In a world first, Deakin University today launched D.E.B. (Deakin Explore Bot), a Facebook Messenger bot designed to help high school leavers discover their perfect course or career.
D.E.B. achieves this by asking users to respond to a series of fun questions about their interests and values, then directing them to a set of personalised results within Deakin Explore, a website and mobile app that simplifies the course hunting process.
Working with digital agency Hardhat, the bot has been developed in response to the rapid adoption of messaging apps, especially amongst Deakin’s primary target market of 16 to 18-year-olds.
According to research from Datafication, there are currently over 10.5 million messaging active app users in Australia, with 3.4 million of those using them as their primary form of contact.
Gemma Anderson, digital marketing strategist at Deakin, said researching university courses shouldn’t be intimidating.
“We wanted to provide an alternative way for discovering courses and careers that excited students about the possibilities of university and beyond,” she said.
“Deakin strongly embrace new technology and innovation, so experimenting with Messenger Bots was a natural fit.”
Hardhat co-founder and director of strategy, Dan Monheit, said the research showed that for many high school students, the process of course and career selection was an unnecessarily daunting one.
“Both D.E.B. and Explore give us the opportunity to make the whole encounter more approachable, more fun and more in line with how today’s students like to communicate,” he said.
D.E.B is being promoted across social media channels to coincide with high school students submitting their Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) Applications.