ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Annelise Ewing Goodman and Katie van den Berk are Customer Success Managers at EesySoft. Annelise has a Bachelors and Masters of Science Degree in Communication and is currently finalizing an Ed.D in Educational Administration. Katie also has a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Arts Degree in Communication. Both Katie and Annelise have worked in higher education as instructors and administrators.
Communicating online may seem like a simple task, but when attempting to connect with thousands of students, faculty, and staff, things can get a bit muddy. The question of how to best communicate has undoubtedly been on higher education administrators' minds for decades, especially during the current move to online learning. Communication in higher education is important because both the internal and external relationships are determined by the way interactions occur. Successful communication on a college campus is more than clicking send on a message --it takes the cooperation of all faculty, staff, and administrators to get the right information delivered.
Boyer (2016) argues that a university with a communication culture will have multiple benefits, including faculty/staff engagement, greater clarity on shared governance, and increased community involvement. To garner these benefits, Ken Pasternak (2020) offers five best practices:
1) Start with your highest beliefs and values
2) Communicate early
3) Communicate good and bad news in the same voice
4) Communicate all plans and contingencies
5) Don’t just post on the university website and expect people to see it.
The EesySoft EdTech Adoption Platform provides a centrally located, widely dispersed channel of communication that allows for these best practices to come to fruition via your LMS. Here are some examples of what our customers have used:
TAMIU Back Together - EesySoft Pop-up message for Fall 2020 orientation
TAMIU worked with EesySoft to create a pop-up message for Fall 2020 Orientation. All members of the university community were required to watch an informational video outlining the new COVID-19 policies on campus, providing an excellent example of consistent communication with university messages. EesyReports found that 91% of students confirmed watching and acknowledging the COVID-19 policies before the start of the semester.
San Diego State University - EesySoft Pop-up messages for Fall 2020 updates
San Diego State University showed a collaborative effort to create messaging regarding the changes in the Fall 2020 operations, specifically with log-in changes and COVID-19 policies. Even though students have been experiencing an influx of messaging from all areas of campus about COVID-19, using EesySoft can present that message in a unique format in a space students utilize daily.
SDSU had over 157,000 views, 230 up-votes, and 8,554 links to view the video in this message, in addition to other messaging about their institutional approach to handling the pandemic. As stated in their Instructional Technology Services blog, “a key element of [their] successful communication strategy continues to center on providing contextualized custom notifications directly within SDSU’s learning management system (LMS)” and EesySoft is an ideal platform to execute this strategy.
Try this EesySoft Universe example to help you finish the fall 2020 semester remotely and ensure students are aware of how their courses will be taught after the Thanksgiving break!
If you don't yet have EesySoft installed book a FREE demo with an EesySofter here!
CCSNH - EesySoft Systray message with QR code for the institutions Screening Application
Community College System of New Hampshire took messaging that could have been an easily disregarded email and created an engaging systray message. To make it as easy as possible for students to download and use the COVID-19 screening app, they automatically populated student ID numbers for each user. They also linked out to the official university websites with institution-specific COVID-19 information to maintain consistency.
Ultimately, internal and external communication is critical because it reflects on the university's image. Faculty, staff, and administrators must remember that communication is a process—thus, it is not static (Lucas, 2012). Effective communication takes time and effort from all parties involved and EesySoft provides the ideal platform for collaborative communication to come to life.
Boyer, R. (2016) Achieving a culture of communication on campus. The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/article/Achieving-a-Culture-of/237120
Lucas, S. (2012). The art of public speaking. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
Pasternak, K. (2020, November 4). In higher education, communication is the new marketing. University business. https://universitybusiness.com/in-higher-education-communication-is-the-new-marketing/