perceived the Virtual Coach post-interaction with the learning chatbot. Secondly, 19 female participants took part in online focus groups to discuss and express their views post-interaction with the Virtual Coach. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. The survey results showed that participants were very positive about their interactions with the Virtual Coach and found it very useful, beneficial, engaging, and they now know what to learn next in their career journey. From the seven generated themes, it is clear that participants found the Virtual Coach friendly and trustworthy, they enjoyed interacting with the bot, and finding the guidance helpful as well as the support to navigate around the website. Participants also provided feedback to improve the Virtual Coach further. The Virtual Coach was highly perceived in a positive light by participants where many concluded they would be more inclined to use it again, suggesting the Virtual Coach’s positive impact on aiding individuals.
Artificial intelligence, chatbot, EdTech, teaching, lifelong learning, SDG 4, SDG7.