Students will no longer be able to blame their missing homework assignments on a lack of computer access.

The University’s Information and Technology Services and a student programming team have developed a Mobile CTools application to give students on the go access to academic resources . The app, designed for Android and iOS devices, will be launched in the next few months after ITS finishes producing the design prototype.

After receiving a design prototype of Mobile CTools from MSuite Student Collaborative — a team of computer science and University computer engineering students — ITS began to incorporate the app into the forthcoming Michigan app, which will include information about bus routes, menus for campus dining facilities and course listings.

Rackham student Apoorva Bansal helped develop the app with the MSuite Student Collaborative. Bansal said the students were motivated to design Mobile CTools because of the popularity of smart phones, and the team wanted to create the app so students could use CTools quickly and easily without computer access.

Bansal and his team also streamlined the program by only including the most pertinent CTools features for students such as the resources, announcements and assignment menus and MPrint. Bansal said the decision to streamline the functions Mobile CTools offers will increase efficiency and speed, when accessing menus.

“Let’s say you wanted to access a resource. (Using the mobile app), it would probably take you half a minute or a minute, as opposed to spending two minutes trying to hack away, trying to get your password (on a regular mobile browser),” Bansal said.

The next step is a “dashboard” function for the app that allows students to view recent activity including professors’ postings and a calendar of upcoming assignments and quizzes, according to John Johnston, a senior business systems analyst for the teaching and learning group at ITS.

The ITS team did a trial run of the mobile app at the Michigan Union on Friday and received positive feedback, Johnston said.

“We got a very good response back,” Johnston said. “Some students said it was easier to use than the standard view of CTools.”

When it is released, students can access the app by downloading the Michigan app from an Android or Apple market.

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