1 University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GREECE)
3 Research Centre on Interactive Media Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies - RISE (CYPRUS)
4 Karolinska Institutet (SWEDEN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 7808-7815
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1570
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
There is growing need for personalised individual student support in healthcare curricula. One key limitation to support learning scenarios surrounds large student-to-lecturer ratios. This can result in attenuation of lecturer’s efforts to provide high level support for all students. Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, specifically usage of machine conversation systems known as chatbots, can support education delivery. They can be alternative access points to learning materials, naturalistically respond to common question, and assess knowledge to redirect students towards appropriate help. This can promote student engagement, continue higher-order cognitive processes and activities of students, and allows faculty to better appropriate their resources/time towards high quality individual support. The co-creation of chatbots has complexities and barriers which may hinder design, creation, and implementation. Therefore, workshops are required to deliver support in creating formal specifications for chatbot development.

The Chatbots Enhanced Personalised European Healthcare Curricula (CEPEH) ERAMSUS+ project (2019-1-UK01-KA203-062091) aimed to co-design and implement innovative pedagogical approaches- utilising chatbots. One of CEPEH objectives was to increase participants knowledge and confidence in co-design and creation of chatbots within a ‘training the trainers’ workshop, towards creating a powerful new digital Open Education Resource. Through co-design with students, healthcare staff, lecturers, and clinicians, improved understanding and skills into co-designing effective chatbots was explored.

A curriculum developed for a multidisciplinary group of participants for the CEPEH ‘training the trainers’ workshop. The 3-day workshop primarily surrounded co-design with the stakeholders following the ASPIRE framework and implementation of chatbots as an educational resource. Pre- and post- questionnaires captured participants’ confidence, knowledge and understanding of chatbots and the methods to develop digital educational resources. Other factors relating to the workshop setup and delivery were also recorded.

Participants were 15 from 4 EU countries. Wilcoxon’s Signed Rank test compared pre- and post- workshop results. Significant increases were suggested for: knowledge and understanding on the co-creation methods to develop digital educational resources (z = -2, p = .046), on what a chatbots is (z = -2.88, p = .004), on the design and development of chatbots as educational resources (z = -0.79, p = .429). After the workshop, 26.7% of participants declared that they overestimated their knowledge and understanding on the co-creation methods to develop digital educational resources. Confidence on designing and developing chatbots increased by 48% (z = -2.1, p = .036).

A ‘training the trainers’ workshop aimed at improving knowledge and confidence in co-design and creation of chatbots provided promising results, acting as a pivotal curriculum replicable for other higher education institutions. Participants better understood on creating a specification towards personalised and flexible learning to support European medical and nursing schools. Increase of such workshops will accommodate creation of more web-based and freely published chatbots able to sustain several years of reuse,in addition to being low budget. European medical and nursing schools may benefit from attending future workshops.
Digital Pedagogical Innovation, Participatory Design, co-design, Chatbots, Conversational Agents, OER.