Leveraging Technology for Improving Student Outcomes: Three Recommendations

By March 21, 2018 UX/Mobile/Responsive,

Few would deny there is a correlation between engagement level and academic outcome when it comes of today’s college student. There have never been more opportunities for a campus to leverage its existing technology to ensure a student is fully engaged with the resources at their disposal – and this is largely attributed to the maturing of various communication channels (mobile, social media, etc.) Used effectively and in the right context, technology can prove to be a very effective tool for digitally connecting a student with their campus. In addition, technology can prove to be an effective tool for administrators to maintain staff efficiency, improve key performance metrics, and build a strong brand within the academic community. Here are three strategies institutions can use to leverage their existing technology to improve student outcomes by positively impacting student engagement.

Creating a welcoming environment

It is important to realize that new students are stepping into a whole new world. Your campus is filled with new places to see, new people to meet, and a myriad of new administrative workflows to execute. With this in mind, many campuses have adopted a mobile app to put all their campus resources together for students. After all, if you want a student to be informed and engaged, leveraging mobile app technology is the most effective way to provide students with essential “need to know” information. In addition, a branded mobile app provides a heightened sense of community which encourages school spirit and enthusiasm with campus events. One of the best examples of a successful campus mobile app project would be GreyHeller (PeopleMobile) customer CSU Fullerton – who decided that the best way to increase student engagement was to mature their campus’ digital footprint. 

Here’s how CSU Fullerton brings information to their students’ fingertips!

Communicate with students via high engagement channels

In an era dominated by texting, push notifications, and instant messaging – email is losing its crown as the undisputed “king of campus communication.” Generic emails meant for broad consumption and lack a of personalization are some of the reasons students overlook emails and end up missing out on critical information. With messages coming at students from a variety of channels, their attention will always remain on what is most relevant and what they deem is the highest priority (and yes, getting a text from a friend can be a seen as a higher priority than checking their email.)

Campus administrators should consider high engagement channels like SMS and Push notification and integrate them into their communication strategies to capture students’ attention. The strategy being to meet students where they are (on mobile devices), rather than hope they come to you. (ex. voluntarily check their email.)

Campuses leveraging PeopleSoft Campus Solutions can adopt technologies like Messaging Center by GreyHeller which allows administrators to send intelligent messages via push notification, SMS, and email. Whether its urging a student to pay a fee, resolve a hold, or meet with their academic advisor – providing a student with context, details, and utilizing high engagement mobile channels is a guaranteed method for improving student response and action.

Enable students to be independent

Enabling students to drive their academic journey nurtures a sense of ownership of their outcome. If a student understands how to execute the critical tasks required to keep them in strong academic standing, the likelihood that administrative hurdles that will case detrimental effects (fees, holds, missed appointments, being short on credits, etc.) is greatly reduced. In addition, an independent student is not relying on administrative staff and in-person appointment/support requests in order to execute routine workflows. Efficient staffing is a priority of every organization – and optimizing self-service capabilities has direct effects on ensuring your organization is efficient and strategically effective.

Applications like PeopleSoft Campus Solutions offer limited functionality on mobile devices and limited flexibility for customizing student workflows. If you have identified an issue with a step in a self-service workflow that students find confusing, then a solution like PeopleUX by GreyHeller would be needed in order to fully customize the UX/UI of Campus Solutions to meet your needs. PeopleUX is a lightweight enhancement that can be implemented in only a few months and can ensure you’re maximizing your PeopleSoft investment. These enhancements are directly in-service to providing your students with workflows that are intuitive, easy to execute, and enable them to take true ownership of their academic success.

Summary

No matter how you execute your engagement strategies, we encourage you to leverage the technology at your disposal to get maximum benefit. The expectations of today’s students are aligned with mobile technology that is optimized and intuitive. Deviating from those expectations can have detrimental effects for both students and your campus’ key performance metrics such as student graduation and retention rates.

We encourage you to explore if GreyHeller can help be a part of your engagement strategies – email us at info@devappsian.wpengine.com or Request a Demo to learn more about our solutions designed to enhance PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.

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