By MobileUp Software
Green Mountain College invests in environmentally friendly practices whenever and wherever possible.
For example, the campus in Poultney, VT, features LEED-certified buildings and its own biomass plant, which burns locally harvested wood chips to provide 85% of the school's annual heating needs.
And these are just two examples of many at the school. There are several more including solar, steam and wind projects and another that converts the methane gas in cow manure into electricity.
As the Green Mountain College website proclaims, “Every day is Earth Day.”
Photo: Green Mountain College
Students are also encouraged to lower their carbon footprint whenever possible by using the campus shuttle instead of their own motorized vehicles.
For the college to succeed in this mission, it needed an effective way to inform students about the service and its schedule.
As the shuttle service began, the schedule was provided as a PDF download from the student portal.
But through feedback sessions with students, the Green Mountain College app administrators learned this method wasn't very helpful.
Students typically did not keep the PDF handy either in an electronic or printed form. Most were having to download the information each time they needed it. And of course, those times were usually in the hurried minutes between classes.
From the administrative side, the PDF also posed problems in case the schedule needed to change or be temporarily updated for any reason.
Fortunately, Green Mountain was already a MobileUp Software customer and this meant the solution was literally in the palms of their hands.
The Green Mountain app administration engaged MobileUp client services for help. And now, students are able to find the shuttle schedule with a few taps on the Green Mountain College Connect app.
Here is how it all looks:
This is what the PDF-based shuttle schedule looks like. Its data was used to make an easier-to-consume format in the app.
To start, Green Mountain College students access the shuttle schedule on their school app through a tap on the home screen.
Students navigate to their desired schedule by week, then by day.
The student feedback the Green Mountain team received is consistent with larger research about college students and smartphones.
Pearson research shows nearly 90 percent of college students have regular access to a smartphone. And eMarketer studies show typical smartphone users spend close to 2-1/2 hours a day in apps.
It's clear: Delivering information via an app on smartphones is a natural fit for today's college student and the most effective means of communicating with them.
”Our students love using the app for quick access to information such as the shuttle schedule,“ said Dre Roebuck, Director of Student Involvement at Green Mountain College. ”The app also helps us publicize our other student activities such as our student clubs, local hikes and how to get involved with volunteer efforts on campus and around our community.“
The new feature was made possible through a data structure in the MobileUp administrative tools that makes the drill-down of information (e.g. the selection of the shuttle routes from semesters to weeks to specific days) a relatively minor task to establish and visualize in an app.
If you are an existing MobileUp customer, let your client services contact know if you need assistance adding new content to your app.