3. The app will continue to evolve.
The IT team can do custom application development and add functions that the SIS doesn’t already provide. Future plans include using the app to promote and provide details for campus-wide events, to feature a virtual tour of student art and photography on campus, and to enable push notifications for use with registration, food services, and the financial aid office. Yaros would also like to integrate a rapid response feature so that faculty can use the app to push out questions that students answer in real time to ensure they understand the lesson.

“This app will allow us to set up proximity campaigns,” Yaros says. “For instance, when a student is near the financial aid office, the app would pop up the question: ‘Have you filled out your FASA?’ Alternately, the app could remind students to register for the winter semester when they approach the registration office.

Related: 5 key points to consider when developing a mobile app for university students

He is also toying with developing a virtual orientation that, similar to what happens at a museum, would let students take a self-directed virtual tour. “On-demand is what these students are used to, so we will give them what they want.”

Further down the road, the IT team might be able to tie the app into campus parking lots to help people find available spots, which anyone in higher ed knows would be worth its weight in gold.

4. The app does not require a full-time development team.
Because the app was built with existing software, the IT team didn’t have to learn new programs or do extensive coding to get it to work. “We don’t have the staff to maintain a full-fledged mobile app, but we’re able to incorporate everything students need,” says Yaros.

5. The app improves the campus experience.
When Yaros sees people on campus looking lost or asking for directions, he can just say, “Hey, check out our mobile app; it’ll take you right there!” Feedback has been extremely positive, and he knows it will only get better.

About the Author:

Ellen Ullman is editorial director, content services, for eSchool Media.


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