SmartCampus app receives student approval

By Bethany Gallimore
On January 27, 2014

Students now have A-State at their fingertips with the release of the SmartCampus app.

The campus companion offers direct links to news, athletic events, campus maps, class schedules, music streaming and more, becoming the comprehensive app for all of campus.

The iOS application was developed, designed and produced entirely by ASU faculty, staff and students. “No other app captured all the things someone involved with A-State needs,” said Bill Smith, executive director of the Department of University Marketing and Communications. “It is truly unique to us.”

The free app is compatible with Apple systems operating iSO 6.0 or higher. An Android version is forthcoming and is set to be released within a few months.

“We’ve already gotten feedback from students, saying that it’s awesome that they can check grades from their phone and don’t have to get to a computer,” said Terell Pigram, App development leader.

The Student link within the app gives enrolled users instant access to myCampus with a few app-extras the desktop version does not offer. An easily viewable daily class schedule helps students know exactly when and where they need to be.

Emily Hubbard, a sophomore math major of Newport, said she was impressed with the app’s usefulness.

“It shows your holds and gives you your schedule so you don’t have to look it up,” she said. “I look at it every day, just to check my schedule.”

The Student section also includes full records of past class schedules as well as overviews of final and midterm grades, which were previously accessible only through multiple pages on myCampus.

The ease of use is appealing to many students, making the app an effective first stop for their campus information needs.

The News banner offers users a mini-ASU Digest highlighting the most important campus news, events, and athletic games, and the schedule can be exported to an app user’s personal calendar.

SmartCampus user Monica Nava, a freshman education major of Jonesboro, said, “The app is kind of like a clock. It lets you know where everything is and shows you all the events.”

Connecting with A-State is now easier than ever with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo pages linked directly to the app’s Social tab. Live streaming is available through the app for KASU and the new student-run internet radio station Red Wolf Radio.

SmartCampus features a prominent three dimensional campus map, which app designer and team leader Roshan Guatam of the Center for Digital Initiatives hopes will be especially useful to new students navigating the campus for the first time.

“Most of the new students don’t know where their classes are,” Guatam said. “With the app they will get the walking directions from their current location.”

Preliminary reviews are positive for the iOs application, which enjoys a 4.5 star rating in Apple’s App Store. On Friday, SmartCampus had been downloaded over 2,000 times and peaked at number 155 in educational applications.
“I just got it the other day and I use it a lot,” said Nava. She operates SmartCampus on her iPad as well as her iPhone.

Students can also submit instant feedback directly to the app designers by posting on the app’s Feedback Forum.

“The only thing they need to add is email. Other than that it’s good,” said AnQuan Ellebb, a sophomore nursing major of Atlanta.

Students are also requesting app access be developed for BlackBoard Learn, class registration and Express Dollar acceptance locations.

Some concerns have been raised about the app’s howling function, which can go off even when phones are silenced. The app emits a wolf howl in the style of the A-State mascot, the Red Wolf, when the phone is shaken. A fix is on the way, according to the team leader for app development Roshan Guatam of the Center for Digital Initiatives.
“Currently we can’t turn off the howl,” Guatam wrote on the Feedback Forum on Dec. 20. “I am sorry for any inconvenience. Our decision team has been informed of this and as soon as we find a solution we will implement it to make your experience better.”

Future generations of SmartCampus will combine feedback from students, alumni and community members to develop new features and create an even more comprehensive look at A-State.

The SmartCampus app is a collaborative project from the Center for Digital Initiatives, the Department of Information and Technology Services and Office of Marketing and Communications. The vision and design team worked on the project for three months before its release on Jan. 8.

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