Guide

How Springboard Supports Its Students with Their AI Copilot

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on June 6, 2024

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Springboard is releasing a custom-made AI Copilot to enhance educational support in their online bootcamp! From skill comprehension to improved mentorship, learn how students can incorporate this AI Copilot into their daily study. Plus, three tips for Springboard students on making the most of this powerful new tool. 

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  • As Senior Director of Product at Springboard, Kevin oversees the product management design and data engineering teams at Springboard, in both their reskilling and upskilling career tracks. 

Why AI Is Incorporated Into the Springboard Bootcamp

Springboard views education as a holistic endeavor, which means we offer different types of interactions through technological and human touchpoints: 

  • 1:1 mentorship with industry professionals that offer relevant experience in the field. 
  • Program Success Managers who help our students navigate the ups and downs of life and keep them motivated and accountable. 
  • Career Coaches that help students navigate the job searching journey, honing in on what types of jobs, companies, and industries they really enjoy.
  • Instructors who apply the curriculum and support students in class. 

When bringing AI into this mix, we consider where it fits in our current ideology, which believes that AI can help with both the technological and human touch points. From the technological touchpoints, AI is helping us improve our curriculum and helping students consume the curriculum more efficiently and effectively. I don't think there's a world where AI would ever replace our human guides, but AI can make conversations more effective by summarizing notes between mentor and mentee. 

Incorporating AI in the Springboard curriculum this year is important for a two reasons: 

  1. To ensure students attend Springboard with confidence knowing they are receiving the latest skills and technology.
  2. There’s a lot of learning value with AI. Our students are not full-time learners — they’re career transitioners or upskillers, so they are balancing learning with other life commitments. Getting AI tools into their hands could make them engage with our content more efficiently and effectively while they manage their busy schedules.

An Inside Look at Springboard’s AI Copilot

Springboard’s AI copilot consists of three different features that we're testing: 

1. Summaries

We found that summaries help improve student learning and engagement (whether it’s from a text-based document or a video), so students more easily digest content. We found that our students liked using the Summaries feature like flashcards to study with. 

2. Q&As

Students can ask a question and Copilot will offer answers based on the context of the entire course. It will also link you to the places in the course it referenced! For example: If you were on a random page and asked, When is my next assignment due? the Copilot will give you an answer, and then link you to the assignment itself so that you can get more detailed responses. Another example is if you need a refresher on specific content, you could ask, “What are arrays and how are they used?” and it will answer it for you.

3. Practice quizzes

We are still experimenting with the practice quizzes feature, but the concept is that as you’re consuming content you can test your understanding with a quick multiple choice quiz. It’ll respond immediately with feedback, and if you get anything wrong, the Copilot will tell you what was wrong about it. These are separate from the core assessments used in Springboard that count toward your grade. With these Copilot practice quizzes there is no risk of getting the answer wrong. 

Will Springboard’s AI Copilot be available to students in all tracks? 

We are currently running the experiments within software engineering, and if they move well we'll cascade them to all our other courses. For example, our Copilot’s Summaries feature is already available for our software engineering students. We’ll make a determination on the use of the Q&A feature soon but it looks positive! And it’s a little too early to tell how soon we’ll be using practice quizzes in the courses. 

Will students in different tech tracks interact with the AI Copilot differently?

There will be a bit of fine tuning for each course, but I don't think it will be as much as what we did in this first go around the software engineering. 

How will the combination of 1:1 mentorship and the AI chatbot improve instruction and support at Springboard?

AI can be used as a way to make the Springboard mentorship and other conversations with your career coaches more effective. There’s less small talk since everyone is already up-to-speed and they can go deep into meaningful conversations. We value our mentors because of the experience that they have in industry, so I think we can lean on the AI Copilot to help with the teaching of skills and then allow the mentors to spend more time talking about how these skills that our students are learning are directly applicable to the nuanced situations that you see when you're actually on the job, whether it be at a specific company or specific industry.

Do you foresee your team updating the AI Copilot throughout the year as generative AI capabilities grow?

Absolutely! I've only mentioned three different features so far. Our goal is to understand student needs, what opportunities AI can be used effectively, and then continue to experiment, iterate, and improve our students' experiences over time. 

What are your tips for incoming students on how to use the AI Copilot in their studies?

Be open to it. We learned early on that there was a hesitancy to try this technology, but you shouldn't be hesitant. Robotic chatbots have been around for a while. If it didn't make you nervous back then, it shouldn't make you nervous now. 

The way we've incorporated AI at Springboard should be pretty discoverable. You'll be able to find Copilot on your UI easily. As you're consuming the content, there will be opportunities for you to use the Summaries and Quiz features. 

Just try it out and see how it works for you! The more you use it, the more feedback we get so that we can continue to iterate and improve on it. There's a thumbs up/thumbs down feature, so when students use features that are in beta we want their feedback so we can tweak it to make it better. 

Find out more and read Springboard reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Springboard.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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