My Virtual EdTech Helper
Concurrent Session 2
The participants will develop a chatbot using Voiceflow. A chatbot is so useful, especially when your office has limited staff; the chatbot will automatically redirect people to what they are looking for. I will outline the process that I used to develop the chatbot, from its conception to its deployment.
In 2020, the need for virtual help was a necessity, after everybody was working from home due to the pandemic. I started looking at virtual assistants like Google or Alexa that could help me to answer tickets or provide an answer to common questions that faculty, staff, and students had about academic technologies, especially after 5pm or during the weekends. A chatbot seems like a good idea for a team of just one person. I haven’t seen chatbots in higher education besides the office of the registrar or admissions offices, that is why I thought of using the chatbot to respond and train others while I am not in the office.
After looking several options, Voiceflow was my choice. It is a very accessible tool that helps you to program a voice assistant or chatbot without having coding skills. Their platform is very user-friendly, that with the help of a few tutorials and videos you can set up a nice FAQ flow. Even, kids from intermediate and middle school can program voice assistants with this platform.
The chatbot has answers to the most common questions related to the technologies that we use at the School of Public Health. Also, it can be used to train users on specific things, for example, a quiz, from its creation to its deployment. The chatbot has constant updates with FAQs that faculty, TAs, and students ask via email. This project is in progress. I have started to send the chatbot to those users that ask during the weekend, to test its functionality. Some of those users have reported that the chatbot is very useful.
In this session, I will show how I started creating the chatbot from its conception, the workflow that I used, and the process to start building a chatbot with Voiceflow. The vendor is currently working on a widget so you can connect your chatbot to your website easily.
This session is for instructional designers and academic technologist, and faculty that have an interest in educational technologies, especially in chatbots.