Students who are mostly millennials are already mobile smart for dealing with their academic tasks and institutions.
Naturally, educators and institutions cannot undermine the role of mobility in communicating students for various reasons. But with a plethora of educational apps at their disposal and the students being extremely hectic about their mobile choices and behaviour, it is not a small challenge to connect students and ensure engagement with a consistent tactic.
Various countries’ education sector enjoys various degrees of adoption and engagement. While in the US the app development for schools, colleges and universities has already become a norm, app developers in India and many other developing countries are still finding only a handful of institutions are ready to adopt mobile apps for their students and staff members.
1. Improved and personalised experience
The first and almost irrefutable obligation for any mobile app these days is to deliver a user experience that caters to individual preferences and needs. Students are more particular about their choices when communicating with their institution or for accessing the curriculum. A student looking for sociology program should be allowed to access the respective tailored form for that program instead of making him fill up a common one.
Personalisation of student experience in an institutional app besides curriculum and enrollment forms can also be delivered with specific career choices and individual list of priorities. If every student can set his priorities within the app, the user experience thus tailored for everyone will be a superb and engaging one.
Besides personalisation, value addition like integrated support for students through the app will also be essential. It is particularly useful for newly enrolled students who may require asking about various things concerning their curriculum now and then. A report function within the institutional app that based on the student interaction can produce reports for future reference will be invaluable for evaluation and to deliver support for the student when needed.
2. Communicating students with push notifications
Any institution app catering to students should actively utilise push notifications to inform students on every update concerning their curriculum, classes and institutional affairs. Push notifications by allowing quick sharing of information with students can also boost mobile engagement to a great extent. Notifications can be segmented for the specific group of students based on common interest and in some broader cases can be delivered for everyone as well.
Students already have sufficient exposure to mobile apps, and such push notifications feel it comfortable to remain informed through it. With notifications keeping them informed about events, academic matters and other activities in the campus can be accessed on the go. This ensures an assured way to reach students.
3. Messaging students based on their context
Any University app can now incorporate more detailed segmentation into their app to allow students access features and contents based on their needs and specific contexts. Similarly, the app notifications can also be more contextualised based on the individual student location and specific situation.
The push notifications and messaging can further be contextualised if the function works in coordination with the institution’s respective learning software. This would allow updating the students in real time with messages whenever the teacher and instructor post any information or comes with anything new.
If segmentation based on interest and curriculum can be considered for sending messages to students, every segment of students can easily be notified of any class cancellation or any circumstances leading to a change of class. With a university or institution making the app extremely useful for updating students about all their tasks, schedule and events through push messaging, the app is likely to become the best companion for the student.
4. Enhancing community engagement in institution
In any institution, the study and academic output of a student always get a solid boost with their campus engagement incorporating academic, social and professional activities together on a sharing platform. This can happen better with a mobile app for the institution connecting students and faculties across the spectrum and disciplines. Some of the key features in an educational app that can allow building such community engagement can include the ones mentioned below.
Facilitating lively contact with students across the disciplines and build up study groups and various common interest groups.
Setting alerts and reminders for new curriculum, enrolment and professional opportunities across fields.
Updating students and the staff members from time to time about events and various activities held within the institution.
5. A one stop solution for student IDs and payment through Mobile payment
If your institution has a mobile app to connect students and staff members, instead of maintaining separate physical ID cards one will be able to carry the digital version of the same right in mobile devices. Even institutions that still could not have a mobile app can manage ID cards and documents in their mobile wallet.
A vast majority of mobile wallet users prefer storing their IDs and such valuable documents into this digital wallet. As mobile wallets are popular among millennials, it is ideal for student targeted institutional apps. Whether through an integrated mobile wallet or a standalone institution app, accessing ID cards and documents in mobile format has distinct advantages in terms of accessibility. This will also help to reduce the administrative cost of any institution to a great extent.
With students being the most proactive mobile users with a high degree of hectic user behaviour, ensuring mobile engagement can be a challenge for most institutional apps. From utilising mobile devices for updating and informing students to using mobile devices for authorisation and campus security, mobile apps for various reasons have become irreplaceable for any institution. The engagement tactic mentioned above is tested and tried by educational and institutional apps all over the globe.
Juned Ghanchi started IndianAppDevelopers, and is CMO of the mobile application development company since 2014. He has a degree in digital marketing and almost five years of experience in business brand management and leads generation through latest technology trends.