Computing challenge makes for very ‘appy’ students

23 October 2016

Annual Computing Four Week Challenge event success

First year computing students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have joined forces to design, develop and market their own treasure hunt apps.

The 180 strong cohort of students studying a range of computing disciplines had only a few weeks to work in teams on the annual Computing Four Week Challenge module. Within days of meeting, each team had to work together to design and develop a new app and then create a marketing campaign to promote it.

Each group was tested on the usability of their app with a treasure hunt around the city, which ended with a comedy night.

Nilufar Patel, a 19-year-old forensic computing student, worked with six other students to design their ‘Go Bananas’ app that used GPS to guide users to a specific location. She said: “We had to hit the ground running which was rather stressful but we’re all really pleased with the result and proud of how well we worked together despite only meeting a few weeks ago.”

It is the sixth year UCLan has held the Computing Four Week Challenge, which aims to equip the news students with a foundation of study skills necessary to be successful at UCLan and to help them bridge the gap between further and higher education.

Software engineering student 21-year-old Adil Umargi said he now felt much more confident amongst his peers. “It’s allowed me to mix with new people across the course and also stretched us academically because we all brought different skills to the group. It’s certainly been a great learning experience.”

Senior Lecturer, Lesley May leads the first year course across all computing disciplines and works with colleagues Nicky Danino and Nick Mitchell to run the event. She said: “It’s a great example of collaboration that supports the transition to university. The students really engage with the challenge and push themselves to create something truly dynamic. Building on the success of the second year computing students acting as mentors during the challenge, we are rolling out a programme of Peer Assisted Study Sessions, which we hope will be a great success.”

View images from the event on the UCLan Flickr gallery.