Educational chatbots promise many benefits for teaching and learning. Although chatbot use cases in this research field are rapidly growing, most studies focus on individual users rather than on collaborative group settings. To address this issue, this paper investigates how chatbot-mediated learning can be designed to foster middle school students in team-based assignments. Using an educational design research approach, quality indicators of educational chatbots were derived from the literature, which served as a guideline for the development of the chatbot Tubo (meaning tutoring bot). Tubo is part of a web-based team learning environment in which students can chat with each other and collaboratively work on their group assignments. As a team member and tutor of each group, Tubo guides the students through the learning journey by different scaffolding elements and helps with content-related questions the students have. As part of a first design cycle, the chatbot application was tested with a school class of a technical vocational school in Switzerland. The received feedback suggests that the approach of team-based learning with chatbots has a lot of potential from the students' and teachers' point of view. However, the role distribution of the individual group members may have to be further specified to address the different needs of autonomous as well as more control-oriented students.
Michael Burkhard, Sabine Seufert, Matthias Cetto, Siegfried Handschuh
30 Nov 2022