off-campus students

3 ways to engage your off-campus students

As more institutions diversify with online offerings, creating a connected community for off-campus students has never been more of a priority.

We live in a digital world where people learn, work and play in the cloud. At Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Oklahoma, one of our goals is to create a global digital society through one connected campus. Toward that end, we are embracing new technologies and paradigms to make our “whole person education” program easily accessible to students on our Tulsa campus—which serves students from all 50 states as well as 90 countries—and to students living all over the world.

Here are 3 ways we’re creating connections to make campus life easier to navigate and more enriching for our students — whether they are on campus or not.

1. Forget the helpdesk. Create an IT concierge service.

Because we live in a digital society, students don’t just arrive on campus with multiple devices; they arrive with their own cloud. As CIO, it’s my mission to help them survive and thrive in the digital world. Yet, we found that students only visited our IT helpdesk when they had a technology issue or something was broken. We wanted to improve our customer service and, more importantly, find new ways to creatively leverage technology to benefit everyone.

So, in 2014, we transformed our IT helpdesk into a “concierge” style of service to make our services more visible and accessible to students as well as faculty and staff. Our IT Concierge Service is now open every day during normal operating hours, and it is staffed by members of the IT department as well as ORU students. The interactions we have with our customers — and our student workers — provide us with valuable insights as to how we can use existing and emerging technologies to better serve their needs.

(Next page: Engagement tips for off-campus students 2-3)

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