Students entering college this year were born into a world where cell phones, tablets and WiFi were commonplace. Higher education has traditionally struggled to keep up with the pace, but must endeavor to adapt to best suit their incoming mobile-first students.
A 2014 study of 200 public and private schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania showed that 70% of those institutions didn’t have a mobile friendly-website. While that number has hopefully changed in the last 4 years, it serves to show the lagging pace at which higher education adapts the technological environment.
The current state of affairs is a bit more promising. Higher education has adapted to rapidly-evolving technology and the demand for more of it. Campuses now frequently offer mobile apps that host a robust user experience: linking students to campus events, class schedules, forums for campus life and other tools students need for a successful higher ed experience.
This user experience has been met with lots of positive feedback from students, as the app helps automate a student’s life on campus. An assessment of student feelings toward their university’s mobile offerings showed:
- 71% of students report their campus app saves them time
- 69% of students use their campus app to stay connected to campus life
- 67% of students agree their campus app helps them manage their life as a student
- 59% of students say their campus app helps them better communicate with teachers
To further gauge how a student uses their app, the assessment went on to say that students prefer to use their app for academics over anything else, meaning universities have a clear duty to meet their student body where they are most focused. As students continue to keep their eyes on their screens, it’s high time higher education jumps head-first into the mobile-first world.