Many people know Studo primarily as an app for studying. For students in more than eight countries, it is their daily companion through lectures, exams, etc. But for universities, Studo is much more than that - it is the company and the people behind many digital solutions that support processes in administration, communication and teaching.
In this blog post, we want to introduce you to these digital solutions. We'll take you along on the journey of how the ideas for new development projects came about, who the creative minds behind individual solutions are and how we develop projects further together with our university partners.
#1 Our Workload Assessment – or: How it all began
In 2017, one year after the official launch of the Studo App, the Studo founders received a very special request from the Office of Quality and Knowledge Management at the Medical University of Graz: the university wanted to find out whether the ECTS credits of a course correspond to the actual workload. Oftentimes, it is not clear whether the time spent in lectures, studying for exams and writing papers actually takes up as much time as the ECTS points specify.
Therefore, they were looking for a digital way to measure the so-called "studyability". A suitable digital solution to the problem was soon to be found: Our development team led by CTO Valentin Slawicek integrated a "digital study diary" into the Studo App. With this Workload Assessment, the time spent on course attendance, independent study and writing papers etc. can be tracked. The university, in turn, can view all the data in anonymised form in various diagrams via a web tool. The first Studo development project was born.
Since 2017, the Medical University of Graz has been evaluating courses in human medicine using the Workload Assessment. The Graz University of Technology and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna also rely on this Studo tool.
#2 Sharing information via the Studo Newsroom
The next tool is in use at all our universities and is an integral part of the Studo portfolio: the Studo Newsroom. Our communication platform is named after the physical newsroom - the space where editors of newspapers and TV stations collect and share the latest information and stories.
The idea came up spontaneously in a meeting with one of our oldest partners: Modul University Vienna. They asked if it was possible to share information with students via the Studo App? In fact, this was already possible at the time – but only via a web interface for internal use. After short consideration, it was clear that an app like Studo could be the central communication channel for universities to reach students.
So our development team got to work and over the last three years developed a comprehensive tool that takes university communication to a whole new level:
With classic postings in the Studo app's newsfeed, universities can inform students about their services or share their latest stories. To draw more students to events, events can be added directly to the students' calendar. Between lectures, courses and the like, these unusual entries always stand out and ensure more reach. And should it be particularly urgent, important information can also be shared via push notification: This information then pops up on students' smartphones in a matter of seconds.
#3 Studo Survey: Surveying students has never been easier
Over the last few years, we have also noticed that the Studo App is the ideal channel for reaching students when it comes to surveys: short online surveys in particular generate a very high response rate, as students can participate quickly and easily via their smartphones. Driven by the idea of our developer Filippo Orru, we wanted to push surveys within the Studo App:
With Studo Survey, our latest development project, surveys are displayed directly in the Studo App's news feed. This makes it even easier to gather direct feedback from students. University staff can use our easy-to-use survey tool to compile the questions, distribute them among students and analyse them. The incredibly high response rates amaze us every time and show that students definitely want to get involved - via a low-threshold format that is fun to use.
#4 Our digital ID: Digital Student Card
Say hello to our current shooting star: the Digital Student Card. Initially, this tool was mainly a digital alternative to the card made of plastic. It has the look of an ID card and has cryptographic security elements such as the shimmering hologram. But by now our digital ID can do so much more:
Both students and university staff use the card to borrow books from the library, manage public transport tickets or even open doors. Like all Studo solutions, the Digital Student Card adapts to the needs of a university - so there are (almost) no limits to one's imagination.
#5 The Digital Attendance List: Our biggest project so far
Just like the Digital Student Card, the idea for this solution was born about two years ago: The Styrian University of Applied Sciences CAMPUS 02 has always strived to make its own campus as digital as possible. Instead of plastic IDs, they were the first ones to use our Digital Student Card, and instead of old-fashioned attendance lists with pen and paper, they also sought an innovative solution here. After many discussions between our development team and the university, this solution started to take shape: a digital attendance list that would allow students to check in to lectures both in person and online, and reduce the high administrative workload.
With this goal in mind, our developers got to work and created the infrastructure for the most comprehensive tool in Studo's history – a truly huge project. With the start of the academic year of 2021, the Digital Attendance List was ready to be used by students, teachers and administrative staff.
With the web tool, the university administration can easily manage courses and all related data on attendance rates. Teachers can record their students' attendance via a live QR code - both in face-to-face courses and in online courses. In addition, the Digital Attendance List provides an overview of attendance rates in real time. If students are sick or on leave, this information can also be easily organized via the Digital Attendance List.
Today, the "DAL", as we affectionately call it, is already in use at five universities in four countries. Shhh, and it is the basis for many new solutions that we will be sharing in the future.
#6 White Label: The Studo App in a new look
The Studo App in all the colors of the rainbow instead of our classic Studo red? Yes, that is also possible. Many universities have asked us whether the interface of the app could also be customized to their corporate design. After all, this would strengthen awareness of one's own university brand. Said and done: Since 2021, the Studo App has been available in any university design on request, including logo and customized image elements.
#7 Psychological Online Counseling: Mental Health Chat
Those who have known us for a while know how much social and societal issues matter to the whole Studo team. The topic of mental health of students has been a major concern for us for many years. Even before the pandemic, it was clear to us that there is a need for action here. The crises since then have made all the challenges that students have to deal with on a daily basis even more acute. In order to better accompany them through difficult times, we launched the Mental Health Chat at the beginning of 2020 together with our partner Instahelp.
In the Mental Health Chat, students – and university staff – have the opportunity to receive counseling from certified online psychologists. Our low-threshold and anonymous counseling is available within a very short time via phone call, video call or chat.
New development projects: What we are currently working on
We are constantly in contact with universities and students and thus receive new ideas for functions and development projects. With so many inputs, it is of course not so easy to prioritize where to start developing. We have explained in more detail in this article how we decide which features to develop.
Some new projects are already in process and we are looking forward to telling you more about them soon. But we can already reveal this much: In the future, it will be much easier to target students by field of study. And: Our dream of a mobile evaluation is slowly taking shape.
You can read more about it soon here on our blog and on LinkedIn. We are looking forward to it!
All the best
Your Studo Team