How virtual assistant guides students during COVID

App provides information on registration and classes, grades transportation and dining, among other topics.

Grand Valley State University has launched myBlueLaker, a new virtual assistant app design to help students navigate campus and answer their questions.

During the COVID pandemic, colleges and universities have been flooded with questions as students attempt to remain engaged.

The voice-activated, AI-powered myBlueLaker app can provide more than 7,000 answers for users at the university near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The virtual assistant, which was redeveloped by Boston-based n-Powered Inc., can provide information on registration and classes, grades transportation and dining, among other topics.

The app allows the university to bring together siloed data and create customized mobile and web platforms to help administrators drive student engagement, says Somen Saha, n-Powered’s president and CEO.

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“With colleges and universities going more digital than ever before given the pandemic, it’s becoming incredibly important to increase student engagement with the students safely and digitally,” Saha says. “By working directly with Grand Valley State University, we were able to provide an instrumental and personalized communication tool that meets the needs of the students and reduces the stress of a new semester.”

The app zeroes in on the university’s most commonly asked questions about health, housing, student life, clubs and sports, and building hours.

Users can also connect to their student records to ask more detailed and specific questions.

The app also carries campus announcements, updates, and alerts, including more personalized features like class schedules, finances and academic status, and much more.

As users ask questions, the application learns more about the information they need. Users can give feedback via a simple thumbs up and thumbs down response.

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Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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