Developing personalized chatbots for learning of React and Node.js programming

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Price: 2000 Naira (BSC, MSC)

ABSTRACT

In recent times, the use of chatbots has become very popular in a large scale of applications, especially in systems that provide intelligence support to users. In fact, to speed up the assistance, in many cases, these systems are equipped with chatbots that can interpret the user questions and provide the right answers in a fast and correct way.

This paper presents the realization of a prototype chatbot in education, and it develops a system to provide support to university students (and aspiring programmers alike) on some courses like React and Node.Js.

The initial idea was focused on the design of a specific architecture model to manage communication and furnish the right answers to the student. For this aim, a system has been developed that can detect the questions, and thanks to the use of natural language processing techniques and the ontologies of domain, give answers to student—not like a conventional question and answer system, as this system will give students a study guide to follow and learn accordingly.

Finally, after the implementation of the designed model, experimental campaign will be conducted in order to demonstrate its enforce-ability and efficiency.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the Study

A chatbot (or chatterbot) is a software (machine) that communicates with users (human). It is a virtual assistant able to answer a number of user questions, providing the correct responses. In the last few years, there has been a rapid increase in the use of chatbots in various fields, such as Health Care, Marketing, Educational, Support Systems, Cultural Heritage, Entertainment and many others. Major companies have developed several chatbots, both for industrial solutions and for research: some of the most famous are Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Facebook’s M, and IBM’s Watson.

Life-long education is becoming more and more popular in all sectors of the economy (Siryj, 2012). To implement this concept, various learning management systems (LMS) are used, which have led to a significant increase in competition among products of this type. The main advantage is the use of AI in such programs. This makes it possible to personify training, for example, to build individual educational trajectories, to identify strong and weak areas of knowledge among students, and to build individual development plans.

However, the use of AI is not limited to personalizing training. The proliferation and use of chatbots have led to the messaging-as-an-interface user interaction paradigm. It was in instant messengers, with a steadily growing audience in the world, that chatbots found a fertile development environment. In the near future, chatbots will be of increasing importance. For example, they may well replace the classic search engines and social networks. The advantages of bots will be the ease of interaction with them, the speed of their response and the ability to configure them for users. Using a bot greatly simplifies interaction with services, providing a universal interface. Chatbots play a particularly significant role in the so-called intelligent learning system—programs that simulate teacher behaviour. Such programs can test students’ knowledge by analyzing their answers, provide feedback, and create personalized learning plans.

Learning is one of the very vital human activities that require concentration blended with interactivity, clear and distinct understanding of the facts been stated or discussed, high communication skills and techniques, attractive learning qualities such as colourful pictorial presentations of information among others. Nevertheless not all learning process is considered to be effective.

In recent years, various sectors such as entertainment, education, health and businesses are being dominated by mobile applications. The reason for this is that mobile computing is able to provide a tool for the user when and where it is needed irrespective of user movement, hence supporting location independence (Niroshinie, Seng and Wenny, 2013).

Exploring the powerful capabilities of multimedia and implementing it on teaching and learning processes via the production of learning material and products such as e-book, computer assisted learning (CAL), computer aided instruction (CAI), computer based training (CBT), internet based training among others would go a long way towards improving the advancement of the practical and theoretical knowledge of the students. With high quality content value of the e-learning products and the captivating multimedia features embedded in them, a student can easily, assimilate such knowledge (even in the absence of a teacher and the required physical environment) through repetitive accessing of the e-learning materials and following the animated instructions contained therein.

The advancement of computer technology has promoted the quality of mobile learning. The trend of recent communication technology is how to make good use of wireless equipment’s to construct a ubiquitous communication environment which can improve performance of traditional learning and create new learning activities or model for active learning. A wireless technology makes it possible to create an environment for a learner to obtain knowledge anytime and anywhere. Through wireless access, a student can access rich contents from the internet, search the knowledge by keyboard, interactively communicate with classmates or teacher, and participate in a mobile classroom anytime and anywhere.

With the increasing use of network computers, the Internet and advances in telecommunication technology, e-Learning has been widely recognized as a valuable tool for learning and training (Firouz, 2010). The traditional means of higher education has remained dominant in schools in some developing countries. With the significant growth of e-learning, teachers and students normally explore new ways of constructing knowledge (Dilani, 2014). The current technology being heavily researched as an educational platform is the World Wide Web (WWW). The WWW which represents a platform for information storage and dissemination can be accessed in minimum time, and this is very important to the educational community. The fact is that the transition from digital divide society to a global village information society causes the traditional instructional model to be unable to cover the instructional needs of modern societies. The globe is faced with a transition from a static economy to a new knowledge driven economy.

