York launches virtual assistant to five more Faculties

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In January, York’s student virtual assistant was successfully launched to students in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, Glendon College and the Lassonde School of Engineering. In the first three months, 9,000 students from those three Faculties had more than 3,500 conversations with the student virtual assistant. On May 19, the student virtual assistant was made available to five additional Faculties: Science, Health, Environmental Studies, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and Education. It will be made available to Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School students in fall 2020.

Student advisor bannerYork collaborated with industry leader IBM on the virtual assistant – a 24/7 virtual resource for students. More than 100 students were also involved in developing the virtual assistant, which allows students to ask questions in their own words and receive immediate answers on a variety of issues. Students can access the virtual assistant through Moodle (eClass for Glendon) or on the Current Student website. The assistant provides support that complements other sources of information for students, and can direct them to additional resources, and often tailors its responses to students’ specific studies.

The virtual assistant covers topics that include:

  • academic advising referrals,
  • registrarial & financial services,
  • campus life & events,
  • career advising information, and
  • mental health & well-being resources.

What’s next?

Students in the Faculties of Science, Health, Environmental Studies, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and Education recently received an email invitation to log into the virtual assistant via Moodle. Detailed instructions and FAQs help students become familiar with this new tool and a feedback form allows students to engage with us.

Name the virtual assistant

A contest to name the virtual assistant is also underway! The contest is open until May 29, and students are encouraged to enter the contest for a chance to win some fabulous prizes.

The University is relying on students to help improve the virtual assistant. By interacting with the tool, content experts and program staff will be able to evaluate and continually train the virtual assistant to provide more detailed and robust answers over time.

Learn more about the virtual assistant and other transformational projects underway at the University on the Transformation York website. To see how the tool works, click here for a demonstration.