Photo by SOU
With the spread of COVID-19, colleges around the country have started classes online, SOU among them. One of the features SOU is using for this transition from classroom to online is the app, Navigate. According to InsideSOU, “with the Navigate Student app you will receive important reminders concerning university dates, forming study groups, viewing your class schedule and connecting with your advisor or professors.” The app offers a variety of services to help students with anything they may be needing for the remainder of spring term.
Originally designed for freshman, the app is now available for all students. While some freshmen are neutral about Navigate, others say a few of the features could improve. Alex Daystar, a freshman, said “Navigate is confusing, but I don’t mind using it. I think as a concept it’s really cool and could be really beneficial. In practice it just doesn’t hold up though. The app is not user friendly and [the] desktop version isn’t convenient.”
When asked about the new app, Britney Sharpe, Student Body President of the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University (ASSOU) said, “I know the school has been advertising it a lot…[and] there’s a thing called Study Buddies [where] you can get in study groups with all your classes. I have yet to do that because a lot of upperclassmen don’t know about [the app] yet so they’re kinda empty…but that’s a really good way to jump into your class and talk to someone [and] still feel connected.”
One of Navigate’s features is a calendar that holds your schedule and keeps track of appointments with professors and advisors throughout the term.
Luke Williams, Coordinator of Program Development, shared that SOU and the Education Advisory Board are improving the number of times the system crashes. He also said that one of the reasons that students are not as familiar with the app is that this year was supposed to be a pilot year for it to be tested. “We were really only pushing the app to first-time students, with the plan of assessing first-time student usage so we could make sure it would be perfect for the entire campus come Fall 2020,” he said. “I believe I can speak for the entire Navigate Team when I say that we believe in continuous improvement…we’re really working all the time to improve the app and user experience.”
Williams said that SOU will continue to explore usage of the app, and welcomes anyone with additional questions or comments to go to the Enrollment Services page on InsideSOU or email firstname.lastname@example.org.