Why force us to adopt a terrible chatbot in lieu of quality end-user support?
Back in October, our institution was informed that D2L will be transitioning their end-user clients to the Brightspace Virtual Assistant (BVA) be December 31st, 2023 and decommissioning their legacy support portals and workflows in 2024.
Since then, our team has been testing out the BVA and its functionality leaves something to be desired, to say the least!
Here is a 13-minute video capturing my attempt to get the BVA to tell me how to delete a submodule:. I strongly encourage you to watch it on 2x speed; it's painful.
Here are a few other qualms we have with the BVA:
The BVA says that it’s Carleton’s D2L assistant; it is not.
It takes several interactions to get to a live agent.
The language on the contact us buttons are misleading.
After you choose a contact us option, there is no way to change your mind and go back without starting over.
Responses are just cut and pasted from an instruction page and often irrelevant.
Visual display is confusing. When the “answer” articles appear, it’s not clear what to click on and how to continue the conversation.
Answers are often irrelevant and missed the Carleton context. (Ex. “Q: How do I take a quiz?” > “A: <provides article on Access quizzes in New Content Experience (we don’t have this enabled)” or “How do I access Zoom?” > A: “No information found”.
Documentation that the BVA points to is wordy, long, poorly formatted (numbered steps are sometimes missing or numbers appear where bullets should appear). This makes content hard to follow
Documentation by D2L is not specific enough. I asked “How do I submit a link in an assignment?” The answer was to provide a tour of assignments (which did not mention submitting links)
The BVA does not ask what role someone has which means it often provides answers that won’t work for the user. For example, when I said I couldn’t see my course it showed how to activate course which a student can’t do.
Once it has provided a response there is no option to ask a related follow-up question or provide clarification. This means you have to start all over every time you want to talk to the BVA.
Incorrect and irrelevant information often provided
Hovering over the icon does not provide information about what the icon represents.
Clicking contact support does not let you choose how you would like to get help.
Can’t type to ask for help from a real person or contact information from the bot. The first step is to input a question but when you ask to speak to someone it just indicates they can’t help.
Requested an email back about adding Zoom links, took a few hours and sent a link pointing to the wrong section of our support page
The UI is very clunky and can appear as though the user is stuck in a loop
To other institutions who have enabled BVA in their LE, what have your experiences been with it? I'm very concerned about the level/type of support our end users will be getting.
Some additional questions I still have are:
- Are issues from BVA easily escalated/sent to our service desk?
- Right now D2L Support sends tickets to us when it's out of their scope. I don't sense that will happen here…
- What happens when a student says "I'm in crisis" or signals mental health crisis in some way. Are they defaulted to Brightspace Support pages?
- Is the D2L Live Support team shrinking? (i.e. will we have reduced access to live human support?)
- Why is the chat icon so very very very small? It's not noticeable/is barely discernible and we can't link to the chatbot in any way.
- Have they done any accessibility testing with the chatbot?