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Why a good mobile experience is key to driving student engagement

Vincent Paget

May 7, 2019

Good mobile experience is a must

Schools are rapidly adopting new technology solutions to improve the way they teach, manage and organise education. But just implementing a new software system alone isn't going to improve anything. Your staff and students must be onboard and willing to adopt your new systems in order for them to be successful. For student-facing systems, engagement is key. Outdated systems that are hard to use are likely to be ignored, and produce bad results. Students have grown up with technology and have a low tolerance for poor user experience's. The key to engaging students is recognising the importance of having a good mobile experience. Although some of the benefits may seem obvious, the value of design is often overlooked by school decision-makers. Here are some reasons why mobile experiences are key to driving student engagement.

Growing up with technology

Student's today were born into a world of technology. They use their mobile, or some form of device for almost everything. As a result, they have high standards for user-experience and are quick to judge new software systems they're expected to use. A poor user experience or low-quality design discourages them from using the software altogether, because it's hard work compared to what they experience elsewhere (ie. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram). The end result is that staff don't get the engagement they need and are actually left with more work for themselves because they have to find other ways to achieve their student communication goals.

Good design reduces friction, improves cooperation

A well-designed mobile experience makes it very easy for students to follow the correct procedures and stay on the right side of their teachers. Some students will never fully appreciate why it's so important that they sign-in and out of campus, are registered in their class attendance or their leave details are kept up-to-date.To make sure students follow the correct procedures, you need to enforce stricter rules and disciplinary measures. But this quickly leads to friction and can damage important teacher-student relationships.On the flip-side, a well-designed and simple mobile app experience increases the likelihood that students will cooperate. It can make an otherwise dull process pain-free and raises the mood of students and the whole school community.

Student's today grow up immersed in technology

Good design results in better data integrity

If students don't follow agreed processes and procedures, staff don't have a consolidated set of data from which they can analyse student behaviour. When students enjoy using technology, they're more likely to use it in the ways required, providing staff with a source of information they can trust. This makes it significantly easier for you to capture up-to-date information they can use to make informed decisions.

Good design reduces administrative overheads

Boarding staff already have a lot on their plate, from organising weekend activities to dorm checks and shift reports. Any way we can reduce their administration means they can focus more time on what they really need to do - making sure every student is getting the support they need. Giving students a way to manage simple tasks on their own, such as requesting leave or signing-in and out of different locations, not only teaches them how to take on responsibility but also helps to reduce the administrative overhead for staff.

Ensuring students can mange simple tasks on their own

However, this only works when students are provided with simple experiences. Bad experiences will only result in students forgetting to fill out information, failing to adhere to correct processes and not cooperating with staff. You are left to pick up the pieces. But with the good mobile experience, students are more likely to cooperate with things like weekend leave requests, event attendance and basic signing-in and out.The Orah student mobile app gives your pupils full visibility over their leave, events and personal details, allowing them to live independently, rather than constantly checking in with staff or parents. Information is always available, including updates, and you can tailor leave requests and approval processes to suit your school's protocols. Our parent app also means family at home can see what their children are up to, and receive relevant alerts straight to their pocket.

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Vincent Paget

Vincent Paget is an Operations Manager at Orah based in Auckland, New Zealand. He loves technology, organisation, nature and adventure sports, not necessarily in that order.

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