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Checklist to Ensure a Safe Return to Campus Using Your Mobile App

Create Personalized Mobile-First Experiences for Your Campus - Modolabs

As your school prepares for a safe return to campus, you’re likely asking how to best welcome back students, staff and faculty. While each school must address its unique needs and local and state guidelines, your campus mobile app can effectively become the cornerstone of your return to school plan. Read on for 10 strategic plays to include in your return to school roadmap.

1. Prepare for the new normal

To ensure everyone knows what’s expected of them for a safe return to campus, use your Modo-powered app as the hub of actionable information. Use it to keep everyone informed, engaged, and ready to return with confidence.


❐ Make sure campus stakeholders are engaged and part of the process

❐ Use Modo’s Virtual Tour starter kit as an easy way to create a preview of the new normal before they return

❐ Use Quick Polls to measure users’ understanding of the new policies and adjust your messaging accordingly

2. Enable the confident return to campus

Students, staff, and faculty need confidence that your return to campus plan is sound. Your campus mobile app can show them that you are focused on everyone’s health and safety.


❐ Create user journeys for return to campus scenarios and make sure each step of the journey is represented in your app

❐ Leverage the Modo WorkReady health self-assessment tool to ensure on-campus students, staff and faculty are healthy

❐ Delegate maintenance of important app content to relevant subject matter experts on campus           

3. Embrace the distributed campus

With circumstances continually changing, your distributed campus enables everyone associated with your school to stay connected, engaged, and focused on what’s next, no matter where they are located. Think of your mobile app as the new campus: the one place where everyone goes to understand what to do or who to ask.


❐ Include guides or FAQs for frequent topics, along with actionable steps and links to get additional information, in your app   

❐ Figure out how to best facilitate typical on-campus services in your app

❐ Ask students what frustrates them when they need to accomplish a school-related activity away from campus

4. Engage the entire campus community

While students are likely the primary audience for your campus app, graduate students, alums, you can also engage prospective students and parents through the app.


❐ Consider how to connect to local resources like COVID testing and voter registration via your app

❐ Map out the user experience from prospective student to alum and identity opportunities to engage them via your app at each step

❐ Encourage campus stakeholders to make your campus app a key part of their engagement strategy

5. Localize users’ experiences

Everyone’s return-to-campus experience will differ depending on their affiliation with your school and where they’re located. For example, a student on the main campus needs to address different concerns and guidelines than a faculty member at your satellite campus. With your app, you can localize each user’s experience based on their role and affiliation to best serve them.


❐ Create separate personas and locations for each type of user         

❐ Send location-based notifications as users enter or exit campus, buildings, and floors             

❐ Configure in-app content visibility by role so each user sees relevant information

6. Nudge each user toward success

Each person returning to campus has their own set of requirements and goals. In-app nudges can provide gentle encouragement to motivate them on their path to success.  


❐ Partner with campus stakeholders interested in motivating people on campus to act, and agree on ways to drive that behavior through your app

❐ Measure engagement and use that data to inform future nudging efforts

❐ Favor positive, encouraging prompts over negative ones

7. Drive awareness of health and wellness resources

With the pandemic straining multiple aspects of people’s health – including mental, physical, emotional, and financial – your campus app can serve as a helping hand to those seeking support from your school.


❐ Use your app to deliver a drumbeat of information about health and wellness resources available via your app  

❐ Drive awareness of resources through bursts of app-driven notifications and promotions

❐ Align the health and wellness tools in your app with your institution’s health and wellness initiatives and goals

8. Empower the student voice

With a Modo-powered app, it’s easy to include students as key stakeholders in your app evolution and maintenance. In addition to soliciting their input, invite them to help design and build app experiences.


❐ Delegate app content to student subject matter experts  

❐ Ask early and often for students to identify the pain points in their experience with your school so you can identify ways to evolve your app

❐ Use Quick Polls in your app to get instant, invaluable feedback from thousands of students

9. Apply the 5 Ws to your messaging

When you make each message relevant to each app user, you can better drive engagement. To that end, craft each message with the 5 Ws in mind:

1. Who would find this message relevant?

2. What are we trying to communicate succinctly?

3. When should a user receive the message?

4. Where might we want a user to be when the message appears?

5. Why is this message necessary at this moment, and what impact is expected when the message is delivered?


❐ Coordinate messaging with all delegated message authors/owners to ensure users don’t receive too many alerts

❐ Use location-based notifications to target app users entering or leaving parts of campus

❐ Leverage opt-In channels so app users can sign up for topics of interest

10.  Consider the whole student

While it’s essential to address new health and safety issues, remember that the majority of a student’s time on campus is not spent in class. With that in mind, make sure your campus app reflects all aspects of student life.


❐ Consider ways to improve the student experience outside the classroom   

❐ Ask students how they would prefer to discover non-academic resources using your campus app

❐ Ask student club leaders to share new challenges they’re facing and how your app could help their recruitment efforts

Discover more recommendations for a safe return to campus and take a deeper dive into these 10 strategic plays – including key questions to ask – by downloading our ebook.

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