Grand Valley State University has launched MyBlueLaker Virtual Assistant, an app that gives users personalized answers to GVSU-related questions. The app can answer questions regarding class schedules, student account balances, on-campus dining locations and hours, on-campus events, bus routes, building hours, and countless other subjects.
“It can be helpful when one needs a quick answer or when offices are closed,” said Miloš Topić, Vice President for IT & Chief Digital Officer on MyBlueLaker development. “This is intended to be yet another option to our students and helps them navigate complex systems and dispersed information.”
Using MyBlueLaker is very simple. All users have to do is ask a question like ‘what are my classes for tomorrow’ and the app will retrieve that information and present it in an easily readable message. For personalized information like class schedules and student account balances, users will need to sign into their GVSU account in MyBlueLaker and allow the app to access that information.
“Integrations (after logging in) allow for access to information that is not freely available via a search engine,” said Topić. “MyBlueLaker answers questions instantly, which means users will be able to access important information much faster than if they were to use Google or log in to Banner and search around for what they were looking for.”
Depending on the specificity of a search, MyBlueLaker will try to guess the question users are asking. For example, searching ‘register for classes’ will bring up options for how/where to register for classes, registering for closed classes, the last day for registration, etc. If a user wants to save an answer to a question or an entire series of answers, they can tap the mail icon in the app and send a transcript of their chat with MyBlueLaker to their GVSU email inbox.
MyBlueLaker is a great tool for students that are new to GVSU who may not know the best places to find answers to everyday questions. Information that may be buried under menus in Banner is now easily accessible with a simple search in MyBlueLaker.
“I think it will be helpful for students trying to find their classrooms and knowing what’s going on around campus,” said one 3rd-year student. “I bet it will be super useful for new students that haven’t been around campus very much and don’t know where to go for help.”
The more users utilize the app, the more it will learn about what information they need, and the more accurate MyBlueLaker’s answers will be. As it learns more about what users are searching and how to provide more efficient responses, MyBlueLaker could become a vital part of GVSU’s digital ecosystem.
“We plan to continue improving the app based on usage and feedback from our community,” said Topić. “We are open to ideas and creativity from our students on how to continue improving this app.”
MyBlueLaker is available for free on the App Store for iOS users and the Google Play Store for Android users. It is also available online at MyBlueLaker.gvsu.edu.