Imagine how much fun it would be for a student, if instead of browsing the University websites, he just chats with someone knowing all the answers to his questions. For that very reason our Botiversity has been created.
The Botiversity is elaborated for helping students find programs and courses in Universities most suitable to them. One of the major problems in Botiversity and student interactions is the ability of the Bot to understand what the student wants, and to find the information that is relevant to the latter’s intent.
It helps students to learn more about university programs online in a rather humanized way. By greeting the student, the Bot firstly gathers basic information concerning the student for getting sure the student is not underaged and can be provided information.
Each University can provide with corresponding data for the Bot to use, for instance their specific Programs, courses, information on lecturers and grades. This will be anything that can be found on the University website.
The bot finds your needed information throughout tons of other information by filtering the whole DB and giving you the exact information you need. All the student does is giving questions and providing with some basic information.
The dialogue between the University Bot and the Student may look like something like this:
Bot: Hi there, my name’s Rob, I’m here to help you choose the course best suited for you. Let me know if you’d like my assistance at any time, or feel free to continue browsing through our site.
Student: Hi Rob, I’d love some help.
Bot: Great, let’s get to know each other a bit. What’s your name?
Bot: Ok Stephen, what grade are you in at school at the moment?
Student: I’m in year 12.
Bot: What subjects did you do at school?
Student: I did
- Society & Culture
- Software Design & Dev
- Visual Design
Bot: Nice, thanks for breaking that down for me. Which school are you attending?
Student: Peter Board High School
Bot: Did you want to stay in NSW for university, or are you open to studying interstate?
Student: Nah, I want to stay in Sydney.
Bot: Sure. So what would you say was your favourite at school?
Student: Definitely Visual Arts and Software Design
Bot: Ok Stephen I’ve found this course for you. It’s a Bachelor of Visual Arts at The University of Sydney.
It’s a 3-year fulltime course, that’s a mixture of interdisciplinary subjects that introduce you to the various definitions and notions that constitute contemporary art. From the second year you undertake a 12-credit point unit of study in a selected major
- screen arts
- and object
Would you like me to take you to the course outline to check it out?
Student: Yeah, that’d be great!
Bot: Ok, taking you to the page now, let me know if you have any difficulties loading.
Bot: Did you have any questions regarding the course?
Student: Yeah, when is the enrolment and how can I enrol?
Bot: The enrolments open in December, what I can do is email you a handbook explaining the enrolment details at The University of Sydney, as well as a calendar request so that you don’t miss out when it rolls around
Student: That would be great.
Bot: What’s your email address Stephen, I’ll send across the information now.
Bot: Alright Stephen, I’ve sent that across to you now. Good luck with the registration and feel free to contact me again if you require any further help. All the best
Student: Thanks so much for your help, really appreciate it.
PLATFORM AND TECHNOLOGY
The Bot is created on MS LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service) framework. The framework interprets the intent of user and parses the text to generate appropriate response.
The coding language is Node.js. The database is a relational MySQL one.
As the Botiversity works through MS LUIS Artificial Intelligence, it learns more and more throughout the time. With every new student, the Bot learns new words, gets new information on programs and courses, and thus becomes more flexible and informative in course of time.
The Bot can be integrated with any messenger, like Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger or a University website local messenger. Instead of navigating from one page to another and gathering corresponding information the student chats with the Bot and gets all the answers to his questions.
There is a possibility to sign up and save all the information that the chat contains. What the student needs to do is to just tell the Bot to sign him up.
The outstanding thing about the Botiversity is its possibility not only to understand meanings of certain words, but to fully understand human language. For instance, it won’t matter if the student says “yeah” or “yup” or “ok” instead of “”Yes”. The Bot still understands the meaning and gives appropriate answers.
Here we have described the problems the Botiversity can solve currently. However, its features will not limited to that. When trained accordingly such chatbots will be present in most Universities in the world, helping students not only find appropriate courses, but also support them in their daily classes. Such chatbots may participate in classes the students take, thus getting the whole knowledge themselves. Consequently, the students will be able to turn to them the moment they face any difficulties in studying. This will surely make the educational process a lot more personal and effective. Chatbots in educational sphere can be a big step forward towards a more lively and pleasant studying process, and Botiversity is one such starting line for that.