As the higher ed community navigates COVID-19, schools are transitioning to an environment where more students are studying remotely. Online programs are certainly not new, but the current scramble to organize a communication plan is a reality. How do you stay in touch with students when you don’t have the benefit of daily contact?
Whether you’re an admissions professional, a student success coach or a faculty member, it’s important to keep in touch with students who will need your help now more than ever to reach their goals.
Consider texting your students
Studying on campus allows students to have questions answered quickly. As more colleges cancel their in-person classes in favor of online studies due to coronavirus, that connection is in jeopardy. Texting allows you to keep students engaged by:
- Sending reminders for deadlines
- Establishing touch points throughout the day
- Making students aware of available resources
- Quickly addressing questions and concerns
Students need information, and they rarely check their email. The most effective way to communicate that information is with concise, personal, and relevant texts.
Many schools have established planning committees to put together remote communication plans. A common problem is that students might ignore phone calls from school staff that are coming from unrecognized personal phones, as opposed to the office phones with which they’re familiar. Cadence is a cloud-hosted texting platform that gives you the flexibility to text from anywhere, on any device, from one consistent number to avoid confusion. Learn the ten features you should consider when choosing a texting platform.
Get your online community in order
Establishing an online community can help students who may feel isolated by not being on campus. A knowledge base or portal allows students to share viewpoints and chat with people they can no longer see on a day-to-day basis.
Even if your school already has an online community, it might be a good idea to remind students to take advantage of this resource. And, make sure your online community is being monitored to stay on top of students’ concerns.
How is higher ed responding?
If you’re interested in seeing what other schools are doing, Daniel Stanford, an education and multimedia professor at DePaul University, is organizing a pool of Remote Teaching Resources put out by universities to help faculty shift to online teaching.