CIT releases mobile app to improve registration

The Computer and Information Technology department announced a new mobile app for students on Tuesday Sept. 5. The app is meant to help students navigate registration and access general information from the college. 

The app combines some of the same features found on Knightweb, MyGeneseo and the Geneseo website, according to Assistant Director and Manager of Information Systems Paul Jackson. Through the app, students can now access features including schedules, registration, billing, meal plan balances, library accounts, dining hall menus and events around campus on their phones. 

The Ellucian Company—which produces multiple web platforms for Geneseo—created the app and had previously proposed it to Geneseo, according to Jackson. Geneseo decided to utilize the app this year because Ellucian offered to provide the app only for the cost of maintenance. 

“We went the route of developing MyGeneseo so that it had a responsive design and we didn’t go the app route, but then they threw us a deal that we couldn’t really refuse,” Chief Information Officer and Director of CIT Sue Chichester said.

CIT ran a beta test in the spring with around 50 students before launching it to the whole campus, Jackson said. The team decided to introduce the mobile application to incoming freshmen during orientation week before students returned for the fall semester. 

Using Google Analytics, CIT has been able to estimate the number of app users, according to Jackson. After a major increase in users following the MyGeneseo announcement, Jackson estimated that over a thousand people have downloaded and accessed the app’s functions.

In the past, students have reported several inconveniences during the registration period when using different web functions. The application aims to hold a variety of different utilities that can be found online and to make them easily accessible from a smartphone. 

“The normal webpage is supposed to be mobile friendly, but requires a lot of moving and pinching,” Chichester said. “With the application, you can just type in something pretty easily or add classes to your schedule during registration.”

Going forward, Jackson hopes that students provide CIT with feedback about what they like and don’t like about the app. 

“I’m not sure how much students use apps on their phones now,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure that the app has functionalities that students want. If we make it too cluttered, then students won’t be able to find anything they need.” 

 Psychology major sophomore Eduniz Mendez believes that the mobile application is very helpful in terms of finding out what is happening on campus. 

“I feel like the app just facilitates using the website because it sends you straight to where you need to go,” she said.  “It’s easier to access classwork, the bus schedule, Geneseo sports information, the events calendar or registration without having to deal with the hassle of your computer possibly crashing.”