The University provides an extensive suite of online and technology enabled tools to allow students to access resources, succeed in class, communicate with faculty and staff and conduct business with the University.
UIT has worked with UH Marketing to create a comprehensive mobile app for UH students that consolidates communication, business functions, social and student life activities and academic support into a single mobile platform to improve student life and facilitate student success.
The current generation of students engages with the world through their mobile devices. Creating a comprehensive mobile app for UH students to provide access to critical UH services will improve student success. Given that 96% of students prefer mobile apps to mobile-ready portals, we are integrating AccessUH and 3rd party apps into UH Go, the official mobile app for the University of Houston.
- With the University — National Competitiveness: In collaboration with UH Marketing, we are working to assess the needs of colleges and divisions and define technical solutions for offering unique services to students, faculty, and staff.
- With the University — Student Success: Providing students with a single, comprehensive app is an institutional priority. Transitioning core services already available online and through existing apps to the UH Go app is a key part of this effort.
- With the UH System — Principle 9: We are working with other system component campuses to assess the feasibility of using the same platform for all campuses to leverage development resources, which helps maximize the benefit to faculty/staff of being within a system ( Appendix A ).
- With the State — Mobile & Digital Services: UH Go helps to create a seamless and consistent user experience across many devices, services and applications.
- To date, 12 services have been integrated into the UH Go mobile app, including myUH, parking, housing, dining, emergency notification, calendar and events, catalogs, laundry view, wayfinding and location beacons that use Aruba access points in the Student Center.
- Integrations are in progress for BlackBoard; AccessUH; Touchnet (CougarCard); a grade center that aggregates grades from myUH, CASA (Courseware) and Black- board; Parking Guidance System; single sign-on using Office 365; and Communicate Directory Services to better target messaging within the app.
PATH TO SUCCESS
Single sign-on via Office 365 using biometrics is key to the success of the app. Making it easier to log in and use services will keep users coming back. Other efforts to keep Coogs using the app are to:
- Simplify the mobile ecosystem at UH by providing a policy that covers governance, procurement and easy-to-follow steps to get services integrated into the app.
- Provide just-in-time services through UH Go every 6–8 weeks.
- Target meaningful messages to groups and individuals.
- Ensure that UH Go is service-heavy, rather than content-heavy.
- Use gamification and user incentives to keep the app installed.
- Deploy Marketplace, providing students a safe forum to interact with each other to buy and sell goods and services, pay organization fees, set up a commuter or ride-share area — the possibilities are endless.
- Deploy beacons in more buildings to guide users to scheduled events.
- Continue to reduce the number of apps at UH. Even though three existing services already available through a third-party app were integrated into UH Go, three new apps were added.