A virtual coach for question asking and enabling learning by reflection in startup engineering
Goel, Ashok K.
Hong, Sung Jae
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The Socratic method of teaching engages learners in extended conversations and encourages learning through answering questions, making arguments, and reflecting on the evolving conversation. This method can be a powerful instrument of learning by reflection, especially in domains in which the right answers to open questions are not known in advance such as entrepreneurship. In this paper, we describe an initial experiment in developing AI technology for simulating the Socratic method of teaching in learning about entrepreneurship. When a would-be entrepreneurs creates a business model on the Business Model Canvas (BMC), the AI agent named Errol uses semantic and lexical analysis of the entries on the BMC to ask questions of the students. By attempting to categorize and correct the errors that novices typically make, Errol seeks to accelerate the process by which a novice can start creating more expert-like business models