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Making our students ‘appy – how we successfully rolled out our student mobile app

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Presentation given at ALT Annual Conference, 5th September 2019, Edinburgh

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Making our students ‘appy – how we successfully rolled out our student mobile app

  1. 1. ALT Annual Conference, 5th September 2019 Marieke Guy (Royal Agricultural University) Making our students ‘appy – how we successfully rolled out our student mobile app
  2. 2. The Royal Agricultural University Cirencester, Gloucestershire
  3. 3. The Royal Agricultural University • At the forefront of agricultural education for more than 170 years • Around 1,200 students – undergraduate, postgraduate, international • Courses cover agriculture, animal science, business, environment, equine science, farm management, food, real estate and rural land management • New blended learning courses being developed • Have digital aspirations -
  4. 4. From this… To this this… Last year @ ALT
  5. 5. • Increased use of mobile – need to improve the user experience when accessing through a mobile phone • Potentially increase student use of VLE through improved usability • Offer single sign on - allowing access to the information most commonly used by RAU students • Reduce the need for IT intervention due to integration and intuitive design • Allow targeted communications and interventions through push mechanisms • Move into the 21st century  Why a mobile app?
  6. 6. • Callabco’s myday portal ( • MS Azure based solution that uses cloud technologies • Desktop and mobile versions • Integrates with existing systems • Used by many other unis (Herriot watt, Teeside, Cumbria) and lots of FE colleges • Targeted tiles – audiences set up using Azure groups • Opportunities to develop own tiles – ‘developer enabled feature’ What software?
  7. 7. Alun Dawes, head of IT “As a university with a focus on agriculture, food production, and the related land-based industries, efficiency, sustainability, and environmental matters are a core element of our teaching, research, and consultancy – and providing a truly digital campus is the next logical step forward for us. “Working with Collabco’s myday app, we will provide students and staff with the ability to communicate and learn more efficiently from wherever they are and at any time via their chosen device. We’ll also be able to deliver the wider university eco-system in terms of extracurricular activities and services that wrap around student life, and use it in the student recruitment process at open days by giving prospective students access too.” https://
  8. 8. Integrations
  9. 9. Implementation Deciding on a name Student user testing Integrations set up Submitting app to app store and Google play Decision on applicant portal Soft launch Go live
  10. 10. Selling it • Posters, digital screens, flyers • Inclusion on fresher treasure hunt • Video for academic staff • Page on website and VLE • Blog posts on SU and digital transformation blog • Mention in IT and library induction sessions • Stands at fresher and returners induction sessions • Student star training sessions • Monitoring and support through out
  11. 11. • Student expectations – lightweight versions of apps • Uptake: “It doesn’t work”, password issues • Calendar issues • Information Architecture: “I keep ending up in Gateway” • Office 365 – the black box of an app • IT don’t own it Issues
  12. 12. Ongoing work • Farms check in • Campus maps • Surveys: • Interim module feedback • NSS/SSS • Internal news feed • More news feeds – research papers
  13. 13. Future plans • Need to give them a reason to visit… • Applicant portal • Attendance monitoring • More links with marketing – more internal news • Surveys • eChamps • Video • Culture • It takes a whole institution to raise an app
  14. 14. See myRAU in action
  15. 15. • HELF discussion – ‘to app or not to app?’ • Needs to fit your plan: • Brighton: Using it as our student portal. Notifications when lectures change. • York SJ: Development will involve custom dashboards for PG etc., and delivering pre-arrival content to incoming students for next year • Abertay: Using for surveys, development with Evasys • Case studies: • Other software: Modolabs, CampusM app (now owned by ExLibris) • Apps for everything…? • Chatbots? AI? Hybrid apps? Payment systems? Is an app the best approach?
  16. 16. • Blog posts: • Collabco: • Jiscmail: MYDAY@JISCMAIL.AC.UK • Myday ideas: • Myday status update: • myRAU app store: • myRAU on Google play: hl=en • myRAU video: & Further information
  17. 17. Twitter: @mariekeguy

Presentation given at ALT Annual Conference, 5th September 2019, Edinburgh


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