Campus ecosystems are complex, intricate networks with many moving parts. Like cogs in a machine, they are supposed to work together seamlessly, in order to keep the machine running properly; however, as most higher ed administrators will tell you, this is easier said than done.
Bringing together departments, from student services to athletics to events, can be a challenging and at times overwhelming task for institutional leaders. But as more and more students turn to mobile devices as their primary form of communication, many colleges and universities are turning to mobile apps to help coordinate the campus experience. The user-friendly design and functionality of many campus apps helps to streamline communication and provide easy access to resources and support services. But are college students beginning to suffer from app fatigue?
The Trouble With Too Many Apps
While mobile apps can be a great way to coordinate campus life into manageable segments, more often than not, institutions overwhelm their students with the sheer number of apps they offer.
For example, if an institution offers individual apps for their learning management system, events, campus navigation, parking, and alumni networking, students are unlikely to engage with every platform. One reason for this is to simply save space on their mobile devices. Students don’t want to give up valuable real estate on their phones for an app they won’t use every day. Perhaps more importantly, though, students find it tiresome to have to log into 5 different apps just to navigate campus life. The appeal of popular apps like Snapchat and Instagram is their accessibility, simplicity, and ease of use — which is why having a single sign-on, all encapsulating mobile platform for college campuses is crucial.
Keeping Student Attention
Studies have shows that “many phone users won’t open [new] apps more than once or twice.” This is why institutions must be careful when it comes to the number of separate downloadable apps they offer, regardless of how useful they may be. In order to aggregate these individual moving parts into one seamless network, institutions must choose an app that has the ability to integrate with the institution’s pre existing data sources, systems and applications.
By integrating all aspects of the campus ecosystem into one master platform, institutions have a higher chance of the app becoming a part of the student experience. When trying to increase communication, event attendance and student persistence, having one consolidated network is crucial.
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