We continue to host our bi-weekly roundtable discussions for the Modo User Group to share best practices, ideas and challenges in their mission to serve their now-distributed user community. Our second roundtable discussion took place on April 16th and included agenda topics such as virtual campus tours, admitted students’ experiences and Fall plans. Attendees from all over the globe, representing organizations of all shapes and sizes, held a meaningful exchange of ideas and shared app experience they created to engage their distributed campus community.
Key learnings included:
- An evolved strategy is critical to retain and attract new and prospective students: We polled our audience during the call, and collected these statistics:
– 24% are not yet planning for the fall, but focused on the here and now.
– 67% say retaining admitted students, and attracting prospective students is a priority.
– 43% are unsure about plans for the fall, while 12% expect learning all online this sept.
Many of the in-person events instrumental in helping students decide which college to attend, or whether to still attend the college they got accepted to, have changed their form and will evolve. This doesn’t necessarily mean bad news, however, as virtual events of this kind could open an opportunity for (more) admitted students and their families to experience campus virtually and at no cost, saving up the funds they would’ve used on traveling and lodging to spend a weekend in the city where the prospective college is located.
- Virtual campus tours can maintain the admitted students’ excitement: When students are accepted to an institution, they look forward to being in an environment where they are able to learn, grow as individuals, and succeed. Campus visits help them get a sense of the campus culture and determine if it’s a fit for them socially and overall vibe-wise. However, campus visits aren’t an option at this time, this is where virtual campus tours can help them envision themselves in the spaces that your campus offers. A virtual campus tour can easily be done through the campus app by using its Publisher screens along with great visuals of the campus.
- A hybrid experience, on and off campus, could be the new normal: As part of the poll we ran during the call, 24% of respondents expect to deliver a hybrid experience (teachers on campus, students not), while 43% are still unsure of what type of learning experience they expect to be delivering come this Fall. A campus app can help deliver a hybrid campus experience with both access to facilities for people who are on campus at specific times, and a virtual campus experience for people who are not. This enables them to them access necessary functionalities and receive personalized communications, whether they are planning to come back to campus, remain distributed or somewhere in between. A campus app is a powerful tool to keep your mobile-first students all engaged and informed.
- Students’ basic needs and mental health support are top of mind: The continuous consumption of news, combined with social distancing and stay-at-home measures, can have a strong impact on the emotional and physical health of students and the general campus community. Institutional resources might include food pantries, vouchers, counseling services, health education and more. It’s very important that these resources’ availability is effectively communicated to the community, and users are nudged to help them make the most out of them.
- Recreating traditions for an authentic (virtual) commencement experience: Graduation traditions can range all the way from walking under the arch only as a new student and during graduation (University of Findlay) or waiting until graduation to walk up the stairs of the Main Building (University of Notre Dame). Traditions like these can also be replicated in a virtual commencement experience to ensure those little things help make a truly memorable experience, despite the situation.
Your college’s app is the new campus, and your workplace app is the new office; how can you reimagine the experience and make sure your users feel part of their community and continue to thrive?
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