The department uses the time saved to better connect with students to create more intentional, deeper relationships. This shift was especially important because in 2018, OU had its largest freshman class in history and welcomed its third largest freshman class amidst the pandemic. One of Kunkel’s favorite features is the ability to code the bot in humorous ways in order to make it more personable.
Ivy.ai also provided OU with insight into what kinds of questions students ask and when. “We pretty much have it narrowed down to know what topics students are going to ask about at certain times of year,” Kunkel said. He noted that at some points during the year they’re focused on scholarships, enrollment, and setting up appointments, for example. He also noted that they can uncover trends about high school juniors who are starting to look at how to apply, and that such information helps make decisions about where to focus recruiting efforts.