SkillBot: An Affordable, Accessible, Multi Lingual, Multimedia, Self-Learning, Skilling Chatbot for Addressing Unemployment and Skill Shortage

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations [POSTER] // Affordability and accessibility of avenues for skilling is still a challenge for uneducated and unqualified youth of rural India. They also require platforms for skilling that facilitate learning at their own pace and time, local language instruction, usage of multimedia formats to retain attention and minimal entry-level requirements for learning. India’s artisans and rural entrepreneurs would also benefit from the skilling on digital literacy, financial literacy, digital financial literacy, citizen services and data management. As per a baseline study undertaken by Digital Empowerment Foundation and Commonwealth of Learning, even when the artisans, weavers and rural entrepreneurs possess smartphones and access the internet, using smartphones to acquire new skills and conduct business is minimal. It is in this context that Skill Bot becomes relevant. // Skill Bot’ is a self-learning chatbot built on the Telegram platform. Telegram is a free, open-source and accessible messaging service. Unlike WhatsApp, which offers paid chatbot features, Telegram chatbots are completely free as well making them accessible to organizations. Skill Bot was developed by DEF and Commonwealth of Learning to teach digital literacy, financial literacy, citizen services and data management. SkillBot is multilingual and employs tutorial lessons, audio graphics, infographics, flashcards, interactive quizzes and activities for teaching. Since both Telegram and Skill Bot is free, easy to use and accessible, this provides a platform for those without access to formal avenues of learning to acquire the skillsets. Using the SkillBot requires basic digital literacy only. Additionally, since it is interactive with continuous assessment, learners can proceed at their own pace. So far, 2400 users have been accessing it. // From an organizational point of view also, SkillBot is a valuable tool. Covid-19 pandemic has restricted the ability of organizations to reach out to learners. SkillBot provides the opportunity to deliver content to a large demographic at a minimal cost. Organizations find it costly to build, manage, promote and maintain mobile applications or web-based learning management systems. Telegram also provides back end technical support, further reducing cost and labour. // Through this presentation, using a chatbot as an example, we intend to demonstrate how organizations can use technology to build affordable, accessible, easy to learn, skilling and learning platforms for the uneducated and unskilled population. // Paper ID 3122

Lifelong Learning,Skills Development,Application Development,Self-Learners,Unemployment