The University of Mumbai’s (MU) Institute of Distance Learning (IDOL) has launched a mobile application for its 77,000 students.
The app, named ‘YOOVA’ , will keep the students updated about admission, examination and results. It will make study material available to students on their mobile phones, and will also facilitate interaction between students and IDOL staff. The app was inaugurated on Tuesday at IDOL’s degree distribution ceremony.
According to Vinod Malale, in-charge of public relations at IDOL, the app will benefit thousands of students who often throng to MU’s Kalina campus for enquiries and are uncertain about their examination and results. The app is available for download on smartphones, and will be fully functional within a month, he said.
IDOL has already made some forays in the digital arena by providing video lectures of BCom, and putting in place a learning management system (LMS). However, the institute’s plans to start massive open online courses (MOOCs) have met with resistance by the University Grants Commission (UGC), which currently doesn’t recognise online courses.
The IDOL app was developed by Yoova Edutech Pvt. Ltd., an educational start-up based in the city. Malale said that in the first phase, the IDOL app will only be available to its students. “Depending on its success, we will open up the application to other students as well,” he said.
Akshay Shah, director of the start-up, said that the app can push customised notifications to keep students abreast of latest developments at IDOL, so that they don’t have to keep checking the university website for results and other updates. MU is often criticised for delaying the results, keeping the students on tenterhooks.
“The app comes with other features such as like, share and comment on notices, to make it more engaging for the students,” said Shah.
On Tuesday, IDOL also inaugurated a counselling centre on its premises to provide psychological counselling to the students.
It’s new initiatives notwithstanding, IDOL has often been criticised for a delay in providing physical study material to students. Many have also objected to the below-par quality of the material.