Ever wondered how a college freshman processes a wealth of information and adjusts to a new environment?

Challenges of new students in the first year of college have been studied in various student transition researches. New students must adjust their information-processing style to increase academic demands and teaching methods. Under such circumstance, they encounter information overload on arrival. If not treated carefully, they would end up feeling disconnected from other peers and instructors causing learning demotivation. The integration of an AI chatbot platform may just be the key answer to these resolutions. 

Information Overload

Emotionally and psychologically, information overload takes place when factors of emerging information amplified by the rapid advance of communication technology. This phenomenon can interfere with information processing and subsequently invoke feelings of overwhelm and losing control.

A successful transition includes learning and processing fresh information to cope with new environment, which brings a sense of connection to surrounding peers. Academic advising service is often open to provide assistance, since a supportive counseling system allows for better social engagement and adaptation. However, the delivery of teaching materials and administrative information through an online system is still far from effective transition. 

Technological Advantages of Chatbots

The use of technology is also helpful to support student’s transition to college. E-mail and text-messaging under the forms of instant messaging (IM) or short messaging system (SNS) are popular among young users. Traditionally, email has been a consistent means to convey an electronic message to others; nevertheless, now that young people are turning to messaging applications, email is no longer a tool that is widely used in peer-to-peer communication. App Annie reported that people of 3 to 24 spend 3.5 times as many hours as people of 45 years old and over on its platform.

This prominence use of messaging application indicates younger users’ preference for text messaging, which renders useful for students and instructors in facilitating productive information exchange. Due to the ability to integrate with students’ personal devices, the gap between students’ academic and social environments is minimized. This, in turn, can foster the relationships between them and instructors as well.

Technological Disadvantages of Chatbots

Nevertheless, students and instructors do not always share the same perception of technological usage. Students tend to consider text messaging as a sufficient means to communicate with their faculties. Their professors, on the other hand, may find it difficult to reach hundred of students at the same time via individual message  Students also raise a concern for the lack of immediate response when their instructors are away. Furthermore, a bigger problem must be stressed that, personal text messaging can potentially violate privacy rights in academic setting. 

Intelligent Solutions

Fortunately, an automated system can address these issues with ease through providing helpful information and navigation to another location where answers to inquiring questions can be found. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has pushed the development of instant messaging solutions; AI chatbot is a note-worthy creation among such information-processing productions. The bot can also transform itself to be a friendly reminder of future examinations or a to-do notes. The convenience of smartphone operationality brings ease instructors in sending mass messages and enhancing overall connection. However, the most impressive characteristic of the chatbot lies in its ability to process data from lectures and transcribe it into normative, easy-to-understand texts.

For example, Athenka is an intelligent chatbot platform that can be integrated to a school’s computer system to help students improve their search for knowledge. Athenka regularly sends lectures by various exciting means of texts, images, or videos. It allows students to take quizzes and send the results directly to instructors in lieu of reporting to a medium site, such as an internal school portal. Further, Athenka perfects as an interim virtual professor by distributing class materials when inquired for extra references. This particular feature eases the the pressure of processing too much information at the same time for students, which subsequently reinforces the motivation of students in their self-studying. On the other hand, instructors can keep track of their students and provide feedback accordingly.


Smart feedback

One can not learn and grow without having feedback from their mentors. Feedback plays an important role in improving students’ learning process. For instructors, giving feedback to their students will enable them to identify their academic shortcomings and implement necessary modifications. For instance, feedback can be some extended open questions on a topic, self-assessment reports, or tests.

More specifically, both instructors and students can tailor the feedback process to be more engaging and less time-consuming. AI Hubert, for instance, lives true to its slogan “Improvement starts with a conversation”, allowing users to adjust the learning channel using their own suggestions. Finally, this AI chatbot will give an analysis of all comments from students and report them to the instructors.

Eliminating information overloading issue

From course registration, seminar applications, available scholarships to information about certain classes, students are often overwhelmed with questions. The answers for these questions are present, sometimes arbitrarily, on college websites, which makes it challenging for students to find them. A typical example is the confusion many freshmen harbors in not finding appropriate prerequisites needed for specific courses.

An adoption of AI chatbot to colleges’ homepages can maximize the quality of information offered while minimizing time per search. The smart bot alleviates the burden on staffs by automating simple and frequently asked questions of new students every year. The importance of artificial intelligence-based solutions in pre-admission phase shows in easing new incomers to transition. The bot is able to direct inquirers to the person in charge when more complicated questions arise. Lastly, the chatbot collects all students’ contacts for relevant staffs in case additional support needed.

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