The app will let students access their weekly timetable on their mobile phones and view a personalised task list, which is based on work that their tutors have set. The app aims to help students manage their time more effectively and therefore become more productive.
The app will connect to the college’s internal timetabling system, pulling each student’s timetable from the existing database. Historically, 6th Form College communicated with students using printed timetables and SMS, a strategy that proved relatively costly and not very efficient. The app will allow the college to connect with students on a personal level, targeting specific classes or individuals.
Research completed by bITjAM prior to designing the app highlighted a need to have everything in one place. To address this, one of the features that the app employs is a dashboard that will show numerous stats including attendance rate. Students will also receive a simple visualisation of the week ahead.
The app will also have a task management feature, based on the latest research by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done. The GTD method is widely recognised as a successful way of getting control and maintaining perspective.
By employing the principles of Google Material Design, bITjAM has created both a daily and weekly calendar view that is colour-coded based on subject area. Class times, room numbers and outstanding tasks can be easily accessed from the calendar view.
Because of their ability to work with the data infrastructure of any organisation, bITjAM experts are able to employ the same technology for other schools, colleges and universities to help students manage workloads and timetables.
‘From working closely with the college for the past year, bITjAM has gotten to understand some of the challenges that staff face when it comes to communicating with students,’ explains Georgie Marlowe, chief operations officer of bITjAM. ‘Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College is a large institution, which makes printing student timetables both expensive and harmful to the environment. Not only will the app assist staff at the college, it will also alleviate pressure on students. We estimate that within a few years’ time every school, college and university will be using a similar app.’
bITjAM began working with Stoke-on-Trent sixth form college in 2014 by offering a number of work experience placements to students interested in digital technology.