Designing SFU Mobile is a full-time cohort program, first offered during the Summer 2012 semester as part of the
Simon Fraser University Surrey - Semester in Innovation series.

Mobile application / platform for "mobile learning"

After bringing in a series of thought leaders to discuss topics on innovation and learning, we were left with a month and a half to produce a functioning application that revolved around the concept of "mobile learning".

Our initial process started with conducting user surveys and research in the area of mobility. In addition to this, we also conducted a small participatory workshop with a group of participants from varying backgrounds. This was done to ensure that we are able to gather perspectives from all possible stakeholders involved.

In our results, we've indicated that our participants were connected to the internet on a daily basis. The most popular devices used were mobile phones and laptops, with the desktop having only half the amount of selections.

When asked what were important resources for day-to-day activities when working on school related material, the most popular selections were Google, YouTube, or Facebook/Twitter. This could be attributed to the blending between social and academics that these platforms offer to its users.

With keeping in mind all the data, we developed an initial persona for whom we would be designing for. It was from here on that we split into individual groups to pursue the varying ideas that branched off from our results. Our ending group consisted of 3 designers, 3 developers, and 2 business students.






For our idea, we came up with "SFU Engage" -- an accessible mobile reading environment for students and instructors to share academic resources. This is in support of developing a social community that connects the discovery, and exposure of information.

The focus of this responsive web-application is to provide an organized platform for discussion and interactions based on the knowledge of peers within the courses you are enrolled in, and also the instructors.






From further research that we conducted, we found that there is no current mobile offering for course content at SFU, and certainly not in respect to ease the process of reading course material. As courses are offering more of its resources on a digital format, we saw this as an opportunity to address a growing need.

Another value we see being addressed by our platform is the ability to connect course content to relevant real world information/examples. Students are often sharing this type of related content through other means such as Facebook or Twitter, but more value can be obtained if shared among those in the related courses. This is also an opportunity for instructors to show students the connection in what they are studying within a real world context.




© Copyright 2015  |  Norman Tam