Choosing the right mobile platform for your institution can seem daunting. With so many options to choose from, selecting the right vendor to partner with is critical. While some platform developers claim that you can have a campus app up-and-running within a few hours of purchasing, what is often overlooked is that the campus’ IT department will be responsible for building the platform themselves.
While this structure may suit some, not every campus has the resources to build their own personalized mobile platform, nor do they have the funds to employ a full-time platform manager. Maintenance, support and updates are tedious and time-consuming, and more often than not, IT departments don’t have the bandwidth to provide continuous platform upkeep, resulting in a mobile platform that students find stale.
A Regurgitated Web-Portal
One of the biggest issues with these DIY platforms is the simple fact that the administrators or IT department tasked with building the app don’t know where to start and oftentimes end up with a regurgitated web-portal. With memory on smartphones being valuable virtual real-estate, it’s no wonder why some institutions are receiving poor student feedback on their mobile platforms:
“App lacks information, it is just a glorified version of the website, everything needs to be downloaded and even then they are not properly assigned a file type. App needs a ton of work”
Lack of Dedicated Support
In terms of platform assistance, one resource that often gets overlooked in the buying process is regular access to customer support. App developers who leave the actual platform creation to the institution rarely offer robust assistance which is problematic for the administrators who have never had to build a campus-app prior. This results in administrators being directed to a crowd-sourced answer bank that is not always accurate or useful.
Another challenge campuses face when trying to decide on a student engagement platform is a severe lack of customization. Platform providers who offer to build and maintain the platform themselves, often disappoint administrators with the “cookie-cutter” model they offer. Put simply, the same app is implemented at every campus, regardless of the institution’s individual needs and wants. The problem that arises in this scenario is that the platform that works well for a private university may not be the right fit for a community college, for example.
Similarly to the diversity we see across institutions, students are also unique and a mobile platform must take this into account. Today’s students are widely made up of Generation-Z; a group of young people who have grown up in a world customized to their individual needs and interests. We can see this in how they watch movies (Netflix), how they listen to music (Spotify) and how they shop (Amazon), for example. All of which make smart-suggestions based on the user’s past behavior and a campus platform should be no different.
A Fully Fleshed Out Student Engagement Platform
Unlike companies like ModoLabs who are general mobile platform vendors working in multiple industries, Ready Education specializes specifically in higher education. While most of these general vendors claim to offer “engagement analytics,” this is usually limited to the number of app downloads and registrations a platform receives; however, these numbers are often hollow without proper context. Ready Education’s Campus Cloud not only allows administrators to see how many students are using the app, but how many messages have been sent within a given period of time, which events and services are resonating well with your student-body, and can gather important feedback, all in real-time.
A Dedicated Campus Success Consultant
The post-implementation support that institutions receive with Ready Education is also unique. Each campus receives a dedicated campus success consultant who will assist in everything, ranging from app launch and promotion, to semi-annual efficacy reports that outline how your app is performing. In addition to this, campuses can expect branded promotional assets to help gain campus-wide adoption of the platform, a complete on-boarding tutorial, ongoing training, launch strategies, troubleshooting and regular content updates.
Fully Customized to Your Institution’s Needs
In addition to engagement metrics, the Ready Home platform is fully customized to fit every institution’s individual needs. Our campus success consultants work hand-in-hand with your institution to build a platform that is focused on your students’ unique requirements. Also, Ready Education maintains all of the upkeep in-house, and gives administrators access to a designated campus success consultant throughout the duration of the contract.
Designed with students in mind, Ready Home offers personalized experiences for every type of student on campus. Through AI, we are able to track a student’s past behaviors, preferences and interests which allows the platform to surface meaningful content tailored to each individual user. The cookie-cutter model no longer cuts it (pun intended). In order to get students excited about student engagement, we need to offer them a tool that is not only useful, but appealing as well.