To begin my inquiry I reached out to David Reindhart, VP of Communications and Marketing and Amanda Michelle, Director for Student Activities to see if they could help guide me through this process.
In response to my email, Amanda and David suggested I discuss my inquiry with Aaron Smith, Midd’s Director of Digital, who would know more about the status of the App from a technical development perspective and user experience perspective.
Amanda also shared that the way the App has been used in the past is to put the Orientation Schedule onto it because the web version we used to have did not allow looking at the schedule on a phone. Now that we have transitioned to Drupal 8 there is no longer a need for the mobile App, because the website is viewable from a phone.
Lastly, Amanda shared with me that her office has been working with Presence over the last year, which has given us an app called MiddSpark that lists all events registered on Presence.
After emailing with David and Amanda I came up with some next steps.
- Create ideas that can be added to the App to support the student body
- Create a survey to determine which ideas are liked more by students and why
- Begin a conversation with Aaron Smith about App Development and the Middlebury App
After coming up with seven ideas for features that would be useful to have on a Mobile App and creating a survey that would inform me of which ideas were liked best by students and why, I had a conversation with Masud Lewis, my Lead Intern, about the status of my Inquiry. I had not yet reached out to Aaron which was my next step, but Masud made an excellent point to me that although all my ideas would be useful, that does not necessarily mean they are a “need” for the student body or that implementing them is worth while. So, Masud suggested before I reach out to Aaron that I do some research on my ideas and see if I could gather evidence that having these features on an app is worth it for the school.
Originally, my plan for my Inquiry was to come up with new ideas and to begin working on prototyping them, but after talking with Masud and completing my research, my goals for the end of my Inquiry changed.
- Display all research onto this website
- Collect and analyze survey results from other DLINQ Interns and my peers
- Begin a conversation with Aaron about discussing my ideas in the fall and potentially working on implementing them then as well
It is now the end of summer and my work on this personal inquiry is over. I was able to accomplish my final goals and collect research and insight on my ideas for improvements to the Middlebury College Mobile App. I reached out to Aaron Smith to begin a conversation with him but he has not yet responded so that part of my inquiry may continue during the fall semester. Overall, completing this personal inquiry was a great learning experience and taught me that things do not always go as planned so you need to be flexible. I hope that the work I did this summer does not go to waste and that at some point the school will have the time to implement some of the ideas I looked into.