Apps and analytics: The key to student engagement?

Bolstering engagement with students could hinge on how colleges and universities use real-time analytics.

analyticsInsight into how, when, and even why students interact with campus technologies has become a linchpin in maximizing efficiency, saving money, and optimizing the student experience in higher education.

Could these insights — analytics — be the key to bolstering student engagement on college campuses too?

Campus Quad, creators of a real-time mobile communication platform designed specifically for colleges and universities, has answered this question with a definitive “yes,” and their higher-ed customers, so far, agree.

The Campus Quad mobile platform — available on any Apple or Android device — was launched in fall 2013 as a new way to facilitate student-to-student and student-to-school communication. This unified mobile app condenses the myriad ways in which a college interacts with students, communicating with the campus community about upcoming events, emergencies, and measuring exactly how students are engaged with the platform along the way.

Real time analytics is the key, Campus Quad customers say, to adjusting how a college or university interacts with its students via mobile device the same way schools have used analytics to identify struggling students before they fail a class or drop out of college.

“While analytics may be today’s buzzword, the collection and evaluation of data is critical to creating rich learning opportunities for students,” Thomas Black, associate vice provost of Student Affairs and university registrar at Stanford University. “Delivering that data to frontline practitioners to analyze stakeholder satisfaction, assess communication strategies, and measure achievement of program objectives is even more powerful.”

See page 2 for how colleges have simplified online interaction with students…

Frances Cairns, founder and CEO of Campus Quad, said the app was meant to simplify how schools engage students, instead of spreading engagement efforts across various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instgram, and other social networks.

“It has really become more and more important to engagement students where they are, which is on their mobile devices,” Cairns said. “Obviously, you want to know if what you’re doing is really working the way you want it to, so we give colleges all the information they would need to know if … and how students are using [the Campus Quad app].”

“Access to and understanding of this rich data empowers front line practitioners to be stewards of change,” Cairns continued. “That translates to student program improvements for universities and the students they serve.”

Instead of taking the decidedly old-school approach of posting fliers announcing upcoming campus events or hoping students see those announcements on the front page of a school’s website or a Facebook post, Campus Quad can deliver the message directly to a students’ mobile device.

Black said adoption of Campus Quad at Stanford has been encouraging during the app’s soft launch, and that engagement with the app has proven consistently high. With a concerted push at the university, Black said the platform could become a staple of university-to-student communication.

“Engagement is and has been important to us,” he said. “I don’t think we’re alone in that among [colleges and universities].”


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