April 13, 2020
As college campuses are nearly shut down physically, administrators are more inclined to use chatbots as well as virtual assistants to aid them in their teaching endeavors. This can help preserve, build, and even nurture relationships with students.
Eric Nichols, vice president for enrollment at the Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore had this to say, “We no longer have the ability for the foreseeable future to interact with students in any way in person,”
For the last two months, gatherings like admitted student days were all canceled. Nichols nostalgically remembered that in the past years, there were over 1,400 students and faculty that gathered in the Reitz Arena right on campus. “The day started with a morning welcome from the president and myself,”
There was a slew of things to do during that time, like going to workshops, using information tables for browsing, and enjoying lunch and tours around the campus. Now, however, this seems all likely to change, and the chatbots and virtual assistants will be the new norm for the time being.
This has driven Loyola to create a new A.I. chatbot using the voice of their greyhound mascot, Iggy. Starting next month, students who are committed to learning, as well as their parents, may opt to hear from Iggy for queries using the chatbot, this can be accessed through text messaging or Facebook Messenger or the official school website.