Apps and analytics: The key to student engagement?

Frances Cairns, founder and CEO of Campus Quad, said the app was meant to simplify how schools engage students, instead of spreading engagement efforts across various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instgram, and other social networks.

“It has really become more and more important to engagement students where they are, which is on their mobile devices,” Cairns said. “Obviously, you want to know if what you’re doing is really working the way you want it to, so we give colleges all the information they would need to know if … and how students are using [the Campus Quad app].”

“Access to and understanding of this rich data empowers front line practitioners to be stewards of change,” Cairns continued. “That translates to student program improvements for universities and the students they serve.”

Instead of taking the decidedly old-school approach of posting fliers announcing upcoming campus events or hoping students see those announcements on the front page of a school’s website or a Facebook post, Campus Quad can deliver the message directly to a students’ mobile device.

Black said adoption of Campus Quad at Stanford has been encouraging during the app’s soft launch, and that engagement with the app has proven consistently high. With a concerted push at the university, Black said the platform could become a staple of university-to-student communication.

“Engagement is and has been important to us,” he said. “I don’t think we’re alone in that among [colleges and universities].”