Further Evolving the University Campus Experience Banner
01 May 2014

Over the previous 10 months we have been working with Teesside University to provide the skignz technology platform for the benefit of students, staff and visitors alike.Due to the success of the platform, TU have been working with skignz since Freshers t

Further Evolving the University Campus Experience

Over the previous 10 months we have been working with Teesside University to provide the skignz technology platform for the benefit of students, staff and visitors alike.
Due to the success of the platform, TU have been working with skignz since Freshers to find ways to build on the foundation that was in place. The focus was to find ways in which to maximise the potential of the skignz platform in as many areas of the University and its operations as possible.

Freshers Welcome Week
This proved to be quite a daunting task as it soon became apparent that skignz could actually benefit so many different areas of the University that it was agreed that focussing on a few key areas would be key to the ongoing success of skignz, whilst also allowing a period of educating the varying audiences for each key development.
We have covered various aspects of our progress with TU on previous blog posts, the opinions of the students, how it has helped them and improved their overall student experience. 

However not just at Teesside it has enhanced their experience in general of the town and now the can adventure to where they wish knowing they will be provided with skignz on all their exploring activities.

Freshers @ Teesside University SU

Now talking about exploring... 

We are focusing our main activities for launch at fresher’s week in September as there will be an influx of new students attending Teesside University, resulting in a increase in students and parent's wandering around an unfamiliar campus and the surrounding Middlesbrough Town Centre.

We have three key focus areas that we are currently developing. 

Key Focus One:- Open Day Introduction

In June Teesside University has one of their main open days for prospective/future students to attend and see if they would like to start their career at TU and if this is the right place for them. As this can be the first impression any prospective scholar has of TU, its essential that its not only the right impression but a lasting one.
Middlesbrough Central Library
 The prospective students will visit a number of campuses before making their final decision and even when their choice is made, results from their current academic institute may not allow them their first choice, second choice or even third in some cases. 

So being memorable for all the right reasons is vital!

skignz have been looking at what we can do to enhance the open day experience to further increase the chances that the impression created will help those to choose to come to TU.

When prospective students attend the open day there will be a skignz treasure hunt for them to take part in. This is to help them find their way around campus and get to see where everything is located and just what is available.

During this specific Treasure Hunt, prospective students will have focussed relevant content such as visit a shops, parks, bars, restaurants, museums, library, art gallery, halls of residence, cinema, live venues, even the estate agents should they not be successful in getting a place in Halls. 
Shopping on Linthorpe Road
It is essential to the decision making process that visitors to campus, don't only see what is on campus but also what the surrounding area is like and what it has to offer. 

This way the prospective students are not just going to a random area where they don’t have a clue where everything is, as that can be a very daunting experience! Going to University, especially away from home, is already daunting enough!
Key Focus Two:- Induction & Orientation
Now that the decision has been made and applications have been accepted, September soon comes around and students arrive on the University Campus ready for the next stage of their lives. Being in an unfamiliar place, with new people has its own challenges so if there is a way to reduce the stress, even a little less, will go a long way towards helping, speed up the settling in period and allow enjoyment to replace anxiety.

Simple support such as helping the new students navigate around campus and surround area in a safe yet simple way. Help them understand where all of the practical places they will need during their stay, such as doctors /dentist surgeries, supermarkets, banks, hair dressers/barbers, even cashpoints and the huge range of student support services available.

All of this is available through using the skignz technology and the app on their smartphone by placing 'virtual signs in the sky' above each of these locations so that new students will know where they are? If they do decide to come to Teesside (as it is a great place to study and live) then they will want to get their bearings and know where the important places are as soon as possible. 

TS One, Southfield Road
Cineworld, Middlesbrough
The new students can then find out where each one of these places are and then make their own decisions as to where they want to go. A huge benefit of skignz is this information is there ALL year round so its available as and when its required, regardless of location!

This Treasure Hunt will also have a physical aspect to it, in as much as, each location will provide you with a 'order to fulfil' this could be picking up a menu at a restaurant or getting the latest film leaflet from the cinema. 

