Have you heard of CollPoll?
The CollPoll app was introduced to MIT in the odd semester of 2016. Manipal University is currently one of the four universities in the country that has partnered with CollPoll. The app aims to provide a one point platform to address a student’s needs in college, across the board, be it sharing notes and assignments or getting event notifications. Another clever concept CollPoll brings to the table is inter-connectivity across all the levels of administration, faculty and students, opening a channel of feedback that would ideally prevent student grievances and suggestions from falling on deaf ears. To add to this, the app also supplies information on events taking place across campus and supports notifications for the same.
The process of registration for the app is greatly simplified for the students of MIT, since Manipal university is one of CollPoll’s partners. Every student of the college receives a registration code in their email, which can be used to create and activate one’s account. In case the email hasn’t been received, one can visit bit.ly/collpoll to complete their registration.
The app is quite user friendly and the interface, uncluttered.
Feed on the app is classified on basis of content into different categories, such as Academics, News, Events and the like. While, at present, there are a few categories that remain completely blank, the ones that do contain feed show how the app may be able to achieve its goals of being a no-nonsense platform for real-time updates on matters of student interest. Posts in the feed can be up-voted if found useful, commented upon and even saved for future reference. The handling of posts on CollPoll is very similar to that on apps like Facebook. The posts are also classified on the app on the basis of their source, into Booths. Most of the organizations in the college, including the various departments and clubs, have a booth of their own. Unlike Categories, Booths can be of various levels of accessibility and may not all be open to the public. All the posts that are made on the app, by any user, must necessarily be classified under a Category and a Booth.
Most of the available Booths, however, have very little or no content in them because of the nascence of the app. The classification of posts in the feed makes the task of looking for information on the app fairly intuitive and enhances user experience. The users may also pose questions on the app, which appear under the Polls category. The visibility of the answers can be determined by the user while asking the question.
A drawback in the Questions feature is that responses to questions can only be made through selecting one option out of a predetermined set of options, limiting the usefulness of this feature for questions that might need detailed responses. However, this drawback has been noted. “Provisions for subjective answers are being worked on”, assures Sahas Gembali, Vice President of the Student Council. Certain classes of users, such as administrators and club presidents, have the option of creating posts under the Event category by specifying the timings of the event and a brief description of it. Users who are interested in the event have the option of setting a reminder for the event in the app.
The app has quite a few features that can be of great use to the Manipal community. However, active participation on the app is the only way to make it a success. CollPoll has the potential to mitigate a whole range of problems we face that are caused by communication gaps and so, if it manages to become more commonly used, will go on to become an extremely valuable resource for information exchange within the university.