Critical: 5 ways IT can better communicate with students

IT department and student body communication not only benefits students, it also benefits faculty and admin.

[Editor’s Note: This article originally ran on Optimal Partners’ blog here.]

In order to run a successful higher ed IT department, IT must communicate with students. Effective communication must be ongoing and open, ensuring that this integral part of your user base always has an avenue to express their concerns or ask questions. This does not just benefit students, however.

Fostering a positive relationship with users allows their feedback to be accounted for during systems implementations, which will make university staff and faculty happier. Since fostering a strong line of communication with students is an important part of the IT department’s success, here are five new methods to try:


1. One way to bridge the gap between IT communications and students is to invite them directly into the department by creating a student advisory council. The advisory council’s main goal should be to create a trusting relationship between IT and its user base by showing students that their input matters. In order to build that trusting relationship, IT should involve the advisory council in as many IT-related activities as possible. These activities could include: prioritizing new implementations, offering input on new technologies and the effectiveness of potential projects, testing, and budgetary meetings. As every IT department is different, the student advisory council may need to take on a completely different role than the examples listed here. Ultimately, the department will have to determine the extent to which the student advisory council is involved.

(Next page: IT department communication strategies 2-5)

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