The use of chatbots in education and the challenge of colliding cultures – Ellen Gunning’s Session

Which of us is not interested in learning? We all grow and develop each day, based on the new knowledge that we have acquired in the previous 24 hours.

When I first began teaching public relations more than 30 years ago, courses were taught in a specific location, at dedicated times, by particular lecturers, to an audience who shared many similar traits, from a curriculum which was fixed and with quite rigid learning outcomes.

Nowadays, my business – the PR Training Academy – teaches through an interactive online platform, to a global audience of diverse nationalities, beliefs, ethnicities and challenges. We teach 24/7, use a combination of audio, video and text, examine by means of quizzes, offer assignment possibilities for deeper learning and constantly change and evolve to suit the learning environment that professionals are working in.

Why is this relevant? Because I’ve been asked to chair an EADL session which looks at one of my passions – how technology can enhance distance learning while respecting and reflecting cultural difference  – and I am really looking forward to debating some of these issues with our expert panel of speakers.

My session deals with two key areas: chatbots and colliding cultures. We have all become familiar with the use of chatbots that simulate human interaction and seek to reduce the human workload while enhancing the client experience. I’m looking forward to Lars Willner’s presentation to hear how a learner-focused educational environment can successfully incorporate this relatively new piece of technology. The second area – when cultures collide – is something that will be of interest to anyone who recruits students from outside of their own national borders, or, for that matter, who is interested in learning more about how their own culture can be interpreted or possibly misinterpreted in distance education. Christos Hadjiyiannis is providing valuable insights for us in this area.

Mine is the pre-lunch session, from 11.30 – 13.00 on Friday 15th of May.  I can promise a lively, interactive, immersive and highly educational debate with each of our speakers. Join me if you can.

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