5 Ways to Communicate with University Students in 2019

Hillary Engelman
August 19, 2019
October 20, 2019

You might at times feel that there is an ever-present obstacle when communicating with university and college students. Afterall, it’s all too often that your students miss out on events, club meetings, appointments, and other opportunities because they weren’t adequately informed. Maybe you’ve made announcements, posted bulletins, or sent messengers to lecture halls. Though, when the time came, students – or at least not enough of them – turned up.

Here are a few helpful tips that may help you tackle some communication-led gaps that seem to plague campuses across the globe:

1. Go beyond email

Mobile technology dominated by social media, apps, videos, instant messaging is a way of life for today’s students. In a world of push notifications and personalization, email might seem dated and cumbersome as a way of getting important updates and reminders. According to an experiment by Reynol Junco, an associate professor of library science at Purdue, students spent as little as 6 minutes a day using email. And this was a few years ago!

So, when it comes to communicating with your students, don’t overly rely on email. Experiment with creating dedicated groups on social platforms like Facebook. Think about using videos for significant announcements. Did you know that viewers retain 95% of a video’s message compared to 10% when reading text?

Also, consider investing in building a robust, mobile app which can help you connect with students real-time, keep them updated through push-notifications and personalized prompts. After all, you’ll find success in reaching students where they are most engaged, given that 18-24-year-olds spent 66% of their digital media time on smartphone apps in 2017.

2. Time responses are invaluable

The money that students spend on tuition ostensibly makes them customers at a university or college. So, if students have a query and you lack an answer, respond and let them know when they should expect to hear back—this is customer service 101.

Failing to get back to students promptly discourages them from reaching out for more information. Remember, communication is a two-way street!

3. Be proactive when sharing feedback

It might not always be the case that students themselves reach out to you for feedback, so it’s important that universities use data to track student progress. This will help academic advisors and faculty step in at the right time to share proactive feedback to students and guide them back on path.

This active communication shows your interest in the student’s progress, and when teamed with thoughtful feedback through the right communication channels, students are sure to value it. There’s nothing like establishing a genuine connection with your students to strengthens communication.

4. Leverage video calls for student meetings

Logistics often create scheduling difficulties for in-person meetings with your students. They may have another class during your office hours or live a lengthy distance off-campus.

As opposed to taking painstaking measures – through an assortment of texts and emails – to align your schedule, use video conferencing to your advantage. This way, your students will appreciate the convenience factor, and you won’t find yourself stuck waiting for late students to arrive.

5. Build Tech-Friendly Campus Platforms

Generation-Z (individuals born between 1996-2010) don’t know life without the internet. They’re only aware of the digital age, and now this demographic makes up the bulk of your students.

According to Dell, 80% of Gen-Z aspire to work with cutting edge technologies during their careers. So, there’s definitely merit in getting them started on the right path by providing them access to tech-friendly campuses that boost efficiency and productivity!

Want to find out more about enhancing campus technology to reach your students? Then feel free to contact us today for a free demo!