Behind the Scenes: Virtual Intelligent Agent for American Sentinel

November 28, 2016

VIA_Development_GearsWCET recently published an article explaining the story of how Healthcare Learning Innovations (then functioning as American Sentinel University) conceptualized and developed their first Virtual Intelligent Agent. From the business needs that transpired the idea, to the introduction and implementation of the final product. Read an excerpt from the story, below.

In the spring semester of 2013, American Sentinel University was experiencing the welcomed issue of high student traffic. The university had back-to-back years of significant growth in enrollment, and new degree program requirements were being implemented in the spring, naturally creating curiosity among the student population. While we encourage and are happy to talk with our students and give them the answers they need, at the time the bandwidth of our student success advisors was beginning to be stretched thin.

Coincidentally, the success of Apple’s Siri had become mainstream. A team within our university, including then-Chief Academic Officer John Bourne and former advisor-turned instructional designer Trevor Rasmusson, were conceptualizing how similar technology could benefit our students’ experience.

The result, a virtual intelligent agent: Maura (My Anytime University Resource Aide)

Their idea:  A virtual intelligent agent, complete with a face and a voice, who lived inside university webpages and could answer the questions of American Sentinel University students. Day or night. Weekdays and weekends. 365 days a year.
Read the full story.