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Begin Student Engagement Early with a Mobile Strategy

  • 3 Min Read

Hit the ground running by using technology to build relationships with your students.

Starting college is a transitional moment for all students. Whether a first generation college student or an adult learner, all students start their college education with a lot of new experiences. This can include using digital tools for them to register for classes or to engage with coursework through a learning management system (LMS) for the first time.

While your student body comes from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, they share one thing in common—they are glued to their phones. In fact, over 85% of students own a smartphone. Fostering student engagement practices in their first moments on campus is integral to student success and happiness throughout their education. A smart mobile strategy can turn the time between college acceptance and course registration into an asset for your campus. Here’s how.

Start off on the right foot

You’ve seen it before—you admitted a full class in the spring, only to see student engagement begin to drop off, even over the summer. Missed financial aid deadlines, declining enrollment numbers. For many non-traditional students, questions and concerns arise, such as how to navigate the paperwork and outside pressures. Encourage students to download your app when they are admitted, then equip your students for a successful summer through personalized push notifications reminding them of upcoming deadlines. Provide detailed instructions on requirements in your in-app enrollment module, ensuring that students can easily navigate your systems.

Fill the summer with content

Drum up excitement over the summer with engaging content highlighting current student successes, campus programs, and more. Use your mobile app as a one-stop shop for blog, video, and social media content, bringing together many different content streams and data sources. Allow your students to opt into receiving push notifications about content in line with their interests. User-selected communication streams ensure the content users are receiving is relevant to their personal experience, and cuts down on push notification fatigue.

Mobilize new student orientation

Welcome new students and transfers to campus with an engaging mobile experience that enhances campus events and fulfills many of your students’ orientation needs. These tools can help students navigate around a new campus with indoor and outdoor maps and ensure students are taking advantage of orientation events with agendas and schedules. This all serves to support a student’s confidence during this all-important transition period.

Increase retention and success

It takes a community to keep student engagement high, and to put students on the path to success. When selecting a mobile platform, consider whether stakeholders across campus will be able to be involved in shaping your app experience.

“We wanted to increase campus engagement among returning students and build a more vibrant community,” said Rebekah Dorn, Director of User Experience at Florida State University. They were able to take advantage of a “no-coding required platform.” This allows them to delegate app management across campus departments, and involve students in shaping the mobile experience that will be most useful to them. When students are getting what they need and engaged on campus, they are more likely to progress towards degree completion.

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