A chatbot is often used to guide people to solutions to a particular set of problems, like product support, or to raise awareness about a topic based on the visitors responses to initial prompts. Your team will consider many possible applications of chatbots as you do background research and work through tutorials. Ultimately, your team will want to carefully choose a topic that is important to each team member and that can be positively engaged through a well-designed chatbot experience.
General Topics to Consider: Health information, product help, hobby resource, civic participation, sports data, entertainment events ...
Each project team will follow a process to thoughtfully develop a chatbot while practicing a diverse set of skills in a collaborative environment.
Teams of 3 students will collaborate to build a web-based chatbot. Each team will be responsible for determining member roles, maintaining good communication, ensuring equitable contributions, and providing clear project updates to the class in a timely manner.
Each stage of the project has a set of deliverables, but they lead up to the following final deliverables from the team.
A public chatbot that has been tested, refined, and prepared for demonstration at the semester-end event with the following minimum requirements.
A unique style created by the team.
Three topic distinct areas for the chatbot to address for the user.
A background database (using Google sheets) that provide a knowledgebase for the chatbot.
A poster (2’ x 3’) summarizing the process of creating your chatbot (including artifacts created, like sketches, prototypes etc.), along with defining features of the final design.
A marketing card (3” x 5”) that promotes your team’s chatbot with classmates and the community.
A well-coordinated presentation that demonstrates the chatbot and explains the process of developing it to visitors of your school.
A prepared personal perspective for you, as an individual, to share your unique responsibilities and experiences during the project, including how your future goals and interests have been shaped.
Recommended Production Tools
Google Drive - for team file management and Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings.
Repl.it - For code environment for warm-up project and team chatbot project.
Analog Tools - Paper, pencils, markers, whiteboards, and sticky notes are valuable on any day.
Digital Camera / Phone - Photographs of sketches, paper notes and whiteboard notes.
Why Do This Project?
Of course you are going to create an awesome chatbot to benefit others, but you will also get first-hand experience in informatics and computing that reflect great opportunities in the field. You will...
Build skills in the digital arts, programming, and data.
Collaborate with a team where tech skills, people skills, and design skills overlap.
Increase your intuition, confidence, and curiosity in solving problems using a ‘design, build and test’ pattern common with scientific thinking, creative thinking, and critical thinking.
What's Different About This?
This is different than learning from a textbook. While you are encouraged to complete tutorials in a particular skill area to build expertise, this project will challenge you in the following ways.
Independent and Interdependent Learning - You will often have to search out information on your own, experiment, make mistakes, and try again. You will also do this in groups with peers, mentors, teachers, and professionals.
Managing Ambiguity - Since you will be creating a unique solution, you will not be given a recipe on how to complete many tasks. You will often evaluate the context of problems quickly and decide on a plan of action that makes sense.
Collaborating - You will have to be a productive team member, fulfilling a role, communicating clearly, and valuing each team member's views at decision points.
Presentation - Your team will often present work to the class, and occasionally to visitors, to get feedback and share ideas with other teams.
You will investigate the following key concepts related to computing.
How computers can store and represent information. HTML, Spreadsheet Tables, and CSV files
How humans see and organize information, and how to create visual interfaces. Interface design, CSS, Data Charts, and Illustration
Critical and Computational Thinking
Collaboration + Communication
You will practice independent-learning to become confident in obtaining valuable information and understanding the leverage computers can offer to solve problems.
You will often use divergent thinking and a “design, build, test” cycle that supports an agile environment rooted in the scientific method and common creative processes.
You will thoughtfully reflect on techniques and attitudes for successful collaboration and communication in project groups, as well as sharing your work with those outside of class.
Beyond the Project
While this digital book guides your project work, below are important suggestions for a well-rounded learning experience using supplemental activities.
Skill Building - Include independent learning time in the three core areas of digital arts, programming, and data. Use online tutorials like CodeHS, Codecademy, and Kahn Academy to learn at your own pace. Try learning in each of the three core areas breifly. Then "specialize" in one.
Exploration and Discovery - Opportunities to discover the larger world of opportunities in technology are important.
Visits from industry professionals and visiting companies are great for exposure.
Create reports on "Tech Trends" or "Tech Careers" to research your specific interests and curiosities. Provide written reports and presentations to your class, so all students benefit from your findings.
Weekly Schedule - A predictable pattern to the week may help. For example...