The Use of Chatbots to Support International Students in Higher Education: A Proposed Study


A current challenge across the higher education (HE) landscape are increasing drop-out rates and falling levels of student engagement within first year cohorts (Ellis, 2019; Bryson, 2014). In the case of international students studying abroad, increasing drop-out rates are correlated with feelings of “social isolation” (Peel 2000). These feelings are reportedly amplified by issues of cultural adjustment (Erichsen & Bolliger, 2011), and further exacerbated if students experience limited opportunities to receive peer support (Kwon et al, 2010), 1998). When students feel isolated in the transition to university, drop-out rates can increase (Studente, 2021). In response to falling levels of engagement, the use of chatbots in HE is a current research area of interest (Klopfenstein et al, 2017). Educational researchers have reported a number of benefits of chatbot technology; e.g. improving motivation (Fryer & Carpenter, 2006), promoting peer communication (Kowalski et al, 2011), developing learning communities (Alencar & Netto, 2011), improving engagement (Pereira, 2016), and improving retention statistics (Benotti et al, 2014).
This paper presents a proposal for a study which focuses upon the use of chatbot technology to support international students in HE. The scope of the proposed study is two-fold; To investigate how chatbot technology can be used to assist international students with the transition to studying in HE abroad. Secondly, to investigate how chatbot technology can be used to facilitate collaborative learning to reduce feelings of social isolation. The paper will present relevant background literature and outline the proposal for study.

Author Information
Sylvie Studente, Regent's University London, United Kingdom
Julia Sargent, The Open University, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2023
Stream: Learner Experience Design

The full paper is not available for this title

Virtual Presentation

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon