Effective and direct communication is an asset that a college must possess to function smoothly. How many times has a student been unnecessarily burdened due to miscommunication, when an important circular for an exam was issued too late?
Or when they came to class only to find out that it had been canceled because the teacher forgot to inform the students?
There are a lot more examples of such issues which could easily have been avoided.
So yes, with just a few steps it is possible for universities to address these issues and help not just students but also the faculty to communicate effectively.
Building an official app or website
With everything going online, it is important for every university to have an app/website of its own. This is helpful in many ways; students can keep track of their attendance, check for sudden changes in schedule etc.
Teachers can make use of this by providing assignment questions online, while parents can use it to monitor their ward’s progress.
Also, an app or a website effectively solves many communication issues as students who have missed class can still be on par with the rest by keeping track of the missed lessons.
A win-win situation for all!
However, it is equally important for the app to function well, for a failing one can magnify the very issues it wishes to eradicate.
Using emails and text messages
When changes take place in a department regarding the syllabus or timings of classes, emails can be sent to the faculty reminding them to inform students.
This prevents unnecessary confusion as everyone is on the same boat.
Also, after scheduling student-faculty meetings, reminders could be sent to both groups using text message or email to enable one-to-one communication.
Scheduling online orientations
Orientation seminars are important to students, helping them understand how the college functions and how their respective courses are going to pan out.
Sometimes students join a particular course/elective only to back out later, it not being their cup of tea or of their interest.
When does this happen?
When the college doesn’t orally describe the course in detail, leaving students with wrong perceptions of it.
To avoid this problem colleges can record videos of professors describing the course in detail and put them up on the college app/site before each semester starts.
Reminders can be sent to students to watch these videos via text messages or emails.
If the students have any queries, they would be able to contact the respective teachers at a specified time either directly though calling, or by emailing/texting, thereby increasing convenience.
With many clubs and groups being on campus, recruiting for volunteers and members can be a hassle; club leaders would know!
Although they can reach out to students through social media, emails, and calls, these have have a greater chance of being ignored or forgotten.Texting in this case is a feasible option as it lends a sense of urgency.
With broadcast texting, a lot of students would be reached but in a non-personalised way, which would likely be treated as spam.
This is where peer to peer texting comes in, solving this issue by making conversations more personal and generating interest in the process. It is a more convenient tool with a greater chance of success, which can also be used for fundraisers, organising club meetings, etc.
As the great George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Colleges should realise this to effectively improve how they communicate with their students and faculty.