Bridgewater State University
BSU Mobile ranks among the highest rated college and university student mobile apps on the Apple and Android app stores.
Raymond LeFebvre, CIO
BSU mobile app ranks among top rated in higher education
BSU’s Mobile Strategy
- Focus on students needs
- Collaborate closely with Student Affairs
- Make iterative improvements
BSU’s IT Requirements
- SIS, LMS and email integration
- Easy to update, manage and expand without development expertise
- Apple and Android native app
BSU’s Mobile Partner Requirements
- Ability to integrate with any back-end systems
- Flexibility and responsiveness to evolving needs
- Leader in student mobility for higher ed
Bridgewater State University (BSU), a public liberal arts college in Massachusetts with 11,500 students, enjoys a unique distinction in the world of mobility. The BSU Mobile app ranks among the highest rated college and university apps on the Apple and Android app stores.
BSU CIO Ray Lefebvre attributes the school’s campus mobile app success to four things: understanding the needs of students; close collaboration with Student Affairs; a flexible and scalable mobile app platform; and an iterative approach to improvement.
“Using a compressed development process, we completed our 1.0 app in just 8 weeks in 2013,” said Lefebvre. The team surveyed students and found that 70 percent of the features and functions they wanted could be delivered using out-of-the-box modules from DubLabs. Built around what Lefebvre calls a “pull information stream,” the 1.0 app averaged a 3.5 star rating with students.
After a year, the BSU team started exploring options for 2.0. “We looked on the app stores to see what students in our school and other schools were complaining about and then went back to our students to expand the wish list,” explains Lefebvre.
One request that surprised the team was to integrate student email into the app. Students indicated that they didn’t want to blend their school lives with their personal lives. BSU worked with the DubLabs team to integrate student email and upgraded from 9 to 21 mobile services in version 2.0. High utility services were included like Course Catalog, Connect Card for transactions, Password Reset, Laundry-View to check availability, Bookstore and many more. The launch was a big success, and ratings quickly jumped from 3.5 to 4 stars.
“One interesting new feature is Bus Tracker,” explains Lefebvre. “The Bridgewater Area Transit already had responsive web functionality. We just had to plug it in through the DubLabs web module, and voila! We also added an IT support tile that students can click to chat with the IT help desk.
Lefebvre reports that evolving the app has been quite easy. “We turn on features that are already built into the DubLabs platform and integrate existing capabilities that are responsive by design. We can plug these in with minimal effort.”