Nov. 27, 2017
Top 10 ways college campuses utilize interactive kiosks

Students find kiosks helpful for campus wayfinding. Photo courtesy of Advanced Kiosks.

Margo Bowie serves as marketing manager at Advanced Kiosks.

By Margo Bowie

College campuses are centers for growth and innovation, and technology plays in important role in maintaining that status. Students, as well as faculty, expect their schools to keep up with new and emerging technologies to remain cutting edge institutions. 

Following are the top 10 kiosk needs of colleges, based on the needs they cite when seeking the services of kiosk providers.

1. Printing kiosks

Printing kiosks act as printing stations for students. These printing stations are not only utilized for printing school work for classes; they are also placed in strategic locations for printing important documents such as financial aid forms, registration documents, emails, research papers and more. If there is a need for printing that is not tied down to a computer lab, an interactive kiosk will fulfill that need.

2. Building directories

Depending on the college, buildings can be two floors and easy to navigate, or they can be 20 floors with different departments on each floor. The building layouts can also be confusing for those visiting for the first time, or for persons who only stop by occasionally and forget how to navigate. There may also be security in place that requires visitors to notify a department of their arrival.

It is much faster and easier to have an outdoor kiosk where a visitor can touch the screen to call the building to check in for their appointment as well as print a parking pass for their car. 

Visitors can also use the kiosk to locate a department and print a badge if required. 

3. Campus wayfinding and navigation

While buildings can be confusing, college campuses as a whole can be intimidating to navigate for first time visitors. Gone are the days of the paper map handed to freshmen during orientation, as today's students are digitally connected and have an expectation that self-service technology will help them navigate.

By installing outdoor kiosks at key navigation points throughout campus, students and visitors can use self-service technology to guide them to their destinations.

4. Display important information

Classes can be cancelled or rescheduled, an event may be coming to the college campus, or a safety alert may need to be updated as new information becomes known. These are among many reasons why college campuses are investing in kiosks in order to display important information.

Students may change their phone numbers and not update them, and not everyone checks their email regularly for receiving announcements from the school. This is why campuses are turning to kiosks to provide students with timely information.

Interactive kiosks offer event calendar software.

5. College event calendars

Both large university campuses that want to promote their events to everyone, as well as specific college campuses (performing arts, engineering, law, architecture, etc.) that have their own specific events, can benefit from an easy-to-use event calendar software.

Instead of having someone submit an event through a slip of paper to be input online, it is easier to have events submitted through an online form where calendar administrators can then approve or deny the event with one click.

Event calendar software is available that incorporates this functionality and offers a version of the calendar for interactive kiosks and desktop computers, and also provides a mobile version for smart phones and tablets. 

6. Queuing for student services

College campuses have their fair share of busy administrative offices, such as financial aid offices, walk-in advising or career services, as well as registrars' offices. It can be challenging to keep student wait times low, especially if the school only has speculative data on when busy times are or how long appointments generally take for different needs.

By implementing a queue software service, its is possible to measure key pieces of data that keep the team's productivity up and address all student concerns within an appropriate amount of time. Queue software also assures students how long their anticipated wait time is and allows them to monitor their wait time on their smart phones or tablets.

If it's a beautiful day, why spend time waiting inside when you can monitor your wait from the quad in the sunshine? 

7. Checking in to appointments

Similar to queuing and monitoring wait times, being able to check into an appointment at student health services or in a greater community capacity is an important self-service functionality that college campuses have been implementing. By automating the check-in process, the school can save on additional overhead salary costs by assisting the front desk staff through automating certain tasks.

By offering a self-service check-in procedure, the school also can monitor who was in the facility, for how long, who they were there to see, and why they were there in the first place. This is an important security benefit.

8. Displaying nutritional information

Students now have greater access to nutritional information than ever before, and they expect to know the nutritional content of their food. By displaying nutritional information, the school can empower students to make smarter food choices. The school can also highlight special menu items, dining hall hours, and most importantly, identify ingredients for those with food allergies or sensitivities.

Kiosks provide information on the college's history and alumni accomplishments.

9. Hall of fame and alumni presentations

Interactive hall of fame presentations can enhance a sense of community on a college campus. Interactive kiosks can present the history of hall of fame members. Videos, audio clips, photography, statistical information, and anything else can be added to showcase the accomplishments of hall of fame members and alumni donors. 

10. Recruitment through email acquisition

Prospective students visiting the campus can engage with kiosks that encourage them to submit their email addresses for updates about what is happening on campus. Strategically placed kiosks can help prospective students and parents to stay in the loop about important applicant information, such as financial aid dates or application deadlines, exciting programs that the college offers, or notable alumni and what they have accomplished.

In addition to these top 10 uses, there are additional benefits on the administrative end. Interactive kiosks will provide the school with useful reporting and data.

For example, it is possible to collect data on how many people are using the student services kiosks, what the busy times of day tend to be for the kiosks, how much traffic the kiosks' locations on campus receive, and what information visitors are finding of value by their interaction with the kiosks. The school can test different interfaces and make changes from any location with a cloud-based solution.

College campuses have come a long way from the days of tacking a promotional flyer on a bulletin board, standing in long lines to register for classes in the blazing heat or freezing cold, and getting lost while trying to navigate through large campuses and confusing buildings. 

(Photos courtesy of Advanced Kiosks.)
 


Topics: Commentary, Customer Experience, Interactive / Touchscreen, Kiosk Printers, Manufacturers, Outdoor Kiosks, Wayfinding / Information

Companies: Advanced Kiosks


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