A few weeks ago I posted a video on how to create your own chatbot with a free tool called Knowledge. This morning, I discovered another tool to create your own chatbots.

Collect the cat is a free Google Forms add-on that you can use to turn a Google Form into a chatbot. I tried it and found it to be very easy to use. Once the add-on is installed, all you need to do is open a Google form, then open Collect Chat and choose to convert the form to a chatbot. You can choose to use the chatbot on its own standalone page or you can embed it into an existing web page that you own. In any case, visitors who view your chatbot will see the same questions as if they were directly viewing the Google form. The difference is that the questions appear one by one and appear to have been typed in by a live person.

Take a look at this little exit ticket chatbot that I did with Collect Chat to see how it works.

Applications for education

While Collect the cat itself is easy to use, it would take a bit of planning to create an effective chatbot through Google Forms. If you want your chatbot to actually interact with user input, you need to create a fairly long Google Form that takes into account a variety of user responses. Having said that, I can see the potential of creating a chatbot to walk users through troubleshooting issues with their computers or to help parents locate important school information in a guided fashion. It is also possible to create a chatbot that serves as an interactive test practice.

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