How To Engage and Support Students You Can No Longer See
Updated: May 26
Knowing how each student is doing in real-time was hard enough pre-pandemic; but now, universities are faced with an even bigger challenge. How do they figure out which students may need additional support now that everyone is remote and hiding behind a computer screen?
Taking the "pulse" of how students are doing using an SMS bot is an effective way to check-in with students at scale and automatically connect them to relevant resources. In an environment in which 44% of college students do not feel supported by their institution, and 77% of them claim that how their school handles the pandemic will determine whether they will return in the fall, showing students that you care is more critical than ever before.
Throughout the months of March and April EdSights has worked with dozens of universities all over the country, helping them do just that: support their students at scale and make them feel cared for.
Below are some of the more effective scripts we've used to check-in with students and support their wellbeing:
#1 COVID-19 Impact Check-In
One of the biggest challenges institutions have faced with COVID-19 has been quickly identifying which students have been impacted by the pandemic and connecting them to targeted resources. These resources (free hotspots, emergency funding, housing, etc,) are oftentimes limited and must, therefore, be effectively allocated. Many campuses we spoke with are using email/call campaigns to understand how each student is doing, and then manually fills out spreadsheets to track their conversations and organize their follow-ups. Bringing your mascot to life over SMS can help you collect this information at scale, in just a few hours, with no staff work whatsoever.
Here's an example of how it works...
This conversation uses an AI-powered chatbot to engage in 2-way conversations with students. There is no human texting the student back. Conversations can be tailored to reflect the specific issues your students are facing and the resources your institution has available.
#2 Wellbeing Nudges
We also wanted to make sure our institutions were able to preserve a sense of community and belonging as students moved away from campus. One way to do this is to leverage the mascot as a way to keep students engaged and show them you care about their wellbeing and want to help out.
These are just some of the ways in which you can support students during the pandemic. Sometimes, the right text message at the right time can make a world of a difference.
But don't just take our word for it!
Here are what students at Baker University shared with their bot (WOWzer The WildCat)
A note to the reader:
These conversations are curated for EdSights' AI-powered chatbot, which is delivered over text message. You may leverage these surveys over other mediums as well (email, Google Survey, etc) but please keep in mind that there is exhaustive evidence that indicates that response rates and level of depth when it comes to student responses are stronger when students are reached over SMS.
If you're interested in learning more about how you can support students using an SMS bot over the next few months please don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org