New feature in the EPFL Campus app for sending group notifications
For now the new Announcements feature is only available to EPFL associations, but it will later be rolled out to all EPFL units. It can be used to send out messages with push notifications.
The EPFL Campus app has been upgraded with a new feature that makes the app a rapid, efficient communications tool with which users can send as many messages as they like. With Announcements, information can be sent via push notification to all members of a group. For now it’s only available to EPFL associations, but it will be opened up to all the School’s units after the spring semester.
The feature comes in response to the need to “capture students’ attention” with a messaging system that provides an alternative to email – since emails frequently go unread, get lost in a sea of other messages or end up being deleted. “We came up with the idea back in 2016, during a software engineering class where we had to develop an application from scratch in groups of six,” says Arnaud Boissaye, an IT consultant and EPFL graduate. “Everyone in my group was a member of a student association and needed a way to better communicate with the other members. So we developed an app called Diffuse.” In 2018, when Boissaye was president of AGEPoly, he spoke with EPFL’s Educational Affairs Office (DAF) about the new app. The DAF team immediately saw its potential, not just for student associations, but for all EPFL units. They therefore began the process of turning Boissaye’s program into a new feature – Announcements – for the EPFL Campus app. “What makes their idea so useful is that it’s simple and meets a clear need,” says Daniel Chuard, deputy for the Associate Vice Presidency for Student Affairs and Outreach and former Director of Educational Affairs.
With the new feature, each association has a group on Announcements that can be either private or public. Public groups are open to the entire EPFL community; you can sign up for the ones you want and select whether you’d also like to receive the messages by email. You can unsubscribe from a group at any time, and you can disable push notifications by clicking on the icon below.
“We also plan to have some types of messages sent automatically, such as for security, health and safety, or for the Registrar’s Office, which could use the Announcements feature to send key information to the entire student body,” says Chuard.