Collaborative Development of Conversational Agents (Master)

Course Description

This course focuses on the design, development, deployment, and evaluation of conversational agents (e.g., chatbots or voice assistants) for a given problem domain (e.g., customer service, team collaboration).

Course Objectives

The aim of the course is to introduce conceptual and technical foundations of conversational agents, relevant theories of human-computer interaction, and design guidelines for different classes of conversational agents. In addition, the course will introduce the user-centered design approach adapted to the design of conversational agents, including several qualitative and quantitative evaluation approaches.

The entire course is held virtually with no physical meetings, providing a first experience for future workplace scenarios. The course is a joint offering together with the Universität Hamburg (Prof. Bittner) and the Universität Kassel (Prof. Söllner). Students will work collaboratively in virtual teams with students from the other universities (i.e., one student per university in one team).

Each semester, a new challenge is presented and students must first understand the respective problem domain in more detail (e.g., through studying literature and interviews). Next, the student teams derive user needs and requirements and create a first prototype of the conversational agent. This prototype is iteratively refined and subsequently implemented as a functional prototype using contemporary technology tools (e.g., Google Dialog Flow, Microsoft Bot Framework, Rasa, etc.). Finally, the student teams evaluate their conversational agent applying qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g., online experiments, surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.).

The student teams document the results of each activity in a project report. The project report as well as the conversational agent prototype are the basis for the grading of the course.

Learning Objectives

After the successful participation in the course students can:

  • explain conceptual and technical foundations of conversational agents.
  • perform the user-centered design approach to design, develop, and evaluate a conversational agent.
  • deploy a conversational agent prototype based on state-of-the-art tools and frameworks.
  • evaluate the conversational agent prototype using qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods.

Course Facts

  • Format: Lecture & Project (Exercise)
  • Course of Studies: Master BWL, Master DiBWL, Master Winfo, Master WiPäd, Master W&R (other courses of studies upon request via E-Mail)
  • Language: English
  • Semester: every semester
  • Scope: 6 CP
  • Lecture Start: Thursday, 18.04.2024, 14:15 – 15:45 via MS Teams
  • Group Meetings: Thursday, 14:15 – 14:45 via MS Teams
  • Please register for the course via the form on this page
  • Evaluations: 
    Winter Term 2023/2024

Collaborative Course

This course is a joint offer by the Universität Hamburg and the Universität Kassel as well as the project


Course Requirements

  • Students should have first experiences in programming and the motivation to enhance them
  • Experience in human-computer interaction and conversational agents is optional (all relevant content will be provided)
  • English communication skills

Course Registration

The entire course is limited to 20 participants (5 per university) and requires a short registration via the following registration form.
There will be a waiting list for open seats.

Registration Form

Please fill out the following form in order to sign up for the course