Movement is a constant in any college student’s life. As such, one would expect the University of Montevallo to provide students with a simple solution to keeping connected with professors and updated on campus events on the go. However, UM’s only mobile solution, a free app still found on Google Play and the App Store, hasn’t aged well since its last update in July 2012.
Mobile apps are becoming a common utility for businesses all over, and universities are beginning to follow suit.
The University of Alabama offers an app which allows students to view grades, classes and the school’s bus map. Both Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham provide similar offerings, all kept up to date. While UM’s app still exists, it hasn’t survived the shift to a new website well. The cafeteria menu links to a nonexistent page. Successfully logging in to check class schedules and grades is impossible, made even more so by the recent switch to Canvas instead of Blackboard.
While UM’s own mobile offerings might be lacking, there are other solutions. Canvas provides a mobile app that replaces Blackboard quite successfully in terms of staying up to date with assignments and grades.
Checking emails on the go can also be made much easier by forwarding all mail from the university-provided Office 365 account to any personal email address with a mobile app.
While these options provide ways to stay connected to the university on the go, they don’t include the luxuries a robust mobile app would bring. A cafeteria menu that actually displays, an easy way to check class schedules and a functional university directory still need to be offered for students to keep totally up to date during their daily travels.