Information Technology Services is testing a new mobile Classesv2 website that allows students to check syllabi and course readings on their smart phones.
Between Jan. 26 through Feb. 3, over 600 students opted to evaluate the alpha version of the site through a survey on Classesv2, said David Hirsch, associate director of Yale’s Center for Media and Instructional Innovation and project head for ClassesV2 mobile. Depending on student interest, Hirsch said access to the site may be extended to students beyond those testing it. He added that within a few weeks the center will determine whether to further development and offer a beta version to the student body after reviewing data and comments of testers.
“We know that students want more mobile access to University services in general,” he said. “What we don’t yet know is which services are most important. We have not historically had a lot of input from students on development of Classesv2.”
The current alpha mode offers access to six tools from Classesv2: the syllabus, announcements, resources, gradebook, schedule and signup, Hirsch said. In designing the site, Hirsch said the Center tried to include elements of Classesv2 that students would realistically use on their mobile devices, adding that the mobile view is not built for tasks such as data entry.
“We know the mobile environment is not the easiest environment to do complicated transactions,” said Hirsch. “We are focusing on tools that would share info with students that they might want to access while in transit.”
In an effort to be as “inclusive” as possible, the team did not create individual applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, Hirsh said, but instead made the mobile view compatible with all smartphones that have Internet browsing capability.
Owen Barrett ’15, a current user of the alpha version, said he used to load the regular Classesv2 site on his smartphone, but the mobile view makes using the site much easier.
“The mobile version of the site succeeds… by making navigation between classes much easier and small-screen-friendly,” said.
Chinmay Jaju ’15, who did not know about the survey signup, said he thought the new platform for the site was a great improvement since students often need to access class information on the way to class.
The center first began developing the mobile view late last fall, Hirsch said.