Interactive Advising with Bots: Improving Academic Excellence in Educational Establishments
Student advising services are often regarded as the mainstream vehicle for promoting relationships, understanding, and performance in academic institutions especially at the tertiary level. However, it is often fraught with challenges in developing countries in respect of insufficient supporting manpower and attendant high cost of running effective services. In institutions where the services exist, not all students benefit from it as a result of some factors such as: the sub-optimal performance of the advising personnel; negative psychological complex in students arising from unusual egocentrism (especially in those students who are regarded as “low performers” and would prefer not to be openly confronted); handicapped students especially those students with visible handicaps e.g. speech problems, etc. This paper is the first part of a study aimed at creating a balance in the foregoing situations by presenting a design of a faceless automated “AdvisorBot” based on the bot framework. The design reflects a virtual support system model which could be adopted to enhance student support and course advising efficiency. Analysis of the existing system in most tertiary institutions in Nigeria reveals that student support services actually exist though not efficient in the sense that there are seldom specialized units/departments dedicated to this function in majority of the Institutions especially the public institutions where student advising is the work of academic staff in the various departments. The design follows a mix of the agent and object-oriented approaches and produces an implementation-ready specification whose full implementation would effectively support students during their studies. The system facilitates the process of advising by providing quick and easy access to valuable information, and giving important feedback on several issues involved in student advisement, which otherwise would take considerable time.
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Vol. 3, No. 1,
2018, pp. 6-21.
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