Smartphone app brings USC to one’s fingertips
Looking for a campus map, schedule of events and compilation of photos all in one place?
USC Campus Activities has just the app for you. With the new Student Engagement guide, part of an application called Guidebook, Trojans will have several new campus resources at their fingertips.
“It’s about meeting students where they’re at,” said Lily Chowana-Bandhu, interim director of Campus Activities. “The new app is an opportunity for students to not only learn about what’s happening around campus but also to get engaged in campus community and campus life.”
More than 5,000 people at USC have downloaded Guidebook, which is available for free in Apple, Android and BlackBerry online app stores. Trojans can access the Student Engagement guide by using the redeem code Trojansusc.
Student organizations can submit an event to the Student Engagement guide through the Campus Activities calendar at usc.edu/ca, and those who want to submit a banner advertisement can get in touch with Chowana-Bandhu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chowana-Bandhu and her colleagues first learned about the app at last year’s National Association for Campus Activities convention. Guidebook offered a map of the convention layout, a schedule of events and a calendar allowing users to place alerts on interesting events.
Staff members at Campus Activities liked Guidebook so much they decided to bring it to the university. They first used the app during 2011 Welcome Week and again this year. Now they’ve created the Student Engagement guide for everyday use.
This year’s Welcome Week guide’s resources included a USC map; a schedule of student organization events and microseminars; a section to post photos, resources and services; and a place to store a to-do list. The Student Engagement guide is similar, also offering an opportunity for USC departments to post events and other information.
Chowana-Bandhu said Guidebook is constantly updating and expanding features to make it more user-friendly. The second version of the Student Engagement guide will include an easier-to-use map, where people can input their current locations and get walking directions to where they want to go. The current map is static.
Chowana-Bandhu is currently fine-tuning pages for different departments, adding advertising banners for student organizations and making sure the guide appeals to students.
“I’m really hoping that students will continue to use [the app] and, as it evolves, there will be some amazing new features,” she said.