According to a 2021 report, the dropout rate among college students in the United States is 40 percent. Given this alarmingly high number, any higher education institution not already prioritizing student engagement should shift its focus immediately.
Research suggests student learning, persistence, and attainment in college are rooted in strong student engagement. In other words, the more students engage with faculty, staff, fellow students, and the subject matter they are studying, the more likely they are to continue with their commitments and achieve their goals.
One increasingly popular way to improve student engagement is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) on college campuses.
Read on to learn how AI technology improves student engagement and why it’s something all universities should consider deploying in learning platforms, classrooms, and digital channels.
How Universities Are Using Technology to Improve Engagement
Technology is a game changer in higher education, with nearly unlimited potential to help keep students engaged with and successful in their studies.
Here are some reasons why universities are ramping up their use of higher ed chatbots and AI campus technologies.
Enable students to self-serve important information.
AI chatbots can be particularly beneficial when it comes to helping students find the information they need at their own convenience. To illustrate, UNC-Chapel Hill developed bots that work within the learning management system (LMS). As a result, students can engage with the bot to ask questions about coursework, assignments, and due dates. In turn, this helps them stay on top of their workloads and frees instructors from having to answer the same questions over and over again.
Communication and retention go hand in hand. The more you engage with students, the more likely they are to complete important tasks, such as meeting financial and academic deadlines.
Many universities now use chatbots to answer questions about college admissions and help students see the process through to completion. For example, AI can nudge students and remind them to submit assignments, complete placement testing, select housing, and perform other important actions. It can also help universities and colleges connect with students to reduce summer melt, or the phenomenon where students plan to attend college in the fall but fail to enroll due to a lack of support along the way.
Upskill students for the modern business world.
The modern world is becoming increasingly digital. Companies across all industries are using AI and digital transformation to streamline workflows and enhance operations, and higher education is no exception.
Universities now use technology to prepare students for the business world and introduce them to modern applications and services. Employers interact with chatbots to ask institutions how to hire their students, and students field information from chatbots about historical job placements and opportunities with employers. It’s a modern approach to job placement that facilitates real-time insight into supply and demand.
Give teachers more time to focus on student engagement.
Technology can often reach students and communicate concepts and ideas much faster and more efficiently than teachers can.
For example, teachers can point students to digital learning resources such as images, videos, and audio clips that illustrate basic parts of their lessons. This enables teachers to focus on higher-level points that require face-to-face explanations and discussions during classroom hours.
With an assist from digital learning tech, teachers spend more time on complex lessons instead of going through time-consuming introductory points and primers. At the same time, instructors can use predictive AI to figure out which students need more assistance. This makes classroom time more valuable, engaging, and enjoyable for participants while ensuring teachers can focus their attention where it’s most needed.
Make education fun.
Technology also makes learning more fun and enjoyable, which is a critical part of learning. When they’re having fun, students feel encouraged to learn more about different subjects and explore new avenues of education.
For instance, imagine you’re learning a new language. AI-assisted technology makes learning basic grammar concepts more enjoyable, intuitive, and effective. It helps students grasp the basics of communicating in another language instead of struggling with vocabulary, pronunciation, and sentence structure, allowing them to rapidly proceed to higher levels of proficiency.
How AI Improves Student Engagement
Institutions increasingly understand the importance of staying on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. As such, universities are now investing heavily in advanced solutions like AI to deliver greater value and drive engagement.
With the right AI solutions in place—including chatbots and learning portals—students can discover information and learning resources and move at their own pace.
Make Your College Stand Out with AI Chatbots
Technology now plays a central role in all aspects of modern life, including higher education. As such, universities have a responsibility to integrate new technologies and evolve through digital transformation and modernization.
To experience how our AI chatbots can help your institution, take the platform for a spin. While you’re at it, check out our Comprehensive Guide to AI Chatbots in Higher Education.