University launches HardingU mobile app

Nov. 29, 2017 | App |

On Nov. 29, Harding launched a mobile app for students, faculty and staff. The University  first began working toward creating a mobile app in summer 2016.

Assistant Vice President for IS&T Mike Chalenburg brought together a team of people across campus to regularly meet and discuss ideas. After selecting a vendor, Modo Labs, the team began developing outlines for sections of content and identifying the information that should be included from a student’s and faculty or staff member’s perspective.

“Assembling the group was vital,” Chalenburg said. “We could have had an app without them, but it would be plain and would have lacked the vision and content that we currently have and will have in the future. Several folks in IS&T have been invaluable in working out the authentication and personal content areas of the app that greatly increase the value.”

Junior public relations major Kaleb Turner was asked to be a member of the committee to give a voice for students and help the team better create something that would help them them. He said the app creation process was a new experience for him, but he’s learned a lot from it.

“The Harding app team worked hard to make sure the app was the most user-friendly and practical resource,” Turner said. “There was much more technical work on the back end than I ever expected. I often found myself asking a lot of questions about what this term or that term meant, but it’s been a huge learning experience.”

The app features content that can be seen on both www.harding.edu and Pipeline, the University’s student information and action portal. It was created to be both informational and functional and host all of the important items essential to life on campus all in one location. The design of the app is a reflection of both the design of the University’s website and Pipeline. The color schemes complement each other, and landing pages feature a dominant image at the top — a similar design to harding.edu.

Director of Academic Resources Stephanie O’Brian was one of the members on the app team and is specifically looking forward to how the app will enhance students’ experience with Harding and its many resources and areas.

“I am really looking forward to using the app during orientation with incoming students next summer,” O’Brian said. “I am also thoroughly looking forward to using the map features. It can be difficult telling people how to best get to various places on campus, and this is a feature I think will help all of us — students and staff alike.”

A student can check chapel information, including absences, schedule and announcements; look up menu options, cafeteria meal plan use and DBC; and sign out of a dorm room among other actions. Faculty and staff members can access pay stubs, view vacation details and submit vacation requests, and fill out timesheets in addition to others. Some app uses are available to both personas, like accessing people search and a departmental directory and browsing campus events. Future plans for the app include adding additional personas for future students and alumni and creating custom channels that app users can opt into and receive messages that pertain to a specific topic or group.

“As faculty, I like having the ability to log in and have many of my Pipeline capabilities readily available through an app,” O’Brian said. “I run into students at Walmart or a restaurant, and they will often ask me a question that I need to log into Pipeline to answer … so instead of getting on Safari and going through the internet, I am excited to simply open the app.”

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