How Does a College App Drive Student Engagement?

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What does it mean to have a college app? How can a college app impact student engagement? What proof is there that an app actually makes a difference? I could tell you the answer, but if you’re going to NASPA 2016 you can hear it direct from the horse’s mouth. The horse, (or horses), being Mitchell Miller from McGill University, Chris Schmidt from Lindsey Wilson College and Saad Rizvi from Harvard University. These gentlemen have first-hand experience implementing a mobile app for their institutions. They also have the numbers to prove that not only was the implementation successful but the app did make a difference on their campuses. As Mitchell explains, “McGill is quite decentralized and I think what the app has really done is allow us to leverage the different features to present students with services, resources and options that are more student-centred.” The session Mitchell, Chris, and Saad will be presenting is called Mobile and Efficacy: Leveraging Data to Drive Student Engagement. It will take place on Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m., in Meeting Room 208. Implementing mobile technology is a trending topic in higher education. However, as with most trends, there’s skepticism as to the efficacy of mobile technology. At NASPA 2016, Mitchell is going to discuss McGill’s experience with the OOHLALA mobile app. He will be present data that shows how using this app has been a “value-add” to the university: “Students, through the app, are feeling more connected to the university and their peers. They can access services more easily, they’re getting to know their campuses more easily. As a new student, they’re being oriented to the university in a more seamless way.” Skeptical attendees are particularly welcome at this session. Although, I can list off a number of benefits of having a college app, Mitchell, Chris and Saad can talk about the actual experience—the good and the bad. “We’re at this interesting time right now where people know how important mobile is—obviously millennials, our current students are mobile first. But at the same time, there’s a lot of constraints financially and on other resources. [...]Since this is a really new world, it requires different skills for its implementation.” Mitchell isn’t a mobile app salesperson, but he feels that his experience is worth sharing, “It’s really been an exercise in thinking about what does the student need? How does the student need to experience and orient themselves towards campus? How do we deliver that seamlessly through an app?” So, if you’ve ever had any questions about a college mobile app, come to the NASPA 2016 session Mobile and Efficacy: Leveraging Data to Drive Student Engagement on Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. Check the NASPA 2016 Program Guide for more information.   Interested in learning more about student engagement and mobile technology? Read our ebook on the positive effects of mobile apps on first-year student engagement:

First-Year Student Engagement

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