Launching an app for your college: ten tips for success
A new academic year is just around the corner and your institution's app (Engage) is setup, ready and raring to go! Hopefully you’ll have seen what Engage is capable of and are excited about improving engagement and implementing a next generation learning experience.
But what do the coming months have in store? How will you move as a college to adopt the mobile app? Here are some of our top tips for effective adoption:
1. Define your key stakeholders
If your college app is going to be a success, you’ll need support from all areas of your institution. Consider setting up a diverse project team to lead adoption of the app, involving student committees, academic departments, learning and teaching staff, MIS teams, EdTech colleagues, student services and marketing. Encourage all these key stakeholders to be ambassadors of the app, actively using and promoting it to peers around them.
2. Embed the app into everyday college life
It’s important to consider what steps your institution will take throughout the transition period in order to ensure the app is properly embedded into everyday college life. Promote the app organically by making sure it’s mentioned during student inductions, tutorials and staff CPD sessions.
3. Celebrate success
Recognise and reward students and staff who are using the app well. Simply provide praise and share positive case studies to demonstrate the impact it’s having on student experience and engagement. Perhaps offer prizes and incentives for your best users.
4. Offer support for those who need it
If people struggle to use their college app, they will stop using it. Make sure there are clear and easy routes for supporting students and staff, both technical and non-technical, perhaps with a quick step-by-step guide of the main features, drop in sessions or a support helpline Encourage staff to set up course groups to get their students talking and sharing.
5. Make the app fun!
Make sure the app is fun for your users! Introduce competitions and prizes, encouraging creativity and collaboration between users. Post motivational or good vibe messages around exam time or promote offers in the canteen. Keep it light and breezy whenever possible.
6. Visual Content
Today’s students love videos and pictures, so encourage staff to share information visually as well as through text. For instance, one college tutor has shared images of maths problems, concealing parts of the working out, which became an effective way for engaging students. Pictures of animals could be posted for animal study courses, or videos of hairstyling for hairdressing students.
7. The 'Tech Tool Kit'
Think of the app as a ‘Tech Tool Kit’ for your staff and students, the go-to place to find useful resources. Does your college have an intranet, VLE, student portal or online registers? You can signpost to all these useful links through individual app pages, providing a simple reference tool.
8. Student Voice
Student committees can be great for driving adoption. A simple way to involve students might be asking for their suggestions on what content would make the app better. Perhaps set up regular student committee sessions to encourage student participation. Empower your student president and officers to lead on initiatives to reach out to and support class reps across the institution.
9. Tribal communities
Make sure you stay connected with our ‘communities’ site and check regularly for updates, news and information from all users of the Engage mobile app. Any updates and features of the app are always shared through communities so make sure your product teams familiarise themselves with this.
10. And finally, ASK US!
The Tribal team are more than happy to help you drive adoption and provide support and guidance on how you can better encourage engagement with learners and staff. Get in touch to talk to a member of our team.
If you’d like to find out more about new features in the app and how to successfully launch it to this year’s students and staff, join us on a webinar: Getting ready to launch your 2019-20 college app 29 August, 10.00 – 10.30.
This blog was co-authored by Max Scales (Student Experience and Learning Technology Lead) and Reza Mosavian (Product Owner).
Reza is an accomplished Teacher (Secondary, FE and HE), who has specialised in Digital Technologies at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Reza has over 15 years of studying, teaching and leading varied Education Technologies initiatives within multiple institutions, focussing on Blended Learning, VR, AR, Social Networking to enhance staff and student experience and engagement.