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Campuses Utilize Kiosks for Self-Service and Wayfinding
It's midnight on a university campus. A student realizes he has no money left on his college card. Normally he would have to stress over when the administration office will open to add funds to his account, but instead he is able to visit a campus kiosk. He enters his credit/debit information and midnight pizza funds have been replenished. Crisis averted.
Colleges and universities are continuing to use kiosks around campus to provide more self-service options to students. Two common kiosk deployments are campus student services kiosks and wayfinding kiosks.
For example, Washington State University (WSU) students are now able to use a kiosk to add money to their flex cards without visiting an office, calling home, or speaking with a university employee. The kiosks allow a simple credit/debit card transaction to reload student accounts. “The kiosks are there when they need them and are generally problem free”, wrote Ben Aichele of WSU. Apart from loading money onto flex cards, the kiosks also act as a daily bulletin for students during their busy school day. Rotating advertisement screens display campus events which might otherwise go unnoticed. The kiosks are located where student traffic is the highest in student dorms, outside of the dining areas and in the library.
“You are here.” A father reads aloud to his daughter while waiting for a campus tour at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They peruse campus information and a digital map before the start of the tour.
MIT has implemented wayfinding kiosks outside of the admissions area. These kiosks have two functions, to display the homepage and campus map. Prospective families visiting MIT can easily navigate campus news, admissions information and an overview of the 168-acre campus while waiting for tours to begin.
Another type of campus kiosk project has taken off across the pond. The University of Nottingham deployed kiosks to provide students with extra music not found through the school’s library services. This has provided music students with extra materials crucial to their education and repertoire. “I am told that the students much appreciate the availability of the Naxos recording library as an adjunct to the extensive numbers of CDs”, stated Nicholas Sackman of the University of Nottingham. The computers are locked down to only display the online music library, eliminating the need for supervision or help navigating to the music site.
All three universities are able to meet the growing self service need with the use of KioWare Kiosk Software. KioWare is used to “kioskize” any browser based application and provides a locked environment. Keyboard filtering, browsing allow lists and clearing of cache and cookies are all features used to keep these kiosks working toward their intended purpose. Overall, KioWare has proven to be an effective tool to keep kiosks on task and students informed.
Want more information about wayfinding kiosk solutions? Watch the video about the Operation Remember Wayfinding Kiosk App.
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