Tapping into student initiative

Tapping into student initiative

September 23, 2015


A new iPhone app developed by Queen’s University students is aimed at helping new arrivals find their way around campus.

[Q Tap]
Designed by a pair of Queen's engineering students, QTap is an iPhone app aimed at helping first-year students get around campus.

Initially developed as a class assignment during their first-year studies, Rony Besprozvanny (Sc’18) and Zach Yale (Sc’18) have created QTap, an app designed to make getting around campus a little easier for first-year students.

QTap incorporates a user-friendly interface to display class schedules, operating hours for on-campus buildings, and helpful contact information phone numbers. Using Apple Maps, the app also includes a basic web view of directions between campus buildings.

“It is great to see this creativity and initiative from our students. This is a fantastic example of experiential learning, where real-world applications of technology are linked to the classroom,” says Bo Wandschneider, CIO and Associate Vice-Principal.

Building on previous relationships between Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Faculty of Engineering, Brian Frank (Electrical Engineering) approached ITS with the project. Over the summer, ITS supported the student-led initiative by funding the further development of the app so that it could be used by all Queen’s students.

“Our inspiration for QTap came from the fact that we wanted to create something that filled all the confusion and gaps that we experienced as first years in understanding our schedules and knowing where to go for our classes,” Mr. Besprozvanny said. “With this is mind I think we've designed an app that will really benefit all Queen’s students. As a result I am most excited about the ‘Dashboard’ and ‘Campus’ features and how they can be used side by side to provide a seamless yet powerful experience.”

Mr. Yale also hopes the app will alleviate the stress that first-year students experience navigating class schedules and getting around campus.

“I'm most excited about the 'Dashboard' feature. Before QTap, students would have to screenshot their schedule on SOLUS to know what classes they had coming up next,” he says. “People would have to use their schedule as their phone background, or scramble around through their pictures at the end of their class to find their schedule. With the 'Dashboard', all it takes is one tap on your homescreen to instantly see your schedule, and your upcoming classes. I personally think that's the most exciting aspect of QTap.”

Starting this fall semester, QTap will be available for free for users with an iPhone 4s or greater running iOS 8.0 or higher through the Apple App Store for those who want to download the app. While QTap is not an official source of information from Queen’s University, it is a great complementary tool to assist new students learning how to get around campus. The app has seen some success with approximately 1,800 active users since its launch on Sept. 13. The developers are looking for feedback on users’ experience. Feedback can be submitted to qtap@queensu.ca.

Smith Engineering