Chatbots provide our students information 24/7
- Today’s students expect instant responses to their questions
- COSTAATT is implementing chatbots to respond to questions 24/7
- When Alexa does not have an answer to a question, the skill records it so that it can be researched and added to the database
Dr. Camille Samuel, Vice President of Student Affairs and IT, The College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago
We see a rapid aggressive move towards instant communication. And students expect when they send you an email that you would answer immediately. And if they have to wait 10 minutes, 15 minutes, then move on to the next avenue to get the information.
Students reach out to us via Facebook, via any mechanism that they can. They come by. They call you. Now that they're reaching out to us 24/7, we have found ourselves in this position, where we can not possibly manage the student traffic. And we don't want to discourage it.
Chatbot was a natural progression. Because there was no way that the college could sustain the level of communication. We are still in testing. So what we decided to do is to bring forward the most common questions that students would ask me. We put the Alexa skill right on the IT help desk.
So students were able to come up. And they were just asking this skill any kind of question that they could imagine. So we also had applicants, so persons who were very new to the college walking through. And we invited to ask the skill anything about the application process. It was perfect, and it was a dream for them.
So an applicant will come and ask, where do I have to go to pay for my application? Or what programs are available for me? And the skill would just repeat the answers that we had built in. And they were all amazed.
So they were trying to beat Alexa and trying to ask Alexa questions that we had not thought of. But that only worked in our favor. Because we then captured those additional questions and the additional answers.