Following on from our announcement in March 2019 that the Ara Institute of Canterbury had chosen to implement the myday solution, we checked in with their Marketing Manager, Tim Kerr to find out how the platform was engaging students.
Since going live in January 2019 to its 15,000 students, the Institute have continued to put learners at the centre of both the user experience and future developments of their platform – MyAra.
The platform was implemented as the solution to an outdated public facing and internal website with information spread and even duplicated across many different places. There was also a shared vision and drive, led by Chief Executive of the Institute, Tony Gray to enhance the student experience.
Throughout the development and deployment process, students were at the centre of consultations and their ideas and feedback helped shape and continue to drive future plans with MyAra. During development, students were consulted during the testing process to help clarify the team’s thinking and focus their development.
Subsequently, after go-live, users were surveyed to find out exactly how they interacted with the platform and this feedback helped simplify processes and make the platform more intuitive. For example, the most-used tiles on MyAra have been rearranged to make frequently used systems such as Email, Moodle (the Virtual Learning Environment or VLE), Timetable and Student Results more prominent and easier to access, which has generated further positive feedback from users.
The Institute’s Student Voice Team are also heavily involved in the ongoing MyAra development consultation and are advocates for the students. Their input has produced a whole list of ideas for Tim and MyAra’s Digital Developer Loren to look through, prioritise and implement, ensuring that MyAra continues to completely align with user’s needs.
Engaging with the whole student demographic has always been important to the Institute. Many students are returning to education after time in work; wanting to upskill or change career, or study whilst working and other commitments. MyAra is for everyone, and is accommodating for all learners, helping support students on their lifelong learning journey. Some of the current cohort are exploring studying on the next level of their course and further upskilling themselves. In response to the needs of their student body, a live chat option with some automation is being explored so students could be signposted to information they are looking for 24/7.
Day to day, Tim is pleased to tell us that “MyAra runs really well” and that “the banner app feature has been particularly well-utilised to promote events and initiatives or raise awareness.”
For instance, the Covid-19 banner content shared via MyAra was the second highest in terms of impressions, after their Wellbeing Check-In and the Covid-19 banner had five times a greater number of clicks than the second highest performing banner during the first eight months of 2020.
Asked what would make the myday platform attractive to other universities, Tim suggested that it was “the user interface and the ease and unification of communication from staff to students and that it offers a truly user centred experience.” With average sessions numbering over 4,000 per day MyAra is clearly a big part of student’s academic days. The Institute’s MyAra supports their vision of a completely student centric experience and continues to be fundamental to student engagement.
Would you like to learn more about how myday can help engage your students?