For many first-year students, and even upperclassmen, the transition from high school to college can be a very messy and unorganized time, and here to help is an iLearn app to help students stay more organized.
“Ultimately, what we would like to be able to do is enable students to have more access to their course materials and also any facility to have more access to their students,” Daniel Parker, academic technology and instructional design coordinator, said.
Parker said that the goal with this is to be as student-centered as possible.
“We recognize that students spend a lot of time on their mobile devices all the time by bringing their cell phones to their classes,” he said. “It is a study tool so … it made sense to give them as quick access to their content as possible.”
The app makes it possible to check grades, track assignment due dates, receive notifications when a professor posts on the class discussion board, and view the university website.
Kat Getz, a first-year chemistry major, explains how the app is easier than the iLearn website.
“It’s slightly complicated at times,” Kat Getz, first-year chemistry major, said about the app. “If you try to access it online instead of using the app on your phone, it doesn’t have the drop down for easily clicking through.”
In addition to being useful for students, professors are able to upload grades and post on their classes’ discussion board.
“…What I hear from students is that if they know that a faculty member uses it, and we post grades from there, then students might go in,” Dr. Janette McDonald, psychology professor, said.
McDonald said that the app is a good tool to keep students informed of their progress.
“Because of the app, [students] can see when [professors] post things, then I can go in when students check it,” she said.
“I think it’s a lot more time consuming in some ways, but I think it’s well worth it,” McDonald said.
“We took steps to try and make it as seamless as possible and we recognize that the first time something comes out, there are always going to be things that we could make better,” Parker said.
Like any new app, it may not function 100 percent perfectly, and Parker wants the app to be a useful tool for students, meaning that he is welcoming feedback.