Add/drop made easier with new mobile app

By Drew Teague

With priority registration over, fall semester ending and the first spring 2012 add/drop period approaching, UK is using new technology to make signing up for classes more convenient.

UK released a new application for smartphones Wednesday that will allow students to add and drop classes from their mobile devices instead of on their computers’ MyUK portal.

Smitha Chopra, team leader for UK’s Mobile Portal Workflow group, has been working on the new application that has been in development since late 2010.

“We have been working on (the application) most of this year, and a little bit of last year as well,” Chopra said. “That includes development time as well as testing.”

Chopra said registration is a stressful time for students, and being able to register from anywhere could help them because many of them have smartphones.

“We have students with a lot more mobile devices than we are used to seeing before,” Chopra said. “There is a demand for apps on mobile devices. Students are already attempting to do various things that are offered to them online via mobile devices.”

She said there are other applications already, such as the Course Catalog and My Schedule, “which had a tremendous amount of hits at the beginning of the semester,” when it went live.

The My Schedule application, which allows students to view their schedules and grades, was released in August to coincide with the first day of classes. It had close to 16,000 page views in about 6,000 app runs in August.

The other applications, such as UKMobile and the Course Catalog, have more than 15,000 users.

The catalog shows students the courses available for the next semester when they are getting ready to meet with advisers and schedule their classes.

The UKMobile app has various applications in it already, like Blackboard, MyUK, maps, news, sports and more.

Suzy Wampler, a student affairs officer with the College of Engineering, said she thinks the application will not only be a success with students, but with advisers, too.

“Anything that makes access to registration easier and smoother is definitely a good thing,” Wampler said. “It can be a real pain in the neck sometimes. Even for me — I always need access to MyUK, so I plan on using this one quite a bit as well.”

With so many students using smartphones, Wampler said she knows this app will be appealing.

The app would “make it easier for (students) to add-drop when they need to and not have to sit at a computer,” Wampler said. “Students are all about their phones right now, so it is going to be more convenient for them.”

All registration rules from the MyUK portal will apply to the new mobile application, according to an email sent on the UK Advising Network listserv.

Students can soon see ads and emails about how to get and use the application on their mobile devices.