Virtual Assistant Technology And Its Role In Wildlife Conservation – A study of teachers’ intentions to use technology in teaching English in junior high schools in western China
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Virtual Assistant Technology And Its Role In Wildlife Conservation
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Xinjie Deng Xinjie Deng Scilit Preprints.org Google Scholar and Zhonggen Yu Zhonggen Yu Scilit Preprints.org Google Scholar *
Received: 29 December 2022 / Revised: 3 February 2023 / Accepted: 3 February 2023 / Published: 6 February 2023
In recent years, the development of artificial intelligence has played a major role in the use of chatbot technology in continuing education. Many studies have examined the impact of chatbots on learning outcomes. However, few studies have concluded the effectiveness of chatbots in education. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effects of chatbot-assisted learning on different components and how different moderator variables affect the effectiveness. This study, through a meta-analysis, reviewed 32 experimental studies with 2201 participants published between 2010 and 2022. The results show that chatbot technology has moderate to high effects on overall learning outcomes, regardless of the moderator variables, i.e. duration of intervention. Chatbot Roles and Learning Materials In terms of instructional components, chatbots can significantly improve critical thinking, learning achievement, retention, and learning interest despite negative outcomes for critical thinking, learning engagement, and motivation. Future research could extend chatbot research by incorporating different learning components.
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As information technology has grown in popularity, chatbots have gained interest from stakeholders in the educational context. A chatbot is a conversational software that processes input and provides information accordingly through verbal or written interaction . Researchers and practitioners can develop their own chatbots based on dialog flows (e.g. [2, 3]). DialogFlow is a natural language understanding platform that integrates conversational interfaces into various devices, applications and bots . Online learning still plays an important role in the post-pandemic era, with chatbot integration easing the burden on teachers to provide personalized support to students with limited resources and accelerating student learning. Can be personalized . Unlike teachers, educational chatbots can answer students’ questions anytime and anywhere. They are able to solve many questions at the same time.
However, using chatbot technology also brings challenges. They can be defined as ethics, evaluation, user relations, programming, control and maintenance issues . Problems also include technical limitations and adverse effects of training . At the same time, another problem arises. A novelty effect can occur when students are introduced to new technology. Improvements in learning outcomes can be attributed to student adoption of chatbot technology . Given the benefits and concerns of using educational chatbots, many studies have measured the effectiveness of chatbots, but results are inconsistent.
While some studies focused on chatbot-based education, some of them synthesized previous studies to determine the overall impact of chatbots. Recent review articles have provided background information either through insights into chatbot research (e.g., ), or through content analysis of chatbot roles, evaluation methods, application fields, opportunities , and challenges are summarized (Table 1). In terms of the effectiveness of chatbots, there are two meta-analyses that measure the overall effect of chatbots on language learning. Lee and Huang  limited their research to English as a foreign language, while Bibauw et al.  also used language learning as a research topic.
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However, some previous studies have investigated only one specific context. Lee and Huang  focused on the impact of chatbots in the Korean context. In recent years, China’s Ministry of Education has advocated technology-enhanced education. Chatbots improve Chinese students’ thinking skills and facilitate interactive learning . Meta-analysis of chatbot technologies in education worldwide is rare. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of using a chatbot on different components and whether different variables affect effectiveness. This study shows the impact of chatbot-assisted education not only in China but also in other countries and regions. It can also provide a link to continuing education and the development of specific skills and affective domains.
Chatbots play three roles in education, namely teaching assistants, learning partners, and personal tutors. Inspired by Lee and Yu , the authors summarized the role of chatbots in Figure 1. A chatbot mechanism acting as a teaching assistant provides professional knowledge and formative feedback  and facilitates online student learning . Chatbots interact and interact with students via text or voice as learning partners. A teaching role requires chatbots to suggest questions and answers, prompt students to start learning  and quizzes . The three educational roles of chatbots are interconnected and contribute to effective teaching and learning [14, 19]. Looking at the function of chatbots, chatbot-based education has positive and significant effects on critical thinking, reflective thinking, academic achievement, knowledge retention, engagement, motivation and interest.
Critical thinking refers to the process of thinking that develops self-regulated and reflective thinking that determines one’s beliefs and behavior . As one of the 21st century skills, critical thinking has become increasingly important in education . Students are encouraged to express their views based on critical analysis and reasoning . Therefore, recent years have seen many studies on the development of critical thinking, especially with the help of artificial intelligence and information communication technology tools . Using emerging technologies such as chatbot systems can encourage students to think and evaluate and gradually develop critical thinking habits. A chatbot integrated with artificial intelligence has proven to be effective in enhancing students’ thinking ability and expectations . Therefore, the authors proposed the following null hypothesis.
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A productive academic discourse that emphasizes open-mindedness and social interaction and meaningful participation is largely derived . Openness of thinking is an important characteristic of effective student communication. Peer dialogue should include a learning community, valid knowledge, and reflection . In particular, students should learn from each other, explain their thinking, and develop logical arguments in open discussions and collaborative activities. Chatbots have been found to stimulate open-ended thought processes and stimulate student discussion . In addition, reflective thinking enhances collaborative practice, improves learning outcomes, and promotes the acquisition of conceptual knowledge [ 27 ]. Thus, the authors raised the following null hypothesis.
Academic achievement is a measure of students’ academic success over a period of time . Much of the existing research on chatbot-based learning measures academic achievement, including second language proficiency , aircraft engine maintenance test scores , vaccine knowledge scores , Numerical system conversion test results , and transfer. capacity . Using a post-test design, Ghanaian students in the chatbot group performed better academically than those working with instructors . However, chatbots cannot significantly improve the academic performance of high school students .
Knowledge retention, also known as learning retention, is defined as the ability to retain information and transfer it from short-term memory to long-term memory . Many researchers have primarily tested this ability using retention tests, such as delayed posttests for vocabulary knowledge  and multiple-choice tests for programming knowledge  . Dynamic assessment of chatbots has been effective in improving vocabulary retention and providing detailed information about individual learning . The chatbot also helped to maintain Python programming knowledge . Therefore, the authors proposed the following null hypotheses.
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Many previous studies have examined the impact of chatbots on student engagement. Engagement is the degree to which students actively engage or participate in learning activities . A narrative-based learning system equipped with chatbot feedback significantly improves user engagement . Similarly, a mobile chatbot-based learning approach allowed nursing students to believe that chatbots could increase their interest in learning . However, interaction with chatbots did not lead to statistically significant differences in engagement in extensive learning activities . Given the conflicting results, the following null hypothesis was determined.
Researchers have also studied the effects of chatbots on learning motivation. Motivation, in contrast to engagement, refers to the ability to participate in learning tasks and maintain learning behaviors . The main emphasis is on participation.
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