The Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) and Trivie released a new app, called U of Nine, geared toward helping prevent sexual misconduct last week.
U of Nine is designed to reduce campus violence, sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse while also increasing compliance with Title IX educational requirements, according to the press release.
U of Nine isn’t the first app of its kind — UConn’s Title IX Coordinator Elizabeth Conklin said her office gets many emails about new apps like this one.
"Educational efforts are improving, but more tools are needed to educate students on Title IX," Lawrence Schwartz, the U of Nine co-founder, said.
However, U of Nine is completely different than any other app, ATIXA Executive Director Brett Sokolow said.
“Other apps are consent apps that allow consent to be recorded or allow victims/survivors to log details for future use…they are aimed at response, not prevention. As a training tool, U of Nine is designed as a companion for campus and school awareness and education efforts,” Sokolow said.
The idea for the app came from a need to better train ATIXA members on Title IX, Sokolow said.
“I didn’t want to compete with existing and extensive online educational tools, but I thought we could do a good job of reinforcing the content of already existing programs in a mobile, on-demand format,” Sokolow said. “It’s called boosting…boosting the message of other prevention efforts to last longer and be more effective.”
Multi-modal approaches to learning are most effective, as some students will connect to slides more than to lectures and others even to more gamified approaches like U of Nine, Sokolow said.
“I think there is an advantage with an app in that students don’t have to travel to the program because the program travels with them. Think of it as flashcards for your iPhone,” Sokolow said.
The app platform would provide a way to reach students that are more difficult to train in person, Sokolow said. This includes commuter, graduate and nonresidential students.
“Anything that can be done to raise awareness is a good thing. We at UConn focus more on in-person training sessions,” Conklin said. “But we are looking into more online training options."
U of Nine provides users trivia games in the form of five-question quizzes. Students and faculty can be tested on various Title IX topics such as sexual harassment, sexual violence, consent, bystander engagement and reporting/accessing campus resources.
University administrators can track usage via the app, stay connected with students and help mitigate Title IX claims, according to the press release.
One in five women is raped or sexually assaulted during college and as many as 90 percent of incidents go unreported, according to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Association of Title IX Administers is a professional association for school and college ATIXA Coordinators and administrators who are interested in serving their districts and campuses more effectively. The need comes from the Title IX law passed in 1972 that requires gender equity in every federally funded educational program in the United States, according to the Title IX info website.
ATIXA is offering colleges one free year of the app. After the first year, base rates are between $4 and $2 per student.
University officials are open to using an educational app like U of Nine, but would want to have a “comprehensive, holistic review” with student focus groups before any decision is made to implement it, Conklin said.
Bailey Wright is associate photo editor and associate managing editor at The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.