Its not initially apparent but once the Treasure Hunt is completed each participant will have their own personalised 'Welcome Pack' relevant to them.

Key Focus Three:- Visiting Parents, Guardians, Family & Friends

As the two other key focus areas are student related, we felt that other key audiences visiting the University Campuses should not be ignored so we decided to look at ways to help other visitor groups. One particular group is the parents, guardians and families who also visit the campus for the open days and interview days.

The World Famous Transporter Bridge
As part of choosing a University to study at, prospective students consult not only their peers but a lot of influence is carried by the families especially parents and guardians. It is essential that parents/guardians know what the area is like too, where their loved ones are staying and familiarise themselves with it. 

In most cases the experience of 'losing a child' to University life is a proud moment it is also a very difficult one for the parents as their baby (in their eyes they still are) is off to a new place with unfamiliar surroundings, different people, environments and experiences.
One Life Medical Centre
Once a parent waves off their child to University, they will still be keen to know where they are going, where they are staying and what the area is like. 

Using skignz, parents can also download the app so they can access different content that is relevant to what they would like to know about the area. What is important for parents about this prospective University is not necessarily the same as what the students are looking to find out or what is important to each!

This approach not only allows the parents/guardians to get a feel of what the area is like but also understand where things are. This helps once their young fresher is at University and they speak on the phone, when they explain where they are, parents/guardians on the other end of the phone have a mental picture of where they are, what it looks like! This might not sound important, but to a parent this helps ease the nerves as it puts them at ease being able to envisage the place!

In addition when it comes to visiting them, picking them up at the end of term etc... finding the way to their accommodation and knowing where to meet them is easier. Going one step further using the 'personal' aspect of skignz individuals can place their own skignz for free so anyone visiting them are able to see the skignz either above their housing or above themselves. 

Now people may think that these young people may not want you to use this, but it doesn’t have to be used as a tool to keep an eye on them at all times. That is not the case, its simply their to provide a visual identification for both parties to locate each other! The beauty of skignz is its very viral, so its not just restricted to University Campuses and their surrounding towns. 

Once Parents and Guardians have skignz on their smartphones then they can use it back home, on holiday, at work, with friends, pretty much anywhere on the planet they find themselves, anytime they want. Its excellent for use on your travels, for when you go places and even for general use such as when you need to locate a certain area, pre plan it before you go using skignz!
Further areas in which we are making skignz become seamless and ingrained in student life is that by September 2014 every member of staff, student and associate who have a Teesside University email address will automatically be pre-registered with a skignz account and loaded up with specific skignz templates personalised to them. 
skignz is simple, fun all from a App!

Each type of skignzfor each person will be associated a certain colour to show the differentiate between students, staff and associates. 

For example: Students could have an orange outline, staff could be red and associates will have a purple trim. 

This will be so that each person is distinctive and it will be easier to associate who each person is with their different coloured trims. 
This can be defined each further to show which school of study they belong to?

In order to support the students with the actual downloading, use, account and other functionality we are developing a fun and interesting 'demo video' taking the user through a little journey, showcasing the features, benefits, the why and the how they can get the most from using skignz

We feel the sooner the users get to grips with skignz and how it helps them on campus they will begin to explore for themselves what else skignz can do, how it can help them in other areas of their lives and even invent new ways in which skignz can 
improve their lives!

TFM SoundWorks, Live Music & Events
As skignz is evolving with Teesside University, we are working together to provide the most up to date resource on 'everything skignz'.  

We aim to provide a central resource allowing anyone wanting to know further information on skignz, How to use it? what can it do? FAQ's, Help Videos, New and upcoming developments through to technical support function. 

The use of skignz at TU already has a lot of good stories, interesting content, ideas, information and updates on both skignz and TU's varying social media channels.
We want people to have fun and enjoy using skignz and we look forward to meeting all the new students and parents/guardians, family and friends in June and September for the open/interview days and ultimately the induction & orientation days, which start during freshers.

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