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Thursday 28 March 2019 9:45am

The University's new student app is proving popular - with more than 12,500 downloads since its launch in mid February.

The University's new student app has been downloaded more than 12,500 times in five weeks – which is equivalent to all the undergraduate students on the Dunedin campus, who are currently its primary target.

On the first day of lectures, people looked at the app's Dunedin campus map about 16,000 times and the most popular locations were large lecture theatre complexes, Information Technology Services (ITS) Director Mike Harte says.

So far, most users of the free app are obviously either students or staff – 96 per cent – because they have a University log in.

Everyone who downloaded the app to their phone was asked to rate it, with a thumbs up or thumbs down and by making any comments they liked – that feedback was about 81 per cent positive.

"The team is really excited about how the app will evolve and where it might be in a year's time."

The most praise mentioned the app's timetable feature and the Māori translations of features. The most requests for future enhancements were for a calendar view of timetables and the ability to synchronise that calendar with a calendar app on the student's mobile.

The Student App Project Team is recording all suggestions and using them to prioritise the features it will work on next.

“The team is really excited about how the app will evolve and where it might be in a year's time,” Mr Harte says.

As part of that evolution, features of the app that are not being used may be removed.

The Student App Project Team forecast the equivalent of 30 per cent of all University of Otago students would have downloaded the app by now but has far exceeded that total at about 60 per cent – which the team is crediting to involving the Marketing and Communications offices', under post-Support Services Review changes to processes.

Staff from those offices created wide-spread publicity – including posters, electronic signs, direct email to students and staff, an Otago Bulletin Board story and social media coverage.

The app launch was primarily aimed at first-year to third-year students because they rely so much on their timetables and want to know their grades as they are released, but first-year students probably got the most value because of the map feature and a list of Academic Orientation Week events, Mr Harte says.

IT Projects Manager Annemaree Senior says she is “grateful to be managing such a fantastic project team – we have staff from ITS, Marketing and Communications involved in the project and they've done a great job, which is reflected in the positive feedback from students”.

The app can be downloaded at – it is also available at the App Store and Play Store by searching for ”'University of Otago”.

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