In today’s world, education goes beyond the walls of traditional classrooms. You need to be able to reach and educate your students over the channels that your students use the most. Noting that your students open WhatsApp 23 times daily and spend an average of 28 minutes on it every day, a WhatsApp chatbot would be a powerful tool for your educational institute.
How can WhatsApp chatbots be used for educational institutions?
Here are some use cases for WhatsApp chatbots in the education industry:
Driving admissions and enrollments
You can use your WhatsApp chatbot as a lead generation tool for your educational institute or eLearning platform. It gives you access to prospects on the messaging app they use the most and enables you to answer all their admissions and course-related questions right there without any delays, thus streamlining the enrollment process.
2. Onboarding new students
New beginnings are always confusing and riddled with anxiety. Students find themselves wondering how things are going to be and how their lives are going to change in their new universities or educational institutes. As an educator, you need to use your WhatsApp chatbot to introduce your students to the new place, make them familiar with the facilities available, their teachers, mentors, and let them know what clubs and committees they can join, as well as the activities that they can participate in.
3. Using it as a Learning Management System (LMS)
You can go beyond traditional classrooms by using your AI WhatsApp chatbot as an eLearning platform in the form of a learning management system (LMS). These education bots can be used to answer students’ questions, clarify their doubts, and could even be used to teach your students. You could use them to deliver lessons to learners in a conversational format.
This makes learning fun and interactive. It even gets students invested in the learning process, rather than letting them zone out and spend an hour in their own mental wonderland while pretending to listen to a professor deliver a lecture.
Since these bots are driven by artificial intelligence, they can even act as mentors for your students, especially during exam season. Picture this — your students are spending the night cramming for an exam and then…. boom, they run into a concept that they just cannot wrap their heads around. You’ve been there too, and your choices were pretty much limited to asking your peers for help (a typical ‘blind leading the blind’ situation), waiting for the morning to ask your instructor about it before the exam, or just skipping the concept, and hoping that your exam did not involve a question about that concept.
When you use your WhatsApp chatbot as a learning management system, your students get a more effective way to tackle that situation — all they need to do is drop a message on the WhatsApp bot and it will explain the concept whether it’s 11 pm or 5 am.
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4. Sharing resources
Your WhatsApp chatbot is definitely an effective way for you to share course materials with your students, but that’s not all that you can do with it. Education shouldn’t be limited to textbooks, and you can’t prepare people for the real world if your lessons stay within the confines of the course material.
As an instructor, you should share additional resources with your students that can supplement their coursework. Your bot can act as an eLearning platform here, sharing additional resources in the form of rich media or even links.
5. Communications with parents
Sometimes parents just aren’t in the loop and have no idea about what their kids are doing at school. Education chatbots are a great way for you to keep them informed and not leave them in a state of confusion. Whether it’s about exam results being released, or their children falling short of their attendance threshold, your education chatbot can keep the parents updated, which would be beneficial for teachers as well as students.
6. Broadcasting notifications
Your Engati WhatsApp chatbot can even be used to send out notifications and announcements by making use of WhatsApp message templates that you could create right over the Engati platform itself.
What could your educational institution use WhatsApp broadcast messages for?
1. Admissions lists
What’s the most annoying thing about checking admissions lists online? Sites just tend to take ages to load up whenever applicants want to check whether they got into the university. It’s a frustrating and anxiety-inducing situation for students.
WhatsApp chatbots can help you get around this issue.
When applicants opt-in for messages from your WhatsApp chatbot, you can create campaigns to broadcast messages to them about the admission lists that have been released so that they can easily check whether they’ve gotten into your institution or not.
2. Exam schedules
Released the schedule for the current exam cycle? You don’t need to put it up on a physical notice board or your website and hope that your students see it. You don’t even need to send an email and wait hours on end for them to open it. All you need to do is push it out on your WhatsApp chatbot as a broadcast message and your students will get a very overt notification.
3. Assignment submissions
With everything that students have going on with their lives, it’s very easy for them to just forget that they need to submit their assignments. You can use your WhatsApp bot to broadcast messages about the assignment topics when they’re declared, and even to send out reminders when they’re nearing the submission deadline.
4. Extracurricular activities
Are any of your committees organizing events? Are your sports teams holding tryouts? Maybe you’re organizing a Model United Nations conference?
A lot of students miss out on extracurricular activities because they simply don’t know that these are taking place or when they are happening. Broadcasting messages to them on WhatsApp helps you deal with this issue, ensuring that everyone knows what’s happening and is offered the opportunity to participate in these activities.
Let your students know when you’re organizing your college fests or are raising a contingent to participate in another college’s fests. Send messages with lists of the events that your students can sign up for and put their talents in the spotlight.
6. Exam results
This is always a stressful situation for students. Don’t leave them wallowing in anxiety, wondering when the results will be announced and if they cleared the semester. Just broadcast a message to them via your bot so that they know how they fared.
You can even send the message with a CTA button that takes them to your website or eLearning portal where they can access individual results confidentially or just send documents over to them directly over your WhatsApp eLearning bot.
7. New lectures uploaded to moodle server
Never leave your students wondering when they’ll get access to course material. You can use your bot to broadcast messages about new lecture recordings or learning material that has been uploaded to your Moodle server or LMS.
Best practices for using eLearning WhatsApp chatbots?
1. Speak your students’ language(s)
If you’ve got students migrating from their home country to study at your institute or even if you have students learning remotely, you need to engage them in their own language in order to provide them with high-quality education and make sure that they understand their teachers. and mentors.
2. Use bots as well as live chat
Allow your instructors to teach even beyond traditional classrooms by incorporating bots and live chat. This is especially useful during the exam season and would improve the learning experience.
You can also use live chat to answer complex administrative queries that the bot could not answer on its own.
3. Go omnichannel
Reach your students across all the channels that they spend time using. The best way to use chatbots for education is to tie conversations together across all these channels so that your agents always have context and your students don’t have to start the conversation from scratch whenever they switch messaging apps. Engati allows you to engage and educate your students over Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, and 10+ other messaging applications, in addition to WhatsApp.
How can you create an eLearning chatbot for WhatsApp?
Building an eLearning chatbot and deploying it on WhatsApp is an extremely easy process, but only when you’re building your bot with Engati.
All you need is a verified business on Facebook, a WhatsApp Business phone number, the WhatsApp Business API, and the Engati chatbot platform.
Here’s a quick walk-through on how you can build your WhatsApp chatbot, if you want a more detailed explanation, check out our guide on creating WhatsApp bots.
This article about “Why your educational institute needs to use a WhatsApp chatbot” was originally published in Engati blogs.
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