“Campus Tech: NYU Tests New Mobile App To Drive Enrollment, Provide, Authentic Learning” by Jennifer Roland first appeared on Edcetera.
This summer, continuing education students at NYU can save 10% off the cost of a mobile marketing intensive for small and medium businesses if they spend a little time completing a course-prep app. Assistant dean of the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies Renee Harris sees the app as the next logical step in their online learning evolution.
“We want students to be able to take advantage of our content in the way they want to,” she says; the app was a “natural fit for what we [they] are doing in the mobile space.”
Developing a mobile app for online courses
Although the discount offered is compelling — especially for the small and medium business owners who are the target of the course — Harris says the most important thing when developing a mobile app-based MOOC is to provide good value. The content of this app was taken from courses they were already offering to students online. They worked with MassiveU to turn that content into short lessons that are easily completed using a smartphone or tablet running iOS, Windows, Blackberry, or Android.
Because this app is a marketing tool as well as a learning tool, Harris says, it was important that the content gives students a taste of what they will experience in the mobile marketing intensive, which is why they chose to adapt existing course content for the mobile space. All of the topics covered are “what we are going to study in more depth in the summer course,” she says.
Advice for schools considering apps to enter the MOOC space
Harris offers the following advice:
- “Be strategic about what you want to do and the purpose of being in that space.” NYU wanted to enter the MOOC space, she says, but they needed to make sure there was not only an instructional benefit but also a business benefit to the app development. By incorporating the marketing element and the discount, NYU covered those bases.
- “Make sure the content is relevant to the audience you want to reach.” By adapting content from already successful online courses, NYU ensured that the MOOC app would provide solid and targeted educational content. Even students who choose not to take the summer intensive will end up knowing more about mobile marketing.
- “Just do it.” Harris warns against paralysis by analysis. Sometimes, she says, people are so unsure about whether they should enter the mobile space and what they have to do to do it right. But you have to release your tool and see how it works. NYU did their due diligence, picked good content, and found a solid partner in creating their app. But they know they will learn what works for their audience and what they can do better next time.
Want to check out the app? Register at MassiveU and download it to your mobile device.