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Introducing Wesmigo - a custom AI learning coach

True to our motto - Dare to be Wise - Wesley College continues to embrace new technologies and opportunities to enhance learning experiences. This year, we introduced our first AI-powered learning coach -  Wesmigo - Wesley’s friendly (amigo) AI chatbot.

Along with Harvard University and Khan Academy, Wesley College is one of the few educational institutions in the world to develop a custom AI coach.

Powered by ChatGPT, Wesmigo is a pre-engineered chatbot tool designed to support specific learning tasks and develop students’ skills and confidence using AI tools.

Wesmigo in action

Trialled and launched in 2023, students in Year 6 are using Wesmigo to help identify and refine a research question for their International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Exhibition (PYPX), a self-directed and issues-focused project that encourages students to engage deeply in research.

Wesmigo lion

The chatbot’s pre-loaded prompts start a conversation with the student that is contextually specific to the task using age-appropriate language. Wesmigo doesn’t write the inquiry question for students but through a series of prompts, helps elicit deeper thought and more meaningful lines of inquiry into student’s area of interest. Wesmigo’s inbuilt guardrails ensure the conversation keeps to its intended purpose.

Year 6 student, Clara, said, ‘It gave you a straightforward answer, but not too straightforward – it made you think.’

Benefiting our learning community

Wesley College is committed to bringing the latest educational tools to both its staff and students.

Cameron Paterson, Director of Learning, says, ‘AI won’t replace teachers, but it will augment their abilities as it becomes an integral part of the educational landscape. Wesley recognises that AI is the next wave of technology and digital evolution. Students need to develop the literacy to be effective users and create with AI in the future.’

Teachers are trained to model the use of Wesmigo to students, building their AI skills and capabilities in the process.

By housing ChatGPT within Wesley’s learning management system, the Digital Learning team have developed a companion user guide to support student analysis of Wesmigo’s output and to build their understanding of the limitations of generative AI.

Central to the use of AI at Wesley is reinforcing the concept of the ‘human in the loop’. Students are not required to register to use Wesmigo nor reveal any personal information. All conversations with Wesmigo are logged and can be reviewed by staff.

For academic integrity purposes, students incorporate a transcript of their conversation with Wesmigo into their learning journal, which they discuss with their teacher.

Following positive feedback from Year 6 IB PYP teachers and students, the Digital Learning team are scaling Wesmigo for student and staff learning opportunities at other year levels across the College. ‘We have only just begun to explore what we can do with AI at Wesley. I'd like to acknowledge and thank David Howard, Ray Nashar and Andrew Del Mastro for their incredible work and innovation, which is shaping the future of education for students and staff,’ says Cameron.