Join us on Wednesday 21st July (11:00 -12:30) for a presentation on the ADMINS project from Dr Tim Coughlan followed by facilitated discussion. All are welcome. For an invitation please contact openTEL. Recording Link (OU Staff)
ADMINS: Designing and evaluating a virtual assistant for disability disclosure and study support conversations
Dr Tim Coughlan
Many disabled students face substantial administrative burden and stressful processes to get the support they are entitled to for study. New students may also not be aware of how they will study or the support that can be available to them. These issues have the potential to impact on attainment and experience. In the ADMINS project, our goal was to work with students and staff to build an alternative approach. We designed ‘Taylor’, a chatbot virtual assistant who introduces OU study, asks students about their needs and answers their questions. The main project trial was devised to test Taylor in a realistic environment and compare the experience to an existing form-based process. 134 new students used Taylor as they disclosed disabilities to the OU. The results were positive about the potential for this type of solution and also suggest key areas for future work and improvement.
Tim Coughlan is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology, and led the ADMINS project. His areas of research include designing and evaluating technologies for accessibility and inclusion, understanding student experiences, and supporting online teaching.