x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

New mobile phone apps for university students

A new mobile phone application will allow students to check their grades, register for classes and even contribute to classroom discussions on their phones


Students at Abu Dhabi University will soon be able to register for courses, check their grades, and contribute to classroom discussions on their mobile phones.

The university launched its pilot of an application called Blackboard Mobile this week. As many as 75 students will participate in the trial before it is rolled out to all regional universities in September. Officials say the experiment will determine how the smart-phone application might improve classroom involvement and grades.

Half of the students in selected courses will be given access to the application, the university announced today. University officials will compare their classroom progress with the other half through surveys and interviews.

Etisalat is providing the data packages for the pilot at no cost, and will work out discounted subscriptions for faculty members and students after the official launch, said Abdulla Hashim, president of business solutions for the telecom operator.

After the pilot, university officials will decide whether to make the application mandatory for completing assignments or communicating with teachers and classmates, said Rick Van Sant, director of faculty development for the university.

Abu Dhabi University is the first in the GCC to use the mobile application. Officials from Zayed University, UAE University and the American University of Sharjah have expressed an interest in using the product, and will monitor the results of the trial, Mr Van Sant said.