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After having a discussion in class, Kaylie and I narrowed down our project idea as well as brainstormed solutions to the problem established. Our tentative project goal is as follows:
We want to create a better solution for college “orientation.” The problems with the process in place include: people being forced into multiple giant transitions at once, not being acquainted with their surroundings, the process isn’t really personalized (group focus instead of even department). Orienting students to the campus and to other students needs to have a more of a personalized focus.
15 offline problems with online solutions:
- Finding roommates // having a forum or board to post available rooms and roommates to. There could also be some kind of roommate or apartment recommendation feature.
- Juggling all the information // a big problem with orientation is knowing the schedule, figuring out where to go and not getting overwhelmed with all the new things you are being basically forced to do. Finding a better, more spread out release of information could be a helpful solution to this. This can be done via app integration on the user’s phone or on a wearable device.
- Have orientation focus on the departments / the individual students // Integrating an introduction to the student’s faculty and other student’s who will be in their department would help build a stronger, more personalized element into the orientation. This could even start within the app before students even step onto campus. Forums, boards, a built in messenger similar to Facebook.
- Change the name ‘orientation’// There are bad connotations with the word ‘orientation.’ The word is associated with a forced introduction or mandatory events. Make the terminology more personalized and possibly more aligned with the school itself and the surrounding atmosphere.
- Allow for the tools to be continuously used with elements that transcend the initial orientation // Social tools as well as roommate finders, etc, can all be used even after orientation. Adding universality to the app might help make it feel like it’s there to baby new students.
- Information is everywhere // Allow the student to be able to access important information anywhere, but limit the information available according to platform so students aren’t overwhelmed (class navigation would go on phone / watch, but not desktop, etc). A cross-platform presence will allow for students to access specific information when needed.
- Some students can’t make it onto campus for orientation activities // Utilize future-facing technology to enable students to gain an understanding of the campus without being there. Possibly include a virtual reality tour.
- It’s hard to get accustomed to a new city // Allow for student’s to post and see what events are going on in the city or where some of their friends / studiomates are hanging out.
- It’s hard to know what to do in a new city, or where to get certain supplies for class // Have a database of local stores to shop for supplies at but also places for student’s to hang out and relax at (coffee shops, record stores, etc).
- Students sometimes feel less comfortable when faculty, staff, or other people they can’t relate to help them // Allow for student’s of higher levels help newer students. A student-to-student relationship might make things more comfortable for students. Kind of like a mentee / mentor program
- Internships are highly helpful, but they are hard to find and sometimes intimidating // Allow for a place to post internships as well as contact of information for the internships, and maybe contact info for other students who have participated in the internships as well. Have this be integrated into the app so that people can be notified when a new internship is posted.
- Many people spend more time online than interacting with other people offline // Promote offline social interactions by starting online conversations that lead to offline interactions.
- It can be hard to find a job after school is done // Have a section where student’s and faculty can post job possibilities with various contact information. This can also act as motivation for new student’s, so that they can see what possibilities are out there down the road.
- Many apps are limited to the personalization that can be done // Student’s can arrange the app and select what they would like to see and do. Possibly have a space in the online hub where the students can “build there own app”?
- Most events for transfer students are technical // bring in some fun elements, social games or something that can get people from within the app out into the real world together
- Orientation is a really stark, quick change // make it feel like a much smoother transition. Remember that this is a huge change in many of their lives. It might be easier if they can start the transition sooner and at their own pace.