UKIT Mobile Team advances TallyCats

POSTED: JUNE 25, 2012

UK’s Student Government and the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) developed TallyCats as a way to promote and increase student attendance at campus events offered by departments, athletics, and other campus clubs and organizations. TallyCats involves students swiping their UK ID Cards at participating events to receive points for attending events. The events include athletics (including the lesser known events), guest lectures, art expositions, and K-Week activities. At the end of the school year, students with the most TallyCats points win prizes as an incentive for attending events. “Playing the game” encourages student engagement with the University- which is ultimately a key ingredient for student success.

When the pilot project was created, CSI and Student Government used off-the-shelf card-swipe tools and re-used existing technologies like the Plus Account system. However, the current Plus Account system does not scale well, is very difficult and expensive to use, and provides limited data. UKIT recognized the pivotal value TallyCats brings to student retention and began the process to determine options to eliminate the old system.

This spawned an extraordinary collaboration between CSI and UKIT. The units worked together to formulate and build, from the ground up, an elegant and cost-effective set of tools to become the ”new” TallyCats. This allows CSI to deploy inexpensively many swiping units on a familiar and robust platform by swapping an aging and clunky $3,000 per unit point-of-sale system for a custom iOS app and swiper that costs $250 per unit. In addition, a mobile student self-service tool will allow students to view point accumulation and event attendance history. This simple, yet extensible database is included in UKIT’s HANA-driven student analytics projects, thereby enriching predictive capability for student success and retention.

This summer UKIT’s mobile team is testing and training for a fall rollout of the new TallyCats. The system has been received well in the first few weeks of testing. This is a huge win for UKIT, CSI, and most of all UK students. UKIT looks forward to more collaboration projects on campus in the future!

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