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The University in your pocket: opening access to learning and support
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The University in your pocket: opening access to learning and support


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  • 1. The University in your pocket: opening access to learning and support
    • Julie Usher
    • The University of Northampton
    • Blackboard Users’ Conference, 5 th Jan 2012
  • 2. Drivers
    • Why mobile?
      • Strategic planning and pedagogy
      • Marketing
      • Demand
  • 3. Anticipated challenges to openness (pt 1)
    • Why not?
      • “ not everyone has a smartphone”
      • “ not everyone can ‘do’ mobile learning”
  • 4. Challenges or opportunities?
    • Inclusion
      • Device provision
      • Wireless campus
      • Mi-fi units
  • 5. Challenges or opportunities?
    • Accessibility
      • Choice
      • Personalisation
      • Control
    • Usability and skills gaps
      • Training and support
  • 6. What are the needs?
    • Different audiences (students, staff, prospects)
    • What’s possible?
  • 7. Anticipated challenges to openness (pt 2)
    • Where’s the data?
  • 8. Creating a ‘one stop shop’ Web team and CIS Marketing Library systems LearnTech
  • 9. Is it working? Measuring success Analytics: 1000 downloads one week after launch >3000 downloads after one month 6575 downloads to date 5 months from purchase to deployment Most popular link was timetables with 21,686 hits in the first month
  • 10. Measuring success: what they said
    • Twitter (#iNorthampton)
    • Email
    • Blog
    • Spot surveys
    • Focus groups
    • Pilots
    Get the @UniNorthants app immediately! Dream!! @UniNorthants has an app!! This is tres exciting! I'm actually having a physical reaction I am that excited. Will make life so much easier! @UniNorthants now have their own app. Snazzy. Am not tryna gas but thank God for the Northampton app because now I left my timetable at home, I would have been lost. Bloody good idea!
  • 11. Other challenges
    • Project convergence (all under one roof.....where possible)
    • Skills gaps
    • Working within different time zones
    • Challenging platforms (Blackberry)
  • 12. Top five tips
    • Identify needs (and decide which ones you can meet)
    • Bring together a project team with range of experience.
    • Find a provider who can satisfy the immediate need and provide extensions for the future (SDKs).
    • The app stores are your friends (?)
    • Stay in the loop
  • 13. Next Steps
    • Kaizen...
      • Piloting the mobile VLE
      • SDK developments and extensions
      • Strategies for engagement (bribery etc.)
      • Investigating support models
      • iNorthampton phase 2
  • 14. Questions?
    • Contact details:
    • Julie Usher
    • @jules_u
    • [email_address]
  • 15. References etc.
    • Useful links
    • More about the iNorthampton project:
    • Guidelines on accessibility for the mobile web: http ://  
    • TechDis on mobile learning: http://
    • Traxler, J. (2010) “Students and mobile devices.” ALT-J Research in Learning Technology [online] 18.2, p149-160. Available from: http:// [Accessed 3 rd January 2012]
    • More info on JADU MyAPI (presentation by Steve Martin):
    • Image credits
    • Photography by Rob Farmer, University of Northampton
    • 3d characters from http://