There are a few steps instructors can take to prepare for better student buy-in for exam software--and the key is communication.

7 tips to secure student buy-in for new learning tools

There are a few steps instructors can take to prepare for better student buy-in--and the key is communication

Whether you are in the vetting phase, just purchased, or are in the process of implementing new exam software, there are steps you can take to improve the student experience.

The goal, often, of introducing new exam software is to ensure student access and success. This goal doesn’t always translate when we are in the process of change, which can be difficult for faculty and students alike.

Luckily, there are a few ways to prepare for better student buy-in. The key is communication. I will discuss three aspects of disclosure: communication with students — early and often, communication with IT, and intentional communication for buy-in.

Communication with Students

Exam software, like many other classroom tech solutions, requires particular minimum system requirements (MSRs). These requirements can range from internet speeds to particular operating systems and may include accessories like webcams and microphones. It is important that your students know ahead of time what software is required so that they can plan accordingly. This is crucial to student access. You want to communicate the MSRs before orientation and ensure there are multiple touchpoints for students to stay informed — such as emails, website updates, and orientation notices. Be creative with your communications while making sure to distribute this information early and often. Collaborating with the Student Council or a similar student organization could prove beneficial, as well. 

When drafting a communication plan for your students, be particularly cognizant of those who are not first years. A change in testing policy and device requirements necessitates additional communication for students who are familiar with former processes, as it is more difficult to unlearn previous testing software than to learn a new software upon entering a program.

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