College students are bombarded with information from their university on a daily basis. These days, much of it comes digitally via text messages, student portal notifications, and emails from their advisor, the career center, student affairs, the library, the financial aid department, campus event coordinators, etc.
They get notifications about everything under the sun: class registration, financial aid, work-study programs, advisor meetings, campus events, changes in bus routes, dining hall updates, residence hall events, study abroad programs, campus clubs and organizations, sporting events, etc.
It’s hard to know which messages are important and which aren’t. A graduating senior in their final semester doesn’t need to know about summer study abroad trips. But they do need to know details about graduation day. If both of these topics are addressed via email from sender “_____ University” and students are used to receiving more clutter than pertinent information, they’re likely to skip over or delete these messages.
The clutter makes communication between faculty and students muddled and overwhelming.
Students are Facing Information Overload—and Faculty Are Too, for That Matter
If you think about our primary communication mediums—email, phone, text, and IM tools—they all produce extra clutter. Mass emails, text nudges, spam calls, automated voice calls, and irrelevant Slack messages can be annoying, especially in an age where everything is digitized and accessible with a touch of a button.
Additionally, student portals house so much information that’s tedious to sift through. University websites are the same. They’re packed with information, lengthy instructions, pop-ups, and all kinds of jargon that makes it difficult for students to quickly find what they need.
Students receive so much information on a daily basis that they don’t need, and when they actually need help, they can’t seem to find it. The whole support structure is completely backwards. On top of going to class, studying, work, family obligations, etc., the current communication system isn’t set up to allow students to focus on what’s most important.
What Do Students Really Need?
Imagine if your students didn’t have to waste time dealing with digital clutter and wondering which messages are relevant. Students filter out so much information because it doesn’t matter to them in the moment, but what if they didn’t have to do that anymore?
We have a way to clear up the digital clutter and simplify communication between faculty and students.
We’ve developed a spam-free and digital clutter-free environment where students can go for instant help: EVAN360. It’s a healthier and safer digital space where students can get what they need fast and get back to their studies without being hindered by delayed email replies and irrelevant information. It’s designed to lighten the load for faculty, too.
What Digital Equity Looks Like
We believe digital equity is a key part of the whole equity conversation on campuses today. There are many aspects, including access to reliable Wi-Fi, computers, smartphones—all of which students need. Those are usually considered basic needs one must have in order to function as a student in 2022. On another level, beyond just functioning as a student, there’s a secondary need one must have in order to thrive. That secondary need is the need for equitable access to digital campus resources (tech support, library services, student portals, apps, online tutoring, etc.) and a clear understanding of where to find them. Not all students know this.
In this day and age, everything is digital—class registration, coursework, applications, communication between faculty and students, tutoring. Almost everything that was once only accessible in person is now accessible from anywhere. The problem is, today’s digital environments have become so complex and layered and inequitable. Technology that should be helping students is actually hindering them. They’re having to connect with faculty through too many mediums: student portals, chatbots, emails, texts, early alert systems, fishing through the university website, waiting in long lines outside their advisor’s office, etc. According to a study, “Half of students are just slightly (32%) or not at all (18%) confident that if they had to raise an issue on campus, they would know which department could address it.”
Wouldn’t it be so much easier (for faculty and students) if they could find all the help they need in one place?
Colleges and universities are responsible for ensuring all students know what resources are available to them and how to access them, even in a digital environment. Institutions have made this unintentionally difficult. It’s time to make it easier. If you’re ready to do that, request a custom recorded demo here to see how EVAN360 works. Your students will thank you.
For more ways to improve equity, read our article, “5 Ways to Improve Equity in Higher Education for Underserved Students.“