An iPhone application was recently introduced to the students of Nottingham Trent University. The app was designed for the new students to be able to make the most of their welcome week at NTU. 350 events took place across the three campuses during the 10 days of the welcome week, and the app which was designed free of charge on iTunes for the students allowed them to settle into their new home, make friends and meet new people.
The app allowed the students to search for events by date, type and campus. Students were also updated instantly with live updates if an important change took place in relation to an event or if an event was cancelled. Also the built-in map allowed students to navigate the innovative environment they were in.
The application was expected to be an instant attraction for students as the iPhone is seemingly the new ‘hype’ and so many students were expected to be owners of one. Also as the app was free this would be an advantage for students as there were no excuses what so ever for them to obtain one. In addition as all the features within the app were targeted directly for students to have a safer, easier and pleasant time throughout the welcome week, it was expected to uphold student’s attention and be a huge success. However fresher Joanna Johnson, studying Business and Educational Development, says: “I had never heard about the app until today. I didn’t see any freshers that I met using it either, this could show that there wasn’t enough publicity for this app as I would have probably taken a look at it if I was aware of it. I can say that not many freshers have iPhones due to their cost so making the application available for other phones too would help more people access the application.”
Robert Shippey studying Computer Systems (Networks) says: “I did find it very useful, I checked the day-by-day section at the start of every day to make sure I hadn’t forgotten about anything that I’d like to go to. I think that the maps are a good idea too, I don’t live on campus and having quick access to maps and pictures of the buildings is very handy. Also I really did like the app; I think it’s good to see universities getting information to students in a way that we find more accessible like iPhone apps, Twitter, and Facebook groups etc (rather than endless streams of emails)”.
According to Ed Foster, Study Support Coordinator and Welcome Week organiser at Nottingham Trent University, “The app was downloaded 800 times from the app store, some of those will be from interested parties in other universities and staff, but most will be from NTU first years. Still that’s only 10% of the intake. The developers who wrote the app are working on versions for other smartphone operating systems. It’s likely that we’ll have versions for Android and Blackberry next year and we’ll always attempt to make sure that there’s web version that any smartphone can access. We’re going to continue with paper copies of the Welcome Week guide for the foreseeable future”. Also according to Ed Foster, the app being used in future years will, “depend on the evaluation. It’s likely, but it may be that the app becomes part of a bigger NTU app.”
The universities welcome week is extensively regarded as one of the most unique and original weeks competing against many other universities within the UK. A whole week of having fun, meeting new people and holding on to the whole concept of being independent should keep freshers busy, and so the iPhone app was there to remind them of what’s going on and to help them find their way around other university campuses.
images: Welcome week iPhone app found on iTunes oMbiel limited (c) 2010