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How to Know When to Upgrade Your Student Engagement Platform

By: Lucie-Kay Desthuis-Francis on Oct 5, 2023 8:05:57 AM
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Drawing from our experience helping 700+ higher education institutions drive student engagement, this article provides 7 signs its time to upgrade student engagement platforms. 

Switching technology solutions is never easy. No one likes change. However, if any of these 7 issues sound familiar, it may be time to upgrade to a student engagement platform that better serves your institution.

1. Too Many Logins and Passwords to Remember:

Having too many systems that students and staff have to log into on a daily basis is inefficient, time consuming, and just plain annoying. A single, comprehensive platform that centralizes information and consolidates multiple learning and engagement tools means system administrators have fewer tools to manage, and everyone has fewer login credentials to remember.

It also creates a consistent user experience, reducing the time spent toggling between platforms and learning a new platform. These efficiencies give students and staff more time to focus on what matters most

TIP: Choose a student engagement platform like CampusGroups powered by Ready Education, that enables Single Sign-On authentication and integrates with other campus-wide systems, including Learning Management Systems and  Student Information Software. Learn more here.

2. Your Technology Solution Looks and Feels Like it was Built in Another Decade:  

An outdated user interface and technology can significantly hinder the effectiveness of an engagement platform. If users find the platform difficult to navigate or experience frequent system slowness and glitches they will simply stop using it. 

Students don’t want a platform that looks and performs like it’s from 2001. They are used to apps and websites with sleek designs. These platforms are easy to navigate and offer the same experience on a laptop or mobile phone. Your student engagement platform also needs to be accessible to all students, including those with disabilities.

TIP: Look for a system that is well-designed, has a great user experience, and is compatible with accessibility standards. This will make it easy for all students and staff to actually use it on a daily basis, which will naturally stimulate engagement.

3. Inadequate Tracking and Reporting Capabilities: 

Effective student engagement platforms provide robust tracking and reporting capabilities. If your system lacks the ability to track student involvement, gather feedback, and analyze and report on this data, you're missing out on opportunities to improve your student engagement and retention strategies. 

A platform that enables campuses to monitor student involvement in real time helps  staff to quickly identify disengaged students. It also empowers them to intervene amongst at-risk students and prevent dropouts.

TIP: The most effective platforms measure student involvement and academic performance. They also provide event attendance metrics, resource use, and other valuable student behavior data. Having a holistic view of each student in one place enables administrators to make student-centric decisions without collecting data across multiple platforms and running complicated Excel spreadsheets.

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Student Engagement Platform_frustrated woman and computer

4. Limited Communication and Collaboration Features: 

Communication and collaboration are essential components of a successful student engagement strategy. They enhance the student experience and promote student retention and success. If your engagement platform lacks tools that promote social connection, it will likely fall flat.

A campus wide feed, dedicated mobile app, chat capabilities, and social directory are critical features for engaging the campus community. Platforms that include features such as student groups and membership, events management, room reservations, online payments and budgeting tools are particularly successful at facilitating communication and collaboration among students and between students and staff.

TIP: Choose a platform that promotes seamless interaction among students and staff and serves as a reliable one-stop-shop for campus resources and services. Platforms  like CampusGroups offer all the functionality you need to successfully connect your  campus community, while also replacing other solutions and reducing costs.

5. Out of the Box Solution with Little Room for Customization and Personalization:

Systems that offer a one-size-fits-all approach with limited opportunities to personalize the student experience are proven to be less engaging. Modern student engagement platforms enable institutions to customize and brand content so students have a seamless experience.

Customization tools help colleges better reflect their institution's values. The ability to personalize the learning experience based on user permission levels and preferences helps students access the information they need when they need it. This fosters platform usage. Gamification through points and badge systems also help personalize the student experience, further incentivizing student involvement.

TIP: Look for a system that offers a high-level of customization and personalization. The ability to customize menus and personalize content based on user preferences is key to ensuring students actually engage with the platform. Rewarding this engagement in a fun and interactive way also makes sure they keep coming back.

6. Can't Get a Hold of the Customer Service and Support Team:

No matter how great a solution is, being able to access a good customer service and support team is critical. Knowing that you can connect with a real person post-implementation is just as important as having a robust implementation process. You need both for your student engagement platform to succeed.

The most successful technology solutions create a true partnership with each customer. Knowing you have a trusted advisor to help answer questions, troubleshoot, and find solutions to issues as they arise is extremely valuable. It helps you adjust things within the platform and scale as the needs of your  institution naturally evolve over time. 

TIP: Choose a platform provider with  strong customer service and support teams. You never know when something might go wrong or change. When assessing your options, don’t overestimate the importance of having access to a dedicated account manager throughout the duration of your contract. 

7. System Upgrades are Rare and New Features are Never Rolled Out: 

Innovation is key to keeping any ed-tech solution relevant. The most successful platforms regularly upgrade and expand their platform. Technology trends are continually evolving. To keep up with user expectations the user experience should also evolve. 

Knowing when new