University’s services directory goes mobile | Australian IT

CURTIN University of Technology has introduced a new mobile student support website modelled on sites at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University in the US.

Uni's directory goes mobile

Curtin Business School student Tim Cousin with CurtinMobile.

CurtinMobile was developed as part of the West Australian university’s C2010 curriculum project and student retention strategy.

Chief information officer Peter Nikelotatos said 99 per cent of Curtin’s students had mobile phones and 75 per cent of those phones were web-enabled.

“What we wanted was an application layer that recognised that our students were using netbooks and smartphone devices more and more and they wanted to be able to access a lot more information through these devices rather than desktop PCs,” he said.

The mobile website, which also was likely to be useful to staff and visitors, covered a range of support information ranging from a directory of teaching staff, campus maps and local transport services through to where to eat on campus, he said. Additional information included study support, and financial and housing services.

The website could also show students where they could find a computer available for use on campus, Mr Nikelotatos said.

“Areas that we want to explore a lot more are integration opportunities with our learning management system and a lot more around emergency and critical incident management and integration from an international perspective,” he said.

CurtinMobile, purpose-built by the university’s staff, was originally planned as an iPhone app, like Stanford’s, which was built by a student start-up company.

Curtin teaching and learning director Beverley Oliver said research six months ago showed low penetration of iPhones and a decision was made to build a site that looked like an iPhone app but worked on other smartphones and web-capable mobile phones.

Because a higher proportion of students was likely to have iPhones in the near future, the university would go ahead with an iPhone app as well.

Nice one Curtin!