Rijn IJssel+: the StudentsApp of Rijn IJssel
The 5th and 6th of October were dedicated to an educational and inspiring conference at the Rijn IJssel, a Further Education Institution in the Netherlands. The saMBO-ict conference took place at Rijn IJssel in Arnhem and, together with the institution, we presented a workshop on the Rijn IJssel+ app. This provided a great introduction to their colleagues about how they approached the project with StuComm.
Students take centre stage
The student is central at Rijn IJssel. Therefore, it is vital that their information and communication style connects with the student experience. They were aware that almost no student goes through life without a smartphone and that most expect to have access to the most important information through their smartphone at all times.
Rijn IJssel saw an app as a good solution to effectively reach their students and meet their needs. Their preference was a native app, as there are many user benefits in comparison with a web app.
Students had a huge list of wishes they wanted to see in the app. However, Rijn IJssel chose to start with a limited number of features so as to have the opportunity to keep the app improving continuously and not to overwhelm students.
Besides the decision to go live with a limited number of features, Rijn IJssel also decided to initially make the app available to specific students only. Only Health & Welfare students received access to the app. This gave Rijn IJssel the chance to solve any implementation problems quickly and to see if there was any demand from other faculties for the app.
The Rijn IJssel+ app currently provides students with schedule information and push notifications, plus the ability to report absences and a digital student card.
Students easily find their schedule information in the Rijn IJssel+ app. Students know where and when they have class, and with the help of our push notifications they are always informed about timetable changes straightaway.
Before the Rijn IJssel+ app absences were reported over the phone or at the service desk. For both employees and students this is a time-consuming job.
By digitising the process of reporting absences students do not have to wait to speak to someone, and staff at the service desk can deal with other matters. Importantly, the option to report absence is only visible to students over 18: for students under the age of 18 the parent/guardian notifies the institution via the app.
Digital student card
Every year, Rijn IJssel has to distribute plastic student cards to their students. By digitising the student card Rijn IJssel can save time and money on the making and distribution of the cards and students no longer need to stress about losing them.
Parents of students at Rijn IJssel also have the opportunity to log in to the app. Students can provide an access code, which, along with the student’s ID number, the parents then use to log in to the app. Thus, parents can have access to their child’s timetable and report absences if necessary.
Students have so far responded very positively to the introduction of the Rijn IJssel+ app: An evaluation showed that students are most satisfied with the new way of reporting absences. Following the evaluation, Rijn Issel are now looking into expanding the app’s functionality and the number of faculties that have access to it.
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