The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University unveiled a mobile application for health-administration students that leverages a mobile device’s camera, video and push notification capabilities to build user engagement.
The app, available on iOS and Android, lets students view course materials and videos, network with professors and peers, and receive notifications for upcoming assignments or events from anywhere. The app reflects how universities, which have used online course management systems for years, recognize the value of mobile in streamlining the educational process.
“Our students are busy, working professionals working in healthcare settings across the globe,” said James Kenigsberg, chief technology officer for 2U Inc., Landover, MD. “Extending the educational experience by using a mobile application goes a long way to improve accessibility and convenience for students enrolled in our partner programs,” he said.
“User-engagement is built through merging native features of the mobile device, including camera, video and push notifications, with the app. Using these features allows them to engage with classmates around the world through discussions, study sessions or social groups.”
2U Inc. is a provider of cloud-based software systems for colleges and universities that developed the mobile app for MHA@GW and its partnering university programs.
The app’s mobile offline mode lets students download and watch course videos offline and access class materials, with or without an Internet connection. It also promotes networking through interaction with classmates and global peers in discussions, study sessions or social groups.
A notifications feature informs students of upcoming live class sessions, assignment due dates or events.
Content posted through the mobile app will seamlessly transfer to the web the next time a student logs into their desktop learning platform, allowing notes to sync effortlessly.
Mobile course apps takes course management systems in use at colleges and universities to the next level. Such systems typically include online tools such as areas for faculty and student postings of class materials, a gradebook, email, a chat tool and a discussion board.
In addition, a CMS is typically integrated with other databases in the university so that students enrolled in a particular course are automatically registered in the CMS as participants in that course.
Putting many of those features on mobile has great advantages for both students and instructors.
A first for health administration students
The school said its app is the first of its kind for health administration students. About 1,400 US students pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health.
The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.
App leverages mobile features to build user engagement.
The app’s greatest value may be building user-engagement with the course. Its offline mode could be particularly helpful to students who travel or commute.
“In addition to greater efficiency, mobile devices have geolocation capabilities, push notifications, cameras and a myriad of other complementing apps that make this education experience exciting and delivers greater outcomes,” Mr. Kenigsberg said.
“We live an in increasingly interconnected world,” he said. “While you may be unable to travel everywhere with your laptop, students likely have their mobile device on them at all times.
Receiving course reminders and notifications is great to help them balance hectic schedules.”
Michael Barris is staff reporter for Mobile Marketer, New York.
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.