UniBud: A Virtual Academic Adviser

Source of Publication

Proceedings - 2020 12th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference on Applied Computing, URC 2020


© 2020 IEEE. Academic advising is a challenging and time-consuming task. It requires well-trained dedicated professionals who give one-on-one consultations with students. While this approach is somewhat successful. In practice, advisers spend much time repeatedly answering questions that can be efficiently learned by an intelligent system. There have been several attempts to automate academic advising by means of expert systems and chatbots. However, functionality has been prioritized over usability. In response, we contribute, UniBud, a virtual academic adviser which is designed with usability principles in mind. UniBud uses DialogFlow, a natural language understanding platform, to build voice-based interactions with students. The interactions allow students to inquire about course information, enrollment, and other general enquiries. UniBud is not meant to replace traditional academic advising. Instead, it will support a limited set of academic enquiries that can relieve human academic advisers to assist students with more involving enquiries. We plan to test the usability of the system and collect feedback from potential users.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding



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