Chatbot, or “Virtual Roleplay” is a project created by faculty researchers at Penn State University. Using an online chat simulation, it helps teachers build confidence and skill in engaging in difficult conversations with their students.

After receiving training, teachers will practice applying these skills during simulated conversations with different agents. The web-based application provides:

  • an overview of eight scenarios in which the simulated conversation is to occur
  • a screen containing the live dialogue between the participant and agent
  • a list of goals concerning the conversation
  • a dialogue box in which users can take notes regarding the exchange

At the end of each simulation, teachers can access a transcript of each session via the conversational history dialogue box, and can self-reflect on their performance by reviewing and critically annotating each transcript. More information about this project and related research.


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