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Reminders, reflections, and relationships: insights from the design of a chatbot for college advising

Ha Nguyen (Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA)
John Lopez (School of Education, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA)
Bruce Homer (Learning, Development, and Instruction, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, New York, USA)
Alisha Ali (Department of Applied Psychology, New York University, New York, New York, USA)
June Ahn (School of Education, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 4 April 2023

Issue publication date: 12 April 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

In the USA, 22–40% of youth who have been accepted to college do not enroll. Researchers call this phenomenon summer melt, which disproportionately affects students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A major challenge is providing enough mentorship with the limited number of available college counselors. The purpose of this study is to present a case study of a design and user study of a chatbot (Lilo), designed to provide college advising interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted four primary data sources to capture aspects of user experience: daily diary entries; in-depth, semi-structured interviews; user logs of interactions with the chatbot; and daily user surveys. User study was conducted with nine participants who represent a range of college experiences.

Findings

Participants illuminated the types of interactions designs that would be particularly impactful for chatbots for college advising including setting reminders, brokering social connections and prompting deeper introspection that build efficacy and identity toward college-going.

Originality/value

As a growing body of human-computer interaction research delves into the design of chatbots for different social interactions, this study illuminates key design needs for continued work in this domain. The study explores the implications for a specific domain to improve college enrollment: providing college advising to youth.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, award number R305H180051.

Citation

Nguyen, H., Lopez, J., Homer, B., Ali, A. and Ahn, J. (2023), "Reminders, reflections, and relationships: insights from the design of a chatbot for college advising", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 124 No. 3/4, pp. 128-146. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-10-2022-0116

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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