The Middlesex College webpage has recentlyadded a chatbot feature to help students navigate the school website with responses available in three languages.
According to the chatbot, called Colt, it can help students with questions regarding financial aid, advising, admissions, IT and much more.
The chatbot, which can be found in the right bottom corner of the school’s webpage, answers questions in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
Dean of student and enrollment, Jose Laureano, said since the chatbot’s launch in late August, it's been very popular; in the initial weeks of the program, it had 600 conversations per week.
Laureano said that the chatbot works by providing pre-populated answers to popular questions, including links to video tutorials, simple answers and contact information for various staff members or departments.
Laureano said the chatbot currently only has options to answer in English, Spanish and simplified Chinese. However, the school hopes to add other languages, such as Vietnamese, which is a new addition to the chatbot's capabilities.
Laureano said he is also hopeful of adding Hindi as soon as it becomes available through Ocelot’s chatbot vendor.
Gianna Ruzicka, Middlesex College business major, said, “For a robot, the feature works great, [but] definitely not as helpful as an actual person would be though.”
A former student at Middlesex College and Spanish speaker, Sharon Ochoa, said, “The chatbot works great for English, but does not have all the options still needed to work well in Spanish.”