Digital Learning Assistant
For this Bachelor Thesis, a prototype of a digital learning assistant, also called chatbot, was developed. The chatbot is able to connect to Moodle as a backend and provides a wide range of features for both students and teachers.
Schori Dominic, 2020
Bachelor Thesis, School of Business FHNW
Betreuende Dozierende: Andreas Martin
Keywords: Digital, Learning, Assistant, Chatbot, Moodle
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The starting point of this Bachelor Thesis is a previous thesis done by Rahel Le in 2018. Le conducted a feasibility study on the topic of chatbot usability at the FHNW and developed a prototype of such a chatbot designed to assist students with answering frequently asked questions. In a next step, the chatbot should be further developed to connect to Moodle as a backend system, to enable the chatbot to incorporate learning materials from Moodle. This connection should be done using web services, where a messenger connects via webhook to the Moodle backend database.
To develop a chatbot that is able to access to Moodle as a backend system, first a local instance of Moodle was installed. This local instance was filled with a few example courses and files to fulfil the use cases of the prototype. A middleware, developed in Python and named Smart Hub, was created to manage the API calls to the REST API of Moodle, the integration into the Messenger Microsoft Teams using incoming- and outgoing webhooks as well as the connection to the Dialogflow agent.
The result of this bachelor’s thesis is a working prototype of a chatbot that is integrated into Microsoft Teams as a frontend messenger service and able to connect to Moodle through API calls. All connections are managed in a middleware, developed in Python and named Smart Hub. The chatbot is able to fulfil queries for students such as providing information on a certain course, listing all enrolled and ongoing courses, showing current assignments for a certain course, deliver links to all files of a course and accessing information from a third party source in a Google Sheet containing information on summer schools. Further, the chatbot has a functionality that shows the potential of artificial intelligence in combination with such a chatbot, where the chatbot is able to summarize a large text sent by the user. Besides functionalities for students, the teachers have the ability to receive a notification from the Smart Hub once certain actions trigger in courses taught by them, such as a new forum entry or the upload of an assignment.
This prototype serves as a great foundation for future plans to implement such a digital learning assistant for the students of the FHNW.
Studiengang: Business Information Technology (Bachelor)
Fachbereich der Arbeit: Wirtschaftsinformatik & IT-Management