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Thursday, June 16 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Session 5 - At a Glance: Students Leading the Way on Modern Lightweight Mobile-App Development at a Small College

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Manhattan College did not yet have a native mobile app. 

Rather, our general approach to mobile had been via responsive design. The current campus portal, not highly developed but with features most akin to those desired in a mobile app, was being replaced by an intranet website as part of the college's current web and portal redesign effort. Also have eager students who all want to create apps, as well as students who all like to use apps. And like at other colleges and universities, nearly all students today carry around their smartphone. 

With the new emphasis on the portal as an intranet for web content, ITS saw an opportunity to involve two 2015 undergraduate summer internship students in visioning what an native app for Manhattan College would look like, and then creating it. Effort was then continued with several students working part-time during the 2015-2016 academic year as part of the college's campus employment program. ITS staff also lended needed skills and support. 

The Product (initial version in beta testing): A student-created mobile app to help students quickly tackle everyday tasks at Manhattan College using their ubiquitous smartphone. The Goal: To address the needs of mobile users, who are often looking for specific information for just-in-time needs, such as map locations, events times, etc. The Focus: User-experience on mobile devices. The Initial Spin-off Product: a mobile version of the campus ID / dining card (Jasper Card). 

The app takes advantage of device features and various new technologies. MC Glance (search), the flagship feature for the app, sets this apart from other initiatives; it utilizes a cloud search-as-a-service product to quickly search over database content rather than over documents. The implementation of this simple search and discovery tool helps pull everything together across the myriad of enterprise and cloud services now in use on campus. 

Pilot testing of the first prototype of this app is planned for April 2016. Roll-out to the community is planned for the Fall 2016 semester. The pilot of the digital Jasper Card is currently underway. 

This session will provide an overview of the inspiration and vision for the app, along with the use/implementation of new technology. Will also share how our work with the students and this app also benefited our staff and the college, particularly in providing content / information / data in a easily consumable format for developers to leverage.


Cindy Duggan

Assistant Director of Web and Collaboration, Manhattan College
Cindy Duggan is the Assistant Director of Web and Collaboration at Manhattan College. She and her staff, under the supervision of the CIO, provide leadership and direction for the adoption and implementation web practices and technology, including cloud services. The Web and Collaboration group works closely with ITS and other college groups to deliver an increasingly unified web experience to all members of the college community. In the... Read More →

Thursday June 16, 2016 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Parmly Hall 307 Science Center