Written by: Chris Hopkinson
The consumer experience has changed drastically in just the last 10 years. Long gone are the days when customer service interactions happened face-to-face, as consumers increasingly prefer the convenience and automation of mobile experiences. This rise in on-demand services has created a new consumer who expects personalization: a timely experience catered to their unique preferences and interests.
Most of us appreciate how mobile has helped to facilitate this new instant gratification because we can remember a challenging customer experience. Students today never knew a world where paychecks were deposited at a specific bank location during specific hours, TV shows and movies aired at certain times or radio stations decided what you would hear.
Campus vs. Edtech Personalization
Higher education institutions are now welcoming this new generation of students. Students who deposit checks from their smartphone, binge-watch their favorite online TV shows and create their own music stations; today’s students have grown accustomed to personalized, instantaneous experiences. Unfortunately, most edtech is falling short on delivering the personalized experiences that students have come to expect.
This antiquated one-size-fits-all education technology model in higher ed has led to a decrease in student engagement. Students are now taking six years on average to complete their undergraduate degree, graduation rates in general are declining and institutions are struggling with getting students to read and respond to campus email. As institutions begin to update their engagement strategies to fit the needs of today’s students, one area worth examining is mobile.
Nearly 98 percent of millennials aged 18-24 own smartphones, and students are increasingly utilizing apps on their mobile devices to facilitate all activities. Convenience, ease of use and the ability to be connected instantly to one’s campus has led students to prefer a more personalized campus mobile app for interacting with their college or university. While most campus mobile apps tend to provide generic information, natively integrated mobile apps provide the personalized experience that today’s students demand.
5 Personalization Features for Campus Mobile Apps
Powered by native system integrations (LMS/SIS/ERP), outlined below are five personalized features institutions can incorporate into their campus mobile app to drive student engagement.
1. Personalized Push Notifications: With personalized push notifications, institutions can deliver personal messages that help students stay on top of their academics, better manage their financial responsibilities and make the most of on-campus opportunities. With SIS and LMS integrations, these messages can be automatically triggered by changes in a student’s data profile such as a new grade, course assignment, account hold and more.
2. Course Content Delivery: For today’s busy students, improving performance is all about better delivery and access to course information. Instead of searching, students want course content delivered to them. Easy access to any updates, discussions, new assignments, grades and more helps to keep students engaged and on-track.
3. Ability to Add and Drop Classes: While the intuitive design of a campus mobile app can make viewing course information a breeze, native integrations takes convenience one step further by enabling students to add and drop classes at the push of a button.
4. Buy Books: One-click access to all course materials is another benefit of enterprise integrations and an appealing feature to today’s on-demand generation. By integrating with enterprise systems, course materials from the campus bookstore can be auto-populated in one’s campus mobile app and purchased with one click.
5. Chat: Students want to connect to each other, and not just socially. Incorporating group chats and classroom discussions into one’s campus mobile app helps students stay focused and find others with similar classroom needs and questions.
Today’s students are living in an on-demand world where convenience and personalization are the norm. As institutions struggle to keep up with the wants and demands of this new generation, a robust, natively integrated mobile strategy can become a vital tool in helping to keep these students engaged.