Enhancing Student Support with a Virtual Assistant

  • Pirkko H. Harvey
  • Edward CurrieEmail author
  • Padma Daryanani
  • Juan C. Augusto
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 160)


Effective student support can be seen as a key element in enhancing students’ learning experience and has the potential to improve retention, progression and student achievement. The purpose of this research was to investigate student responses to the idea of using an avatar-based virtual support system and to develop such a system for piloting in a specific university service. A survey was conducted to establish the perceived need for such a system. A prototype system was then implemented in a limited domain, namely student employability and a further survey was conducted to obtain feedback from potential users as to its efficacy. This was generally positive and our intention is now to roll out the system across other university services.


Virtual support Avatar Rule-based system 



This project has benefitted from funding by the School of Science and Technology at Middlesex University. We would also like to thank Mohammed Mirza, of the Middlesex University employability service, for his valuable input and collaboration and Graduate Academic Assistants Rabia Arif and Almaas Ali for their help with the implementation of the prototype.


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Copyright information

© Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pirkko H. Harvey
    • 1
  • Edward Currie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Padma Daryanani
    • 1
  • Juan C. Augusto
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group on Development of Intelligent Environments, School of Science and TechnologyMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

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