Bolton College

Bolton College’s student facing chatbot has been supporting learners since April 2017. It presents contextualised and personalised responses to student enquiries.  

The work is innovative because it makes use of artificial intelligence services such as natural language processing and natural language understanding to support learners. The college has created a digital assistant that supports learners with everyday enquiries about the college and their studies.
The service has so far responded successfully to over 70,000 questions from learners. They are able to garner information, advice and guidance to support their studies even during out-of-office hours. The service has enabled and empowered teachers and support teams to help learners at scale.  
Bolton College’s chatbot service is already available to all learners at the college. In the new year the college will launch iOS and Android apps for the chatbot service. The college is also publishing an Amazon Alexa Skill which will enable learners to access college services via their smart speakers.  

“The Assessors felt that the Bolton initiative was potentially a game changer for the whole of the FE sector and deserves to have a Beacon light shone on it for all too see. The long-term benefits for the quality of the learner experience and potential organisational efficiencies were highly impressive”