Student/Citizen Development with the Kurogo Platform


  • Matt Willmore, Mobile App Program Manager, University of Notre Dame
  • Nikita Shamdasani, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Kyle Koser, University of Notre Dame
  • Zach Waterson, University of Notre Dame

This presentation showcases some of the work that has been done by students with the Kurogo platform.


  • Collaboration between 3 students and ITS at UNC
  • Student-driven intiative created through collaboration with ITS
  • Mobile app team has continued to work with Modo Labs for actual app dev, University departments and other campus stakeholders.

Step 1 – Gather Feedback

  • Student priorities listed in focus groups, a kind of “dream list”:  account services, news, maps, notifications, social media, sports, building info, student info and resources

Step 2 – Research other university apps

  • Developed sense of feasibility by using other apps for comparison:  Harvard, MIT, Ohio State, Stanford, Notre Dame, Princeton, Georgetown
  • I looked for partners, specifically a developer who could explain things in layman’s terms without being condescending, a designer and a project manager

Step 3 – Development of App

  • Student government special project
  • Independent project with Carolina Creates
  • Collaboration between CarolinaGO team and ITS

Our Choice to Use Kurogo

  • Free Android iPhone versions
  • Future development opportunities
  • Sustainable trajectory

Step 4 – App Release

  • Soft launch in October of 2014
  • Modules:  emergency alerts, calendar, dining, athletics, campus map, video, news, virtual pit


  • Maintaining consistency in app framework:  differences in backends among departments
  • Integrating student priorities:  having services like Sakai on app was important in focus groups, but do not always have capability to integrate
  • Expanding app while keeping UX simple:  expanding offerings important, but have to figure out best categorization for main page of app

Past Semester’s Tasks

  • Lots of collaboration with interested groups

Notre Dame Past, Present, Future

  • Missing 4 modules:  weather, webcams, OIT, lab finder
  • What to do?  Grab some students!
  • Told students:  focus 100% of your efforts on learning Kurogo, it’s all PHP (we don’t know PHP).  OK, learn PHP first, then learn Kurogo.
  • Worked with another student to develop Mobile Printing – student-coded, OIT-owned
  • Based on Print@CU (



  • Keep momentum going
  • Other needs, including & beyond Kurogo
  • Need to strike a balance between student dev and university needs
  • Governance!
  • Working on a strategy to connect departments needing development with students wanting to develop
  • Projects would be hosted in “civilian” AWS account that ND owns and provisions resources for
  • Participating departments agree that OIT is NOT responsible for issues
  • High-reward, low-risk modules
  • What happens when students leave?  Document, break work into scheduled segments (semesters/terms/etc.), don’t forget the high-reward/low-risk balance.
  • Departmental Publisher modules (commencement, admissions, etc.)
  • We build it and give it to the customer, or give them the keys from the start
  • Continued engagement & consulting to ensure info is accurate, timely and makes the best use of the template

We LOVE Open Source and Kurogo!

  • We’re open sourcing all student-developed Kurogo modules:  weather, webcams, transit (ride request & shuttle schedules), transit backend.
  • MIT license (do whatever you want with it)
  • Available via Modo Labs package channel


By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

One reply on “Student/Citizen Development with the Kurogo Platform”

[…] Dame’s contribution of several open-source modules to the Kurogo community (see my post on Student/Citizen Development with the Kurogo Platform below).  This is a welcome gift to the community, and should be encouraged.  By the way, Notre […]

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