Colleges and universities have learned a lot about student needs and organizational structures throughout the pandemic. Now that we’re nearing the other side, institutions have a lot to consider in terms of education practices, technology, and support. Are there new technologies to adopt? Are there preexisting processes and structures that no longer serve students well? What is the best, most effective way to support students as they navigate the college system?
As the higher education landscape continues to evolve, it’s necessary to consider which processes and technologies are worth investing in and where time and resources can be better spent. One obvious place to start is the Zoom waiting room. Zoom has become one of the most widely utilized technology solutions for higher education institutions. But are we overusing this technology? Is it actually meeting student needs, or is it making the support process difficult? Is there an alternative?
The Influx of Zoom Waiting Rooms
Zoom waiting rooms aren’t that effective. Still, most higher education institutions see Zoom as the best option for personal communication. There wasn’t much time to research alternative support solutions in March of 2020, and Zoom seemed like the popular, most accessible choice, so Zoom it was. And it was a great choice—it’s easy to use, intuitive, and free for students. The problem is that Zoom wasn’t originally designed for advising appointments, career fairs, and an entire campus’ worth of college classes.
No One Likes a Waiting Room
As virtual waiting rooms have taken the place of in-person appointments, students have grown weary of the process. Many spend more time in a waiting room than in the meeting itself. When it takes an hour to connect with an advisor for a 10-minute appointment or an hour in an online career fair waiting room just to talk to one company, that’s a sign something needs to change.
There’s no way for students to know how much longer they’ll be in a queue, and they can’t step away because they have to be ready when the host is ready. One frustrating experience may even deter some from attempting to reach out via Zoom in the future. The last thing faculty wants is to turn students away, but unfortunately it’s happening inadvertently.
We recognize there’s friction in the process, and we have a tool to help eliminate it.
The Waiting Room Alternative
At EVAN360, we have developed a way for students to connect with the right person to get answers quickly so they can focus on achieving academic success. It’s not a waiting room. It’s a tool that eliminates the wait and empowers faculty to give students help right when they need it.
- Students can meet with anyone who is qualified to answer their question instead of waiting on one person.
- Students can get help when they’re ready—not just when a Zoom room is open.
- Faculty can track metrics and document issues within the app. Reports are available with actual information about specific problems students are experiencing and the steps taken to solve them.
- Faculty can answer questions as they arise without sitting in a virtual conference room for hours at a time. They are free to work on other tasks throughout the day.
- Implementation is quick and simple—no lengthy rollouts or trainings.
- The app is easily accessible to all departments and easy to learn and use.
If you’re getting tired of virtual waiting rooms and have been looking for a better solution, see how EVAN360 works here.