Helping Students Graduate at the Diakonia College of Finland
The Diakonia College of Finland (SDO) is a vocational secondary school that hosts nearly 4,000 students annually across its four campuses. SDO offers undergraduate vocational degrees in health, welfare, and service fields and provides preparatory training and services for immigrant integration. With a vision to be a pioneer in digitalization and a distinguished learning community through genuine and caring interactions with students, SDO prioritizes preventive support through digital tools.
Graduation, while being one of the most important phases in a student’s life, can also be quite challenging, as it involves finishing studies and deciding on further education or employment. It is crucial to support students in the final stages of their studies to ensure timely graduation and a smooth transition to the next phase of their lives.
The bot lowers the threshold for responding truthfully.
In collaboration with SDO, we designed a messaging and service path for the Annie support bot to assist students about to graduate. The support bot finds out whether the student is considering further studies, employment, or still focusing on completing their current studies. Based on the student’s situation, they are referred to a counselor, curator, teacher, or relevant guidance materials.
Students are more likely to feel valued and cared for by the school and believe that they are being supported.
The support bot focused on graduation reached students effectively, and students found its messages meaningful. 74% of students responded to the messages, and on average, 14% needed assistance. The most common support needs were related to job searches (34%), finishing studies (31%), further education (19%), and personal life situations (7%).
Even if one might think that a message from a robot means nothing, for me it brought a feeling of caring! The school and staff are genuinely interested in my well-being and want to support my studies in the best possible way.
Staff members also found the Annie support bot helpful, with 82% of respondents in staff feedback expressing a desire for the bot’s continued use at SDO.
An opportunity for students to get help at a low threshold. Students feel that they are not alone.
School Counselor, SDO