Following the request of the French Ministry of Education, the CNED (the french distance learning center) has set up a homework support chatbot for middle school students, which is part of the “devoirs faits” program. Accompanied by dydu, the digital assistant is embodied by a virtual character named Jules.
Jules provides each middle school student with specific and adapted answers to help them complete their homework in French and mathematics.
AI at the service of education
With an evolving knowledge base which is continuously enriched by teachers, Jules is able to offer personalized content allowing the pupils to browse though the fundamental notions. It promotes the autonomy of students and cultivates their research and reflection skills. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Jules improves over the uses: the more the students ask him, the more he brings them relevant content.
“Our collaboration with the CNED began 5 years ago with Tom, a virtual assistant developed for the “D’COL” project, which aims to help, support and accompany 5th and 6th grade students. The CNED has renewed their trust in this new project and we are very proud of it. By the number of students and teachers involved, this project is the first of that kind in the field of Tech in education, and chatbots in general. Because of its size, this project required a specific organization and a permanent communication between our two teams, in order to meet the expectations of the pupils” says Cyril Texier, co-founder of dydu.
Jules is available on the national middle schools plateform, the CNED website and the app “Devoirs Faits” on iOS and Android. Once connected to their account, students can interact with Jules and get personalized answers.
An innovative project
“In addition to the size of the project, the other challenge was to be able to recognize mathematical symbols and formulas,” says Pierre Féret, dydu’s project manager. “Mastering our techno enabled us to implement this feature quickly, without impacting the launch date of the chatbot.”
To promote its adoption by students, Jules offers innovative features:
- a history to consult previous conversations
- methodological sheets to get help with revisions, tips and tricks
- an animated avatar that reacts differently according to emotions
- a link of intentions allowing students to deepen their question with related topics in the program
Michel Reverchon-Billot, General Director of the CNED added: “« dydu has provided the CNED with an intuitive and easy-to-use software to create the digital tool we needed. By promoting students’ research and reflection skills, he supports them and helps them to do their homework in a playful way.»