UPDATE: This article was updated on Thursday Sept. 7 at 1:45 p.m. to include the comment from Sepideh Nia of IT Administration.
Cal State Fullerton’s very own mobile application, iFullerton is a multi-purpose resource tool that students can access from the palm of their hand.
“My favorite feature (of the iFullerton app) would definitely be the parking,” said business major, Shannon McKercher. “I think that it’s super helpful, especially when you’re in a hurry trying to get to class.”
Among the many features iFullerton offers, the parking feature has proven to be the most popular with over 800,000 views in the month of August alone. This specific function allows students to view the number of parking spaces available at each structure in real time. There are sensors that detect anytime a car leaves the area and automatically sends information to the app.
Titan Mobile (Titan Online) and TITANium are also popular features, which provide students access to their portal dashboard, classes and email by simply clicking on the icon they want.
“I really like how I can check my grades so easily,” said kinesiology major Jenny-Leigh Rankin. “Using the browser, you have to sign in everytime and it’s annoying but with the app, I just click on it and it takes me right to it.”
Other useful features include the campus map and the newest addition, iTuffy, a chatbot that answers CSUF students’ basic campus questions. Vice President for Information Technology, Amir Dabirian, said they are working on enhancing the iTuffy functions in terms of accuracy and personalization.
Some professors have started using the iBeacon feature that allows students to log their attendance in class simply by opening the app and shaking their phone. So far, 172 class sections have implemented this feature.
Although the function can be useful, especially for large lecture classes, it is not without its faults.
“I think the iBeacon is a cool idea, but it could not always be accurate and in some ways, like with problems with taking attendance, there could be always glitches in technology,” said cinema and television arts major Cree Andrews. “What if a student can’t afford a smartphone to use for the app? That puts them in a position that could be embarrassing or demeaning.”
The Student Genius Corner located in the Pollak Library has loaner smartphones, tablets and computers for students to check out if needed, said Sepideh Nia of IT Administration in an email to the Daily Titan.
iFullerton was developed on campus by the IT department and launched in 2010. CSUF was one of the first universities to create an app designed entirely for educational purposes. It has been downloaded more than 19,000 times by Apple and Android users.
“We decided we needed an app for students. The smartphones were getting popular. The original flip phone has gone away and we started having smartphones on campus,” Dabirian said. “We decided that students are now going to be checking their email and using it for text messaging, and this can be something like a small laptop they can use.”
The IT department is constantly making improvements to the app and adding any resources they deem necessary. Next on their agenda is an athletics feature, allowing students to listen to broadcasts of sporting events and check game schedules, Dabirian said.
“We are always looking at what new tools a student needs in order to improve their learning while they’re on campus,” Dabirian said. “We are really here to serve the students the best we can. I’m very excited to help the students, and we know technology plays a huge role in the learning process.”