New ARCC App Has Arrived… Kind Of

ARCC rolls out new app with missing pieces.

By Jesse Mishler, Staff Writer

Overview of the current state of the app

Clubs contain a roster that can include club members but does not notify the advisor on who joins.

For some time, Anoka-Ramsey has had an app planned for social media

features, ease of access with D2L and e-services, student life events, and much more and the app has finally been released… somewhat.

Clubs contain a home area but do not contain anything else at the moment. They do nothing else at all.

The app is intended to be a “one stop shop” for all ARCC student needs. With the app, you can sign into D2L and display your courses on the front page, have links to most ARCC resources, join clubs, events, and more.

Currently, the app provides a framework to login to D2L and Eservices, join clubs, and have access to student resources. However, with the current beta (“work in progress”) state of the app, most of the features are incomplete or do not work. Schedules and classes do not display on the front page correctly, the clubs page only allows you join a club, but nothing happens after that, and no events are listed.

Lack of social media and community features

Clubs contain contact information about the club meeting time, the advisor contact, and the website page but does nothing to link to the club itself.

Currently, the app has several community features like clubs and events. However, most of these features are lacking in functionality or clear structure.

The QR code scanner is functional, but is unclear on what to scan.

For example, on both campuses there are several clubs you can join, but when you join them, you cannot click on anything nor interact with anyone or anything in the club. It displays who is in the club, the contact info for the club, and a description, but does not notify club advisors when a new student joins.

The ARCC Office of Information Technology explained that there are plans for more community features but those are still being conceptualized. In the future, there are social media features planned that will allow students to send messages and further interact within the college community.

Bugs in the app

  • There are two eServices and two D2L sections.
  • Even if you try to change the semester setting, it defaults to showing fall semester for your course schedule listing.
  • While opening eServices, the eServices page itself crashes often.
  • Personal observation: Despite not being signed into D2L nor eServices, it displayed a networking fundamentals course, which is a course I never signed up for. No other courses were displayed until I logged in.
  • There is a QR code scanner, but it does not specify what the QR code is for. The Office for Information Technology said that it will be used for events in the future.
The app itself is functional, but there are a number of bugs and missing features that make it almost unusable.

Who is this app intended for?

The Office of Information Technology said, “The app is intended for current students.” With the app containing a wide variety of features like D2L, clubs, and student resources, “it’s intended for easy access for all students and is a one stop.” The app is intended to get many future updates for crashes, planned community features, and overall stability of the app. “We’re hoping to get updates in that can make the app function as a great community tool… One of the main goals of the app is for better community engagement.”

Positives of the app

  • Once you are signed into D2L and eServices, you stay signed in. It is very convenient to have a space where you can stay signed into all those features.
  • When the schedule feature is functional, it is going to be a good reminder of what times your classes are.
  • You can add due dates like a normal calendar.
  • This has good potential and use for new and incoming students.

Recommendations

Currently, the app is pretty empty. If the app contains a lot of ARCC student resources, it would be helpful to post things like scholarship opportunities, stipend opportunities and other limited time resources for students. This could be like the types of things that you would see on posters on campus.

This app does have potential, but it simply is not finished yet and it should be stated that the app is in beta (or at least not in a widely usable state).