Insights into the Student Experience: Leveraging Messenger Technology to Enhance the Student Experience in the Online Classroom
Concurrent Session 2
In 2018, CTU introduced a texting feature within our mobile application, allowing students to communicate with faculty. These messages offer unique insight into how students experience classroom technology, content, and the learning process. Leveraging these insights has allowed us to improve the student learning experience based upon direct student feedback.
Smartphones and devices are a staple in the life of college students; the results of a University of the West Indies survey found that 67% of the respondents never turn off their mobile phones, always have the device with them, and check for text messages a minimum of one hundred times a day (Ahmed, 2019). Leveraging the communicative capabilities of mobile devices to inform, support, and engage with students has been utilized to varying degrees by universities worldwide. Text messaging features specifically can be utilized to gain real-time feedback and create real-time connections with students.
The informal nature of a text-style communication tool has the potential to change not just how, but what our students communicate with faculty. Utilizing a text-messaging style messaging feature to connect faculty and students can offer unique insight into how students experience classroom technology, content, and the learning process. These insights can then inform innovative initiatives at a multitude of levels around the University from technology to instruction to student support.
Messages provide a real-time understanding of the ways in which the students are interacting with a Learning Management System. Instructors often become the first line of defense when students have questions regarding navigating the classroom environment. Messages highlight the student (user) experience. An analysis of messages from student can help to identify technological or navigation barriers can then inform faculty and student trainings along with future technological advancements.
Messages also provide real time insight into how students are thinking and feeling about the learning they are doing. Is a student feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, or empowered? Analysis of messages offer insight into barriers and/or successes that students encounter as they navigate their online course. Understanding the student user experience (UX), allows instructors and student support staff the ability to provide needed on time support for students. When faculty take advantage of these “messenger moments”, they can personally encourage students when it may be needed to persist. CTU has evidence that with effective messenger communication, students are more likely to stay engaged with faculty and with course content. Messenger data analysis can also inform both administrative and instructional strategies.
In this session, panelists will share the trends in terms of the types and timing of student messages at CTU. Each panelist will discuss some of the insights they have gained from the messages and how they have actioned on those insights from an administrative, instructional, and student support perspective. The panelists will examine a sample of messages and discuss response strategies both from an immediate instructional perspective and from the perspective of enhancing the student experience longer term.
The individuals attending this panel discussion will gain insight into how to leverage new technologies and the data coming from those new technologies to enhance the student experience. Attendees will be able to analyze trends within the data, developing an awareness of both implicit and explicit meanings within student communications. And attendees will be able to discuss strategies for leveraging those findings across various levels of support from instructional to technological.
Ahmad, T. (2019). Mobile phone messaging to increase communication and collaboration within the university community. Library Hi Tech News.