What Campuses Have Learned From Rapidly Going Virtual Overnight

Submitted by on Fri, 06/19/20

On the last bi-weekly roundtable call and blog post we shared about keeping students on track for success and the benefits of a native app vs. a mobile responsive website. This week, we’ll share about new student orientation, return to campus & contact tracing, how schools are carrying out hybrid and/or entirely virtual events, and what they have learned from having to do so over these past few months, and more learnings from the roundtable that took place on June 11th.

Key learnings included:

  1. Virtual New Student Orientation and other virtual events can help reach many students in an interactive way: We polled our audience during the call about their NSO plans and collected these statistics:
    26% already hosted their New Student Orientation as a virtual event on their campus app, 26% responded that it hasn’t happened yet, 45% of respondents are still planning and few are unsure of whether it will happen at all.
    29% of respondents used Modo’s NSO starter kit in their campus apps to carry out the virtual event.

    Institutions have had to switch from planning an entire NSO in-person and several other admission events to virtual ones, from one minute to the other. For some schools, these virtual experiences on mobile exceeded attendance and/or participation expectations over the traditional in-person. The Modo platform allowed them to quickly create a virtual experience that engages their users well beyond orientation, as current students, providing them with all the resources they need to succeed.

  2. Virtual experiences allow for more crowdsourced content from students: Institutions have found creative ways of reaching their current and prospective students with student-created content through their campus app, including virtual campus tour content from the student tour guides that usually do this in person, virtual student activities fairs, videos of school programs, photo albums with stories, and more!
  3. Having to quickly implement new features that they might not have thought about before or did not have the need for have resulted in good solutions: these include communication plans with the latest information and opportunities for their students, contests, virtual fitness events from campus recreation, a schedule of video conference meetings, checklist of valuable to-do items, live chats for questions, fun quick polls through the app to keep students engaged, sending them a short quiz on critical items they need for NSO or registration, and many more!
  4. Institutions need a comprehensive plan for a return to campus and a mobile app is the right technology for it: there’s a lot of buzz going around contact tracing and how it can be used for enabling a safe return to the physical spaces in which these organizations operate (campus, offices, etc). The reality, however, is that contact tracing is only one element of a comprehensive return plan. Within that plan, a campus app can help organizations inform, engage, and empower their users to be safe and ready for whatever’s next. They can do this by:
    Developing a communication plan that drives users into the app to stay informed and engaged, and using location-based notifications to alert users at exactly the right time and place
    Leveraging the health self-assessment tool in Modo WorkReady to collect self-reported health statuses before users travel to the campus or workplace
    Engaging their entire community to participate in safe practices and training them on manual contact tracing
    Deep-linking into native contact tracing apps made available by state and national public health agencies to drive usage

The next call and blog (in two weeks) will be a different one because we’ll share all of the winners from the 2020 Modo Appademy Awards, insights on how all of those institutions are leveraging their campus app iteratively to serve and empower their communities.

Until then, share with us in the comments how your institutions and workplaces are supporting students and employees!

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