Edinburgh’s First Admissions Chatbot Launches
The University’s first admissions chatbot has been launched to support potential students interested in studying a Master's in Business Analytics at the Business School.
The chatbot can answer a wide range of common enquiries about the admissions process or provide contact details if it cannot help, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This should allow the Business School's admissions team to focus on responding to more complex queries.
The chatbot has been developed as a pilot project through the Distance Learning at Scale (DLAS) programme, which has as part of its remit the exploration of new tools and technologies to support online distance learning. The project team are currently finalising how the chatbot will be evaluated – what data is required, and how will it be gathered – so that its effectiveness can be measured. This will be done alongside a review of the processes the project team worked through to develop and deliver the chatbot: to identify what has worked well, and what might be done more efficiently in future projects.
The lessons learned in the development of this chatbot pilot will guide a broader exploration of the use of chatbots at the University. As well as feeding into the Enquiry Management Project (part of the Student Recruitment & Admissions stream of the Service Excellence Programme), the experience gained in creating the admissions chatbot will inform the development of further pilot chatbots – in partnership with the Centre for Research in Digital Education – that support teaching. You can read more about the project, ‘Exploring the Teacher Function: Continuing Interventions in Automated Teacher’.