How Universities Can Use Location-Based Services to Transform the Campus Experience

- 1st Mar 2017

A shot of an Asian student texting on the phone

Geo-location technology and services have been making steady inroads across different industries such as retail, malls, hospitality, airports, and stadiums. With such a far-reaching impact in an increasingly mobile usage environment, there is a growing expectation from location-based services to take on the challenges of learning and development in the field of education to enrich the campus and student life. Location-based services powered by proximity technology are going to revolutionize and make our learning institutions adept for the digital age and millennial students.

Mobile technology along with the internet has brought in an era of physical contextualized learning. The application of location-based services is expected to enhance students’ critical thinking and boost experiential learning with personalization, streamlining educational and campus activities, building relationships within the community and engaging students.

Easy Campus Navigation

Campus tours play a decisive role when it comes to students choosing their college. It is necessary that educational institutions cast a great first impression. Location based services like GPS, Pathfinder ensures that new visitors and students move around the campus easily and effortlessly with the help of maps and pointers. Moving from the library to the cafeteria on the other side of the campus can happen without any hesitation of getting lost. Another advantage to location-based services is push messaging. Push notifications make a first timer’s visit easy and informative with interesting anecdotes sent across their mobile devices as they move around a large and confusing campus. Be it a landmark, an insight into a nearby building or frequently asked questions about safety, timings, etc. students and parents have easy access to all of it through their mobile devices. Proximity powered campuses make visitors easily familiar with the campus culture and surroundings.

Improved Campus Safety

Besides the ease of navigation, proximity technology has a great impact on campus security. The campus administration can establish new standards in security by understanding the flow of students and staff throughout the day. With location-based services, the administration can optimize flow through campus design, granting building access to students, or tracking student’s location.

Enhanced and Engaging Student Experiences

With the help of location-based services, institutions can create personalized campus orientation tours for students with campus information and insights. Keep the students posted on important announcements, dates, meetings, etc. through push notifications. The students can get their personalized educational content, meeting agendas, and meeting materials delivered electronically to them in the classroom. Create engaging experiences by granting easy access to events, buildings, library, etc. Students can be easily informed of any promotions around the campus or discounts in the bookstore. They can also be given electronic coupons on discounts for food and drinks in the café and food courts. Proximity technology enhances student life by keeping them posted on sporting events, guest lectures, and campus events.

Enrich Campus Culture and Develop Community Connections

College events whether it is a graduation, sports event or cultural fest tend to be an extravagant affair attracting huge crowds of prospective students, current students, alumni staffs, etc. Educational institutions can leverage unique features of location-based technologies such as automatic check-ins, push notifications on critical information such as seat information, logistics, routes, and easy navigation to organize a successful event. Timely and contextualized messaging delivers convenience and enhanced connectivity to the visitors thus making it a great experience. This enriches campus culture and strengthens the relationship between the college and students.

Education in modern times is no longer confined to classrooms and teachers. It has become more dynamic and pervasive. Digitization has made the world a smaller place; shrinking distances and broadening the reach and impact of education and learning across the globe.

Wi-Fi, mobile, and location-based technologies, in particular, have broken barriers in the field of education, taking learning beyond the realms of books into real life scenarios, by encouraging contextual and experiential learning. Tools such as online courses, video conferencing, and app-enabled learning have given a new dimension to education unshackling learning from the constraints of geography and time to making it flexible and readily available as per student’s convenience. Digitization has made education interesting, easy, and on the go.

Technology has also impacted the management and operation of educational institutions in a big way. Proximity technologies like Wi-Fi, GPS, and location-based mobile engagement provide critical insights into improving the current administration and campus activities through planning campus infrastructure, managing the flow of people within campus, security, granting access within campus, organizing an event, gauging the popularity of an event, mapping the trend in a library or classroom and much more.

According to the Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey 2015, 86% of college students regularly use a smartphone. This trend is an opportunity for educational institutions to leverage location-based technologies to make their campuses well connected, easy to navigate and access relevant information for the visitors. This initiates an interactive and engaging relationship between the college and prospective students from the beginning to have a higher chance of long-term bonding. Request a demo to know how location-based technology can transform education into an enriched learning experience.