VoiceXML Applications

There are two applications to be developed.

VoiceXML Absentee Application

This VoiceXML application system will receive and track student absentee calls. Students who will miss a class call the VoiceXML telephone number and are led through an automated dialog that records the student name, date/time of call, courseID, date the student will miss class, and other pertinent information, and stores it in a database. Although it is preferred that students make the absentee call before the time of the class, provision should also be made for calls arriving after the class was missed, as well as for instructor input and adjustments. If desired, the system could also track students who come late to class by more than a specified time and those who leave early by more than a specified time. The system provides the instructor and other administrators with a permanent record of absentees that can accessed and displayed in various forms through a Web interface. Output should include various query responses, e.g., a list of the five students most-often absent in a course (or across courses), in descending order by number of classes missed.

The initial version of this system should be in place in the spring semester for testing in CS616. If it is found useful and appropriate, it could be used for all CSIS courses the following year, and has potential to go university wide. When the system goes department or university wide, graphic output could also be made available to represent the absentee rate across courses or departments.

Such a system could be used by the university staff and employees, e.g., "Pace University Sick Call System." Sick employees call the VoiceXML number and are led through an automated dialog that records the pertinent information and stores it in a database. The employer can access this information through a Web interface. Other systems needing the information, such as payroll, could also access the database.

With potential for any reasonably-sized organization, this application could be developed into a commercial product by those with an entrepreneurial inclination.

VoiceXML Survey Application

The second application concerns taking surveys by phone. This application is different from most VoiceXML applications because this one involves having the server initiate the calls rather than receiving them.

We would like the server to place telephone calls to either a list of phone numbers or to a specified number of random phone numbers in a given location (exchange). When the receiver of the call answers, the VoiceXML dialog conducts the survey with the responses going into a database similar to the one used for the Online Survey System (project 1). The survey results can then be tabulated and the results graphically displayed. Consult Dr. Maryalice Citera (SUNY New Paltz) for the survey questions.

This application will require interaction with several teams. Work with the team on the VoiceXML Facility (Team 3) to ensure that phone calls can be initiated by the facility, and work with the team on the Survey System (Team 1) to determine the types of questions that are most easily processed and the results shown graphically on a Web page.