connected world, students spend more time communicating with each other through online social networks than through face-to-face interaction. Johns Hopkins University wanted to leverage this trend to motivate students to use their student ID cards on and off campus, as well as expanding services and discounts to students to promote face-to-face interaction. This session will demonstrate how JHU is integrating Blackboard Transact into a social networking/gaming environment and will discuss how this is being done to benefit students, vendors, and the institution.
• Fred Bosworth came to Johns Hopkins University in the fall of 1997. Fred has spent the past 14 years working on various projects using and enhancing multiple functions of both the UNIX and Windows based Blackboard Transaction systems. Fred has experience as a Systems Administrator on Windows and UNIX servers, data networking and electronics. • Jason Lewis is a Sr. Programmer Analyst at Johns Hopkins University who is currently developing a web interface to Blackboard Transact using Ruby and Rails. Prior to coming to JHU, he worked as a system administrator and freelance web developer, and is a frequent contributor to open-source projects. He has been using Ruby since 2006, and Blackboard since summer 2010. • Stephen Kelm came to Johns Hopkins University during the summer of 2004. Stephen has been working part time with IDCS- Systems since January of 2010. Stephen has a background in systems administration, programming, electronics, and mechanical fabrication.
the convenience of one card for all their needs—from building access to campus meals, to on and off- campus purchases. They’ll also have easy and secure access to financial aid credit balances, student payroll, or money deposited from home. Plus, Blackboard Transact technology helps make your campus a model of expert and efficient operations and delivers round-the-clock student services.
professional contacts; the sharing of information and services among people with a common interest. 2. Computers - the use of Web sites or other online technologies to communicate with people and share information, resources, etc.: I met my husband through social networking.
far the largest existing social network out there. Nearly every student, faculty or staff member already have a Facebook account. Changing the way people communicate online in 140 characters or less. Instantly send social updates to anyone that is listening. Location-based social networking. Users “check-in” at venues and in return are rewarded with points and badges.
and mechanics to enhance non-games. Typically this applies to non-game applications and processes, in order to encourage people to adopt them, or to influence how they are used. This is done by making technology more engaging, through encouraging users to engage in desired behaviors, by showing a path to mastery and autonomy, and by taking advantage of humans' psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, filling out tax forms, or reading web sites. Available data from gamified websites, applications, and processes indicate potential improvements in areas like user engagement, ROI, data quality, timeliness, or learning.
without permission • Badges awarded for various everyday ID Card transactions • Achievements awarded for more complex actions/transactions • Points/Score leaderboard to encourage excitement and competition
a transaction or series of transactions at a specific location or vendor. There are three types of badges. • Access Badge – Successfully swiping into a location a set amount of times within a set time period. • Vendor Badge – Successfully completing a set number of transactions or transactions of a certain value with a vendor in a set time period. • Event Badge – Attending an event and swiping in to show attendance.
by successfully swiping into a location a set amount of times in a set time period. Bookworm Visit MSE Library 5 Days In a one week period Digital Media Centurion Swipe into Digital Media Center 5 Days in a one week period Eastern Bloc Visit JHU at Old Eastern High School
by completing a set number or value of transactions with a vendor in a set time period. Barnes and Noble Complete a single transaction Over $100 Coffee Snob Purchase coffee from Alkimia 5 times in one week PHIL’r Up! Deposit over $50 on your J-Card in a single transaction
for completing transactions with a set criteria. Unlike badges, the criteria may require you do perform transactions/actions at more than one location. The more complex a series of transactions/actions require, the more valuable an achievement will be. Achievement requirements may also kept secret. A card holder will be notified that they have unlocked an achievement, but they might not be told how they did it. This encourages competition between students to be the first to figure out how to obtain specific achievements.
the Social Network wheel, we decided to leverage those that already exist, specifically Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to present J-Card Social to the students. In addition we have built some in-house tools that allow you to view your overall standing in J-Card Social.
and successfully gaining entry tweets that information over Twitter. Custom text can be added to make the tweet say what you want. Gaining a new badge or achievement will also tweet. Instantly make your friends jealous of what you have done.
a users Facebook Timeline on their behalf. New badges and achievements are posted as they are earned. Using the Facebook integration you can also compare your badges, achievements and scores with those of your friends.
Social Networking sites, we have several custom applications that can be used to display J-Card Social information. These applications are written entirely in-house by JHU. • J-Card Mobile – iOS/Android Application • J-Card Central – Web Application • J-Card Kiosks – Self Service Kiosks
mobile application that allows many self service functions for ID cardholders with iOS or Android devices. J-Card Social users can view their badges, make application connections and change their preferences.
of the same functions as J- Card Central. These Kiosks though are placed in common areas throughout campus. Using a touch screen interface ID cardholders can quickly access and manage their account, including all J-Card Social functions.
has significant value for vendors. Below are just a few points. 1. Competition among students to have the most points/ badges/achievements drive up sales for subscribed vendors. 2. If a vendor chooses, they may run promotions based on having obtained their sponsored badge. 3. Vendors receive increased and targeted advertising simply by having a sponsored badge.
J-Card Social. These are just a few key points. 1. Turns the ID Card into something less mundane. Gives the cardholders the chance to compete with something they use everyday. 2. Specials/Discounts from vendors that subscribe to J- Card Social. 3. Creates a sense of community based around the J- Card. Cardholders work together to discover new items in the system.
Office benefits from J-Card Social also. 1. Generate brand loyalty through greater exposure to the J-Card. It is no longer just an ID Card you need to carry with you. 2. Increased revenue from vendors that receive increased business due to being subscribed to J- Card Social. 3. Additional revenue from vendors that pay to sponsor a badge/achievement.
and ID Card Office are the main groups that benefit from J-Card Social, they are by no means the only groups. • Student Groups – By having a custom badge created for an event, “badge collectors” may attend an event they normally would not. This can help student groups reach out to more students. • Athletics – By creating an event badge for games and an achievement for attending all games, students will compete with each other to become a “super fan” and athletic attendance will increase.
of connecting the J-Card Social system with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare is that we are now able to collect a lot more data than using just the Blackboard Transact System. By connecting to Facebook for example, we are able to view a users “about me” information, interest, likes, relationships, friends and more. Using this new information we can do some analysis to see correlations we couldn’t before.
be made, both useful and fun. Some possible correlations could be: • Students that use vending machines might be more likely to be in a relationship • It’s possible that eating at Subway regularly indicates that you like the Baltimore Ravens. • It may be the sad truth that students with less friends are more likely to be found in the library.
now you are probably wondering how this is all done. At Johns Hopkins University we have written a custom API that overlays on top of the Blackboard Transact System. This API allows us to manipulate and use data coming from the Transact System for a variety of custom applications. J-Card Social is just one or many applications that has been written using our API to interact with Transact. For more information about our API, be sure to come to our other session, A Tale of Two APIs at 4:15pm.
have put a great deal of work into the J-Card Social system. A common question we get asked when showing the system to people is why are we doing all this? • Adding Value – We believe J-Card Social adds great value to our already existing system. • Students Asked – Working with a student focus group, many of the features we have deployed have come directly from requests by students. • Increased Visibility – The J-Card Office in general has received greater visibility with cardholders using their J-Card more often. • Because We Can – “They” said we couldn’t, but we did and it’s great.