A multilingual mobile university information portal designed to cater for visiting overseas students

Kevin Curran (Intelligent Systems Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering, University of Ulster, Derry, UK)
Winston Huang (Intelligent Systems Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering, University of Ulster, Derry, UK)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 1 February 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Student dropout rates have been a source of contention throughout many Universities worldwide. Universities recognize this fact and many have acted to improve their induction process for students joining the University in the first year. However, student dropout rates continue to be higher than acceptable and it is in this context that this project has been undertaken. However, quite often there is no additional support provided to overseas students arriving on the campus. Frequently, these students are taken into final year and miss all the inductions aimed at year 1 students. The purpose of this research is to investigate the feasibility of designing an information portal in the Chinese language to assist new arrivals on campus.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors started with the premise that any additional information that can make life easier for these foreign language students is to be welcomed. Mobile communications is a continually growing sector in industry and a wide variety of visual services such as video‐on‐demand have been created which are limited by low‐bandwidth network infrastructures. The distinction between mobile phones and personal device assistants has already become blurred with pervasive computing being the term coined to describe the tendency to integrate computing and communication into everyday life.

Findings

The authors believe that placing location based campus information on a mobile device outlining key information concerning the University of Ulster at the Magee campus in the Chinese language will assist overseas students greatly in the crucial early days of arrival at the University.

Originality/value

This paper outlines the unique implementation of a multilingual Chinese–English Campus information portal for mobile devices which assists fresh arrivals in locating important information about the university. The research finds that students are assisted by mobile portals created in their native language directing them to important sources of information on campus.

Keywords

Citation

Curran, K. and Huang, W. (2008), "A multilingual mobile university information portal designed to cater for visiting overseas students", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 4-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/17415650810871556

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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