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IT Services Emerging Technologies - Mobile Ecosystem and Smart Campus Initiatives

Mr Alex Dare

University of Newcastle

Universities have complex systems, spread between departments, buildings and campuses. Managing these systems is complicated and time consuming and providing students with access to them can be difficult - resulting in a frustrating experience for the user and institutional inefficiency.

Students expect a connected university experience, with access to important information at any time that is relevant to their specific needs. They expect to move seamlessly from one device and one service to another without having to repeatedly log in to different systems or ll out personal details to get the information that applies to them.

UON has developed the myUON Mobile Ecosystem as a platform to provide students with a personalised mobile and web app experience. The app provides a single access point to key university systems as well as surfacing key information and tasks requiring action from these systems natively within the app, thereby driving engagement with the platform. Once a user is logged in, information such as what and where they are studying, whether they are domestic or international, what stage of their academic journey they are at and whether they are staying in university halls of residence is all relevant in personalising content, messaging and communications to a specific individual. This personalisation drives engagement as evidenced by the 40 plus thousand registrations and 5 million app sessions since launch in Feb 2018. With a view to further driving ownership and engagement, UON have recently deployed an ideas capability within the app to ensure students can log and vote for ideas for future enhancements to the app. The latest release of the app saw a number of students contribute to the design, further engaging them on the journey.

UON is currently working on extending this to a staff version of the app with an initial focus on providing research academics with a similar personalised experience focused on information and research related tasks requiring their attention.