How college websites influence students’ web experience

Both prospective and current college students admit their experiences on college websites are hugely influential.

How are today’s students researching higher-education institutions? The two dominant audiences for college websites are prospective students—defined as high school juniors and seniors—and current college students who are searching for support during their experience. A recent Ektron infograph offers insight into the different ways these two student groups locate and are influenced by college information.

Currently, there are 4,495 degree-granting institutions in the United States, and research estimates that 21.6 million students plan to attend college this fall.

Differences aside, both current and prospective college students strongly agree on one thing: They are heavily influenced by web experiences. Sixty-five percent of prospective students said that a bad web experience hurts their opinion of a school, and 63 percent of current students said their opinion of a school improved when they connected to it through technology.…Read More

The ‘Holy Grail’ of college websites might be here

More Americans will access the internet through a smart phone or tablet than via desktop computer by 2015.

The dream, for many campus technologists, is to design and maintain one school website that translates to every internet browser on every laptop, desktop, smart phone, and tablet on the market. The reality is quite different, with websites created for every conceivable device.

Notre Dame on April 1 joined an exclusive club of colleges and universities that have made a single school site that adapts according to which device it appears on, keeping the website an appropriate size with no need to scroll or zoom in and out to adjust to the differences between am iPhone screen, an iPad screen, or a MacBook screen, for example.

Using a website creation method known as responsive web design (RWD), Notre Dame launched what has been dubbed the “Holy Grail of higher-ed website[s],” said Karine Joly, a web marketing official and editor of Collegewebeditor.com, a blog covering marketing and public relations in higher education.…Read More

Interactive campus maps could mean big bucks for colleges

Nearly eight in 10 students say campus tours are valuable.

Spiking gas prices and a growing reliance on college websites could make online campus maps a premiere recruiting tool, to the tune of $60,000 per month.

Technologists who have tracked the evolution of the interactive campus map say the online tour—complete with 360-degree views, descriptions, and videos—will take on a more vital role in college recruitment efforts as gas prices rise and the days of multiple campus visits become unfeasible for most middle-class families.

“You simply can’t afford to take your children to 20 schools to see what they’re all about anymore,” said Kyle James, founder of the popular higher-education site .eduGuru and a former webmaster at Wofford College in South Carolina, during a Feb. 28 edSocialMedia webinar. “It’s just too expensive to do that … but it’s vital in the recruitment process.”…Read More