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The New Normal: How A Campus App Can Facilitate Remote Learning For The Distributed Campus Experience

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Create Personalized Mobile-First Experiences for Your Campus - Modolabs

On the last bi-weekly roundtable call and blog post we went deeper into the subject of students’ well-being and communications. This week, we touch on the topic of institutions’ Fall plans after polling them a month ago on the same topics, remote learning, bringing students and employees back to campus, the use of geofencing notifications, student involvement in the app development and more learnings from the roundtable that took place on May 14th.

KEY LEARNINGS INCLUDED:

  1. A distributed campus is the new normal: We polled our audience on their Fall plans on April 16th and then polled them again 4 weeks later on May 14th to observe the contrast on their plans and collected these statistics:
     49% now expect learning to be all remotely this Sept, 23% are still unsure about plans for the fall, and 19% expect to be delivering a hybrid experience (teachers on campus, students not).
     61% say retaining admitted students, online learning technologies, and reopening the campus are their main priorities.
     19% are now fully planning for the fall, while 39% of the attendees split their focus between fall plans and the here and now.In the new normal, students and employees have the need to feel part of the organization but without the social interaction or the campus facilities, the spirit and feeling part of the organization can become a challenge. This is where the unified campus app can be the enabler in all the potential modalities: the virtual experience, the transitional experience, and one day, the fully “normal” one. A campus app can create a unique experience for this new normal where users can go to their campus app, receive targeted push notifications that help them succeed and feel as if they’re a key part of their organization.
  2. Empowering students to stay on track with their remote learning is more important than ever: With all students being off-campus, a single simple experience where they can access what’s important to help them succeed is essential. With over 95% of traditional students owning a smartphone, educators can benefit from that to serve their class and facilitate digital learning to keep their most at-risk students on track. Tools can be as simple as providing access to grades and class schedules or all-inclusive and provide access to submitting assignments, taking quizzes, or joining discussions through LMS integrations.
  3. A campus app is the ideal tool to bring students and employees back to campus: Making sure they know what to do before they arrive on campus and learning what the new policies are for certain activities, buildings, classrooms, events, and even elevators will be essential to their return. A campus app can facilitate a smooth return with native in-app communication features such as proximity-based push notifications and geofences to enable instant notifications to any student and employee entering an at-risk location, to alert them of location-specific safety and wellness policies, hand-washing reminders or even safely reporting issues that might be relevant to the COVID-19 situation through the app.
  4. The campus app became the companion during the lifecycle of the student: Whether on or off-campus, it starts with admitted students weekend, new student orientation, open campus, move-in weekend, and other first-year events that jumpstarts a successful app adoption rate. This, later on, permits a full campus experience and a successful communication strategy that allows your organization to target and reach users on their mobile device, which they carry 24/7. Later on it’s not only what they used during their first year, it’s what they use for connecting with their campus community when off-campus, remote learning resources, commencement, how to go back to campus and their dorms safely, and much more!
  5. Students can and should be part of the app development and focus groups: End-users are the most important stakeholders in any solution that the organization offers to help them succeed, this is why they should be part of the creation either as student workers or focus groups. Students are eager to learn and to provide their insights, especially when it comes to technology. They will often only create what they think they and their peers would truly utilize and give their honest feedback, which could lead to great improvements to their campus experience and mobile app.

On the next call and blog (in two weeks) we’ll share more on the benefits of having a native app vs. just a mobile responsive website, how to achieve campus collaboration, expanding on the use of the app for returning staff and students to campus and more of the Modo User Group’s key learnings.

Until then, share with us in the comments how your institutions and workplaces are supporting students and employees!

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