University of San Diego Develops ‘To-Do’ Insight App for College Students

(Photo: Adrianna Calvo, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Adrianna Calvo, Creative Commons)

The University of San Diego has recently launched Insight, the first intelligent “to-do” application for students. The app is designed to assist multi-tasking millennials in being able to sync their academic and personal lives.

The two main goals of the app are to help students become more organized and to provide intelligent feedback on their schedules. What distinguishes Insight from other “to-do” or time management apps is its ability process all of the information entered by a student and generate trends, patterns, and other important correlations. This kind of intelligent feedback will influence students’ decisions about their academics, social lives, and future career.

Insight is built on the iOS platform and includes an auto-crated schedule, a smart class planner, color-coded reminders, push notifications, badge notifications, task alerts, and the ability to correlate student’s assignments, interests, and grades.

The university’s Vice Provost, Christopher W. Wessells, said in an interview published on the website Campus Technology: “The University of San Diego is all about student-centric, excellent student experience, whether it be in academics or extra-curricular activities. The attention that our division of student affairs and academic affairs pay to making sure that our students have a wonderful experience at this institution is really something special … We are always looking for something new and innovative to enhance the student experience.”

Developers designed Insight with the view that the student life is distinct from other periods in individuals’ lives. Students often find themselves juggling classes, work, sports, internships, and social events in a way adults with full-time jobs do not. Insight allows students to manage all aspects of the student experience. For example, Insight is synced with the USD class schedule; five minutes after any given class, a student receives a push-notification to input any assignment for that class.

Other features of the app are its color-coding aspect and its task visualization. When a student enters a task into Insight, he or she has an option to color-code it for priority and view all the tasks linked by color to cohesively grasp their schedule. Such a feature promotes time management and a student’s quick awareness of upcoming due dates and important commitments.

“The inspiration behind Insight was to be able to offer an easy tool for students to manage and prioritize their obligations, assignments, and to-dos right on their smartphone as the need for a task occurs,” says Avi Badwal, the senior director of enterprise technologies who led the development of the app. “Real-time organization and management are what set this apart.”

The Insight development team is already in the works creating new features to enhance the application further. A press release notes that the new features will include a time-tacker, an emotional gauge, and an expansion of the synchronization feature. The website detailing all the features of the app can be perused online.

For students, techies, and developers, Insight has the sleekness, feel, accessibility of a program that could, in several years’ time, become a nationwide staple across university campuses.