By: Peter Karalakis
While making your way through Algonquin College, it is very easy to find yourself lost in the sprawling campus which covers almost 1.5 million square ft.
Algonquin staff knew about this problem and made it a priority this year to give students a solution to getting lost on campus.
“For years we’ve had students saying to us that is is nearly impossible to find your classes on campus,” says Glenn MacDougall, director of Learning and Teaching Services.
The new online room finder featured on Algonquin’s website is a detailed map which can be used to find specific classrooms within each building. It was created with the intention to help avoid students from getting lost and to reduce travel times.
The application was created from scratch by several Algonquin staff members after MacDougall volunteered to attempt to make the application last year at a faculty meeting.
“Not knowing if it was possible, I stuck my hand up and said ‘my team can build this application in two weeks’,” said MacDougall. “the director of our marketing department looked at me and said ‘that’s not possible’.”
MacDougall immediately got to work on the application with the assistance of fellow Algonquin staff members Mike Ballard and Justin Antoszek. Although they were not sure if they could complete the room finder in two weeks, they ended up doing it in just one.
“The hidden advantage to building something like this is that we’ve got faculty that know this so we went to the programmers and built off their expertise,” said MacDougall. “We’ve got skilled faculty and we’ve got skilled support staff.”
Although the application is still in it’s first stages, the next phase will include specific directions to anywhere on the campus from your location, and is expected to be ready by the end of the year. The Room Finder is currently available on Algonquin’s website and can also be accessed from any smartphone.
Next time you find yourself lost on campus, just pull up the room finder and find your way.