Population explosion and increasing admission request into schools in every region of the world brought greater constraints on the resources of several schools. For instance, there is problem of inadequate number of human and material resources to cater for the education of the large population. The population of school age citizen in most places has grown tremendously to the extent that only a small percentage can be offered admission (Akinyokun and Iwasokun, 2014). A new learning environment needs to be created which will provide autonomy and flexibility, establish contacts and easy communication between centres of culture and knowledge, and facilitate easy access for all citizens of a knowledge based society (Jain, 2016).

Conventional classroom based teaching involves the delivery of course lectures by the lecturer in a particular place at a specific time. Hence it imposes a constraint of time and place on both the instructor and the student. Due to the human factor, the lecturer may not always be able to put the optimum effort towards preparing and delivering course models. Direct interaction with the student is not easy because of the large number of students needing attention.

The remedy to this situation seems to be the learning techniques that are based on modern technologies such as the Internet and WWW combined with traditional classroom teaching. One of the ways this can be achieved is through the use of virtual classrooms. A virtual classroom is an environment conducive for learning, which takes place in the cyberspace. It provides the tools that learners need and brings together educators and learners to share information and ideas. The virtual classroom is a special form of e-learning that finds relevant applications in enriching the conventional learning methods. Nagarajan and Wiselin (2010) opined that e-learning can be deployed using a wide range of technologies and media.

The virtual classroom has its roots in the study of computers in education such as computer-mediated instruction and multimedia as an instructional tool. These broad fields covered not only hypermedia, such as web-based hypertext, but also non-internet instructional software design ranging from media school surgery tutorials to interactive CD-ROM geography atlases. Many of the issues facing these virtual classrooms, such as evaluation of interface design, integration of computers into course design, and social issues of computing are highly relevant to the design and use of internet-based virtual classrooms.

Present technologies enable the creation of virtual classrooms using the Internet and its resources. For the educators and trainees, a benefit of the Internet as platform for virtual classroom is that the information that can be stored is almost limitless. One of the contributions of Virtual Classroom (VCR) is the access to high quality and flexible learning technologies (Jain, 2016). The information being electronically stored can be accessed or downloaded by learners at their own pace, thereby overriding the constraint of time and place experienced in classroom based learning. The involvement of the distance learning includes teaching using telecommunication tools, which transmit and receive numerous materials through data, voice, and video   (Ssekakubo, Suleman, and Marsden, 2011). There is also an increased use of virtual classrooms (online presentations delivered live) as an online learning platform and classroom for a diverse set of education providers. In addition to virtual classroom environments, social networks have become an important part of e-learning (Nagarajan and Wiselin, 2010).  This project seeks to develop a personalized chatbot for learning React and Node.js programming.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Computer science students are expected to learn how to be practically and theoretically sound in aspects of computer science, as this enables them to face challenges encountered in the labor market. Disappointingly, upon graduation, most of them are not as equipped as expected, and when they encounter challenges in the labor market, they flounder.

Oftentimes, the students are found to be the highest set of customers patronizing most side “computer training institute” and still they may not get the value of services they need. This situation has been ascribed to many claims, which on most occasions, have been made by both students and teachers about the pattern of teaching and learning respectively. For instance, the students claim that a greater percentage of teachers have poor teaching communication skills, and in turn, the teachers blame inadequate teaching and learning facilities and/or infrastructure as the reason for ineffective learning.

Hence, the problem centers on effective teaching and learning processes for the impacting and advancement of the students’ theoretical and practical knowledge.

1.3 Aim and objectives of the study

The major aim and objective of this work is to develop an expert system chatbot with general knowledge for learning React and Node.js programming.  It also aims to contribute to academic research work.

The objectives are to:

  • Provide the students with more learning materials (reference materials of the compendium).
  • Facilitate the interaction between chatbot and students, and students to students (group study).
  • Enable learners to gain access to learning materials at their convenient time.
  • Enable learners to learn anywhere and at any time.

1.4 Scope of the Study

The design of an e-learning platform is a very broad field, but this research work focuses on the development of a platform where students of this great school; Alimisho secondary school lagos state, can easily access reference materials of the school compendium, can read, copy or print these materials. Also students can download or watch videos of lectures uploaded by the teacher. It also makes a provision for the students to assess themselves after each studied course (objective-based).

1.5 Significance of the Study

Internet of Things (IoT) and chatbots are emerging as a significant technology in shaping the future by connecting physical devices or things with internet. They also present various opportunities for the intersection of other technological trends which can allow it to become even more intelligent and efficient. In this research, we focus our attention on the integration of Intelligent Conversational Software Agents or Chatbots with learning management system. Literature surveys have looked into various applications, features, underlying technologies and known challenges of IoT. On the other hand, chatbots are being adopted in greater numbers due to major strides in development of platforms and frameworks. The novelty of this paper lies in the specific integration of chatbots in the IoT scenario.

We analyzed the shortcomings of existing IoT systems and put forward ways to tackle them by incorporating chatbots. A general architecture is proposed for implementing such a system, as well as platforms and frameworks – both commercial and open source–which allow for implementation of such systems. Identification of the newer challenges and possible future directions with this new integration, have also been addressed.

1.6 Limitations of the Study

Usually, every work has some limitations and this study is not exempted.

The two major limitations of this study are the high programming technique as well as financial constraints. The high programming technique constraint in PHP, JQUERY and MYSQL prevents the researcher from having an in-depth study and analysis on the subject matter, while the issue of financial constraint limits the frequency of investigation to/from the institution toward gathering the necessary information relevant for the study.

1.7 Definition of Terms

CHATBOT: also known as a smartbots, talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, IM bot, interactive agent, Conversational interface or Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program or an artificial intelligence which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test.

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING: is a subfield of computer science information engineering and artificial intelligence concerned with the interations between computer and human (natural) langauges, in particular how to program computers to process and analyze large amounts of natural language data.

HTML CODE: – HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a type of computer language that is primarily used for files that are posted on the internet and viewed by web browsers. HTML files can also be sent via email.

Markup language: – A markup language is a combination of words and symbols which give instructions on how a document should appear. For example, a tag may indicate that words are written in italics or bold type.

Web browser: -A Web browser is a software program that interprets the coding language of the World Wide Web in graphic form, displaying the translation rather than the coding. This allows anyone to “browse the Web” by simple point and click navigation, bypassing the need to know commands used in software languages.

File extension: – A file extension is the suffix at the end of a filename that tells a computer, and the computer user, which program is needed to open the file. Also called a filename extension, this suffix preceded by at least one period, is generally one to five characters long but the norm is usually three characters in length.

Email: – Email, also sometimes written as e-mail, is simply the shortened form of electronic mail, a protocol for receiving, sending, and storing electronic messages. Email has gained popularity with the spread of the Internet. In many cases, email has become the preferred method of communication.

TCP/IP: – This often used but little understood set of operations stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is the combination of the two and describes the set of protocols that allows hosts to connect to the Internet. In actuality, TCP/IP is a combination of “more than those two protocols, but the TCP and IP parts of TCP/IP are the main ones and the only ones to become part of the acronym that describes the operations involved.

TEXT FILE: – A text file is a computer file that stores a typed document as a series of alphanumeric characters, usually without visual formatting information. The content may be a personal note or list, a journal or newspaper article, a book, or any other text that can be rendered accurately in typewritten form.

Hyper Link:-A hyperlink is a graphic or a piece of text in an Internet document that can connect readers to another webpage, or another portion of a document. Web users will usually find at least one hyperlink on every webpage. The simplest form of these is called embedded text or an embedded link.

Mobile: With respect to technologies, ‘mobile’ generally means portable and personal, like a mobile phone.

Learning: This is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviour, skills, values, or references and may involve synthesizing different types of information.

E-Learning: This can be defined as any dissemination of educational knowledge over the internet. It can be defined as the delivery of a learning, training or education program by electronic means.

Conventional Learning: This means having education in the four walls of a school.

Mobile Learning: The definition of mobile learning is still evolving and so there are many definitions I existence.

Techno-centric: defines mobile learning as learning that takes place with the aid of mobile devices.

MYSQL: A relational database management (RDSMS) that runs as server providing multi-user access to a database.

PHP: (Hypertext pre-processor) is a general purpose server side scripting languages originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web page. It is one of the first developed server-side scripting language to be embedded into an HTML source document rather than calling an external file to process data.

CAL: This stands for computer Assisted learning. It is an application package that is designed to enable the user to learn a particular subject through the provision of tutorial that may or may not be accompanied by questions. CAL is popularly called tutorial software.

CAI: This is an abbreviation of computer aided instruction. It is an application package that is designed to enable the user to learn and/or get acquainted with a specific subject or an aspect of life.

Website: It is information of a particular people, individual, state, country etc, made available to be seen or can download on the net.

Login: To connect to the scale and make use of available information provided by the designer within some range of specification.

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