Knocking Down Student Barriers During Covid: Using EesySoft Targeted Messaging to Promote Student Resources

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Due to COVID-19, students had to quickly pivot to a fully online environment. Mercy Online leveraged EesySoft messaging to remove student success barriers and provide awareness of student support resources. Join this session to learn how we partnered with college units such as Tutoring, Advising, and Counseling to provide continuity of student support.

Extended Abstract

Immediately after students transitioned online, Mercy Online reached out to all the key stakeholders to provide an opportunity to create a personalized pop-up message within Blackboard, allowing for high visibility.

We created a model where twice a week, we launched targeted messages outlining different areas of support for students. Key support areas that students received messages on throughout the semester included Counseling, Career Services, Advising, Libraries, Learning Center/Tutoring, IT Help Desk, and Mercy Online.

Each message received positive feedback, resulting in increased visibility for the area, and seen by over 6000 students over a period of one week or less. This reminded students of all the student support resources that are in place for them. The Pop-Up messages allowed a direct link to those resources to sign up and made it easy for students to get in touch with the departments. This also allowed us and the Stakeholders to be data-driven by providing information such as how many students viewed the message and took action by clicking on the embedded links.

We obtained comments from the students indicating how much they appreciated that they were made aware of what was in place for them. For example, a message launched about the availability of online tutoring was viewed by 7716 students and received 340 clicks. This message received 1062 thumbs-ups, indicating that students found the message very helpful. For example, one comment a student made in reaction to the message was, “This information is helpful for me, as I want to know where to go for tutoring and help for preparing for exams to get a good start in my first semester.” Another comment stated, “Provided an opportunity for more support, and I will be setting up an appointment.” A final comment stated, “I have never been able to find the schedule tutoring appointment link- so a pop-up like this weekly would be great!”

This high-touch approach has strengthened our ability to optimize the student experience, increase student engagement with college resources and support, and help them overcome any barriers to success.

The objectives of our session include:

  • Discuss the steps Mercy Online took to remove student success barriers
  • Discuss ideas on the best use of EesySoft to support students
  • Review our future plans to use EesySoft to promote student and faculty success
  • Exchange information with other Institutions surrounding their approach to the student experience during Covid.

Throughout the presentation, we will provide samples and examples of how we implemented our support model. We plan on allowing multiple opportunities for audience interaction. We will engage them using polls, asking questions for responses in the chat, and having a question and answer session. Our presentation aims not only to demonstrate Mercy Online's approach to Student Support during the pandemic but also to exchange ideas with other institutions.

We will provide the audience with slides from the presentation and a pdf handout of the slide.  Please see the following link for an idea of the type of information we will share and the data we have gained from our messaging campaigns: EesySoft Data