To build and own a custom mobile app for your institution may seem like a band wagon act, something that forward thinking higher eds ‘should do’ to look cool and presentable to their prospects. However, beyond the need to stay current in the educational technology, custom mobile apps offer schools a myriad of values from purely academic values to communication.
This article helps Technology Directors and Innovation Officers of Higher-ed institutions deliver a strong case, if the institution’s decision makers need more convincing to invest resources in a mobile app. The use cases are divided into different segments, touching each stake holder in an institution; the students, the administrators/staff and the teachers.
1. Learn on the Go – mobile access to learning materials A great deal of student learning occur outside the classroom, including social learning and peer-to-peer learning. Schools that have integrated a holistic mobile solution have inadvertently provided a way for their students to easily engage in learning via their mobile devices. With VeriCampus, a student need not wait to power up her computer or peel through the leaves of her notebook to study for an upcoming exam. Instead, she can have access to learning materials for her courses including; a professor’s teaching slide deck, as well as her own digital notes, at any time and in any place. A long road trip may put a student in a situation where he cannot use his laptop computer, however, his mobile phone will always be within reach. In situations where there is no accessible WiFi to connect to the internet, he can access all learning materials locally on his device with the help of the offline user feature.
2. Get help when you need it Each new academic year, students in higher-ed schools are very likely to encounter similar situations, or have the same needs and concerns as did their predecessors. This means they ask the same old questions but with unique situations. Vericampus incorporates a robust school assistant solution that helps provide answers to students’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) through an intelligent chatbot. The school assistant bot communicates through Natural Language Processing, and so not only has the capacity to respond accurately to questions but can also learn to adapt its response to each student’s unique situation. Unlike the human counterpart, this bot can respond at anytime of the day and to as many students at the same time.
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS & STAFF
3. Profile Targeting & Custom Relevant Communications Each student in an institution is unique based on his or her course of study or major, specialization, year of study, and even extracurricular and sport activities and hence, require unique communications that are relevant to them. With VeriCampus, an exchange student (ERASMUS) in the Paris Campus of his institution, in his 2nd year, studying Global Business,and whose specialization is in Business strategy and will receive custom notifications that are different from his fellow classmate who happens to have everything in common except that he is a France local.
4. Deliver Instant Push Notifications Urgent & time bound actions: Access to information is of great importance but timely access is even more important. With VeriCampus, students can receive instant notifications that require them to respond immediately. Students as well as staff can be notified of last minute changes to the hall for which an important school seminar will take place. Also, a reminder notification to turn-in an internship application, a reminder for due dates on library books, project papers and assignments will receive a quicker response and lead to higher completion rate.
5. Emergency Situations: In case of emergencies e.g. power failures, security concerns within or around the campus, the push notification comes in handy ensuring that students and staff are informed and equipped to handle the situation. This can also be done discreetly too; if required.
6. Automated Response to FAQs Vericampus enables you to always be in contact with your students in a way that does not require your real time presence. Our school assistant feature, an AI powered bot finds application throughout the lifecycle of students in any university assisting in first level responses to inquiries and initiating engagements. Your students will be sure to receive timely and relevant answers to their enquiries on different subjects including application and recruitment inquiries to selected candidates, first year students, and foreign exchange students, as well as information required by final year students and even alumni. The school assistant easily saves institutions thousands of hours every session and effectively delivers the right responses to student inquiry, faster than any human.
7. Recruitment & Application Inquiries: First level inquiries for prospecting students are easily responded to via the mobile application or integration to the school’s website or Facebook page. Unlike an FAQ, students enjoy personalized responses that endear the school to them. Candidates and prospects can receive text messages serving as reminders for submission of applications, appointment or interviews. The School Assistant bot can also acknowledge student replies and respond accordingly. Existing Students ask the same questions as their predecessors but with varying degree of uniqueness. The School Assistant bot, powered by an Artificial Intelligence system learns quickly and can easily decipher a student’s profile and unique situation, then accurately adapt the response for the student.
8. Educators and teachers can send out class notes and extra reading materials to his/her class enabling them to learn right from their mobile devices. Teachers also have access to creating reminders (quiz, presentations, project submission) for their students and appointments they have made with students.
9. Single Sign on to all services VeriCampus allows student, administrators and professors access all the schools platforms and services instantly, without having to sign-in to each one individually. The single sign on (SSO) authorization feature ensures that once the student has signed-in to the mobile app on his tablet, he can access his school mail, virtual learning environment, internship/job application board, communities and networks all at an instance without the need to input username and password for each platform.
In truth, the use cases are numerous and institutions continuously develop innovative ways of solving their unique needs with the use of a custom mobile app.
What problems or unique needs does your institution have? Share with us in the comments below.