Universities and colleges around the world often find it difficult to keep up with the constant demands of student support. Yet they know that providing excellent student support is vital to helping students graduate and reach their full potential.
One of the exciting developments in improving the student support experience is the mobile-friendly movement.
In this article, we’ll outline why universities and colleges should consider a mobile-first approach.
What is mobile-friendly student support?
Put simply, mobile-friendly student support is a way of providing a student support experience that is tailored for mobile devices.
Traditionally, student support has been delivered through a web interface that was designed for desktop computers. However, with the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets, it’s become clear that universities and colleges need to design their student support experience around these devices.
In practical terms, this means ensuring that the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are optimized for mobile devices. It also means ensuring that all content and functionality are available on mobile devices.
What are the benefits of a mobile-first approach?
It meets students where they are.
Students typically have their phones on them at all times, including when they attend classes, dine out on campus or attend sporting events. By optimizing the student support experience for mobile, universities and colleges empower students to get help in whatever context they find themselves in.
It reduces friction.
Whether student support is optimized for mobile or not, students will attempt to access it on mobile devices. However, if the experience is not designed for mobile devices, they will likely find it difficult to use. This can lead to frustration and a lack of engagement with student support.
It encourages students to self-serve.
By providing a mobile-friendly student support experience, universities and colleges can encourage students to seek help for themselves rather than approach university or college administration team members who may not be able to attend to them quickly. This also gives university and college employees more time to focus on other tasks that are important for student success.
It enhances the classroom experience.
Today’s students don’t need to wait for lecturers or tutors to deliver content. Mobile-friendly support means that students can access course materials, quizzes, discussion forums, and other important materials on their smartphones and tablets. This helps to create a more seamless learning experience that is tailored to an individual’s needs and pace of learning.
It is highly secure.
When students share desktop computers, the risk of inadvertently exposing personal information is high. However, personal devices such as phones or tablets have in-built security features like password protection, face recognition, and Touch ID that make it difficult for anyone other than the owner to access information.
It increases accessibility for students with special needs.
Personal devices such as smartphones and tablets have dramatically increased accessibility for students with disabilities. For example, students with vision impairment can access educational materials and support services through text-to-voice or screen readers. They can also customize font size and screen contrast.
How can universities and colleges make their student support experience mobile-friendly?
With Capacity, universities and colleges can design low-cost mobile-friendly student support experiences.
Our AI-powered support automation platform meets the needs of higher education institutions that want to provide the best student support without compromising on security or functionality.
The platform works by gathering all the information that students need to know in one place. It then makes it instantly accessible 24 hours a day with the use of a conversational chatbot.
This allows students to find answers to questions like:
- Is the cafeteria still open?
- When is my assignment due?
- How can I contact security?
- When do I need to submit my financial aid application?
- Can I book a counseling appointment?
The platform also helps with:
- New student onboarding: Universities and colleges can use automation to ensure that students are made aware of what they need to do to get up and running with the institution.
- Acting as a virtual teaching assistant: Capacity helps professors and teaching assistants manage course content, quizzes, and discussion forums on mobile devices. This allows for a more seamless classroom experience for students.
- Automating common processes: Most of the tasks that higher education administrators perform are boring, menial, and repetitive. Capacity can automate these tasks, freeing up administrators to focus on more important activities.
- General faculty support: When faculty and staff have an issue with course materials or assessments, they can turn to the chatbot for help. The chatbot will provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix the issue and remember their preferences for future reference.
- Alerting students to deadlines: Institutions can use Capacity to set up SMS (short messaging service) or push notifications for application deadlines, final exam schedules, and more.