Education

Interactive web app for university outreach in schools

UniExplorer is an interactive, tablet-based learning tool for school-leavers, created for University of Southampton and the Southern Universities Network (SUN). Modules added to date include CampusExplorer and MoneyExplorer.



As part of SUN's outreach programme, IE Digital created UniExplorer.org – an engaging, interactive resource to help year 10 & 11 students with the transition to college and university.

SUN (Southern Universities Network) is a partnership of nine universities and colleges in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Its aim is to ensure that state-funded secondary schools and colleges in the region have access to widening participation and outreach activities and resources.

IE Digital has created a modular, tablet-based tool, UniExplorer, to demystify university life for young people, whatever their educational or social background. We involved 30 local year 10 pupils in testing the modules as part of the development process. 

The CampusExplorer module features a ‘virtual campus map’. Students can explore the map to find out about different aspects of university life, from lecture theatres and libraries to sports and social activities. The map acts as a gateway to rich, deep-dive, multimedia content – including student video profiles and career-focused interviews with graduates. Users can also clip the content to save it to their online 'notebook', or email it to themselves as a PDF.

 

MoneyExplorer app for University of Southampton/SUN

 

A second module has recently been added – MoneyExplorer – to help students understand the living costs and funding options involved in going to university. MoneyExplorer workshops will be offered to over 100 schools (across years 9-11) in the SUN region. And, because the tool is unbranded and not location specific, it can be adopted in other regions. It has already attracted interest from AccessHE for use in London schools. 

The tool is invaluable for students who may not ordinarily be considering university, and whose parents haven't had their own university experience, to help them get to grips with unfamiliar terms and the financial aspects to consider.

Watch the video of Claire O'Neill from SUN, speaking at CASE about the importance of outreach for widening participation in university education. 

I really enjoyed working with IE. My digital consultant has been brilliant, making excellent suggestions and being very responsive to our needs. The end result is superb and I’d highly recommend IE’s digital team.

Claire O’Neill
Head of the Southern Universities Network, University of Southampton