UNIVERSITIES are launching their own mobile apps to improve students’ experiences on campus. Meld reporter Diane Leow gives Monash Uni’s new iPhone app a go.
Monash University has introduced a new iPhone app for its students across all campuses in Australia, Malaysia, as well as South Africa. Available for free, it aims to be a one-stop shop for students to find out what’s going on in Monash, and a nifty tool to know when the next shuttle bus is arriving, what units one can take (no more googling random subject names in the hope of finding its description online), and even a directory to find your lecturer/tutor’s contact details is included.
Let’s first begin with the Map tool.
When tested at Monash University’s Caulfield campus, the map offered considerable assistance. Its interface took awhile to get used to, but it was helpful in charting routes to get to somewhere you’re unfamiliar with. You can change campus with a tap on the button at the top right. It even provides directions to the main campus in Clayton.
For students who need to commute from campus to campus for classes, you can make use of the Shuttle Bus Timetables. Like most transport applications, there will likely be a slight lag between the time displayed on your iPhone and the actual arrival of your bus.
We found the Staff Directory really useful.
Type the names your lecturers or tutors into the “search” function, and out comes their titles, office contact numbers, email addresses, which units they organise and the departments they belong to. You can even choose to save this information as a contact.
Organised by month, the News tool does just that. It keeps students up-to-date with the latest university announcements, research breakthroughs and upcoming events.
But if you’re only interested in figuring out the latest events on campus, we suggest you use the Events tool instead. It’s also good for prospective students who wish to find out when they can meet Monash advisers in their respective countries.
And last but not least, the Units was among our favourites. Under each faculty, all units are lined up in alphabetical order. But instead of scrolling through the hundreds of subjects listed, we used the search function to find the unit we were looking for quickly. Under each unit, you can access details such as a synopsis of the subject, when it is being offered, prerequisites, and the desired learning outcomes.
So what’s our verdict?
The Monash app is a functional app that serves its purpose well – and that is, helping improve students’ experiences on campus. But there is definitely room for improvement. We’d like to see how the app can in the future integrate with the Monash student portal my.monash so students can login with their phones.
Have you used the Monash app? Tell us about your experiences – what you like and don’t like about it, and how you think it can be improved – in the comments section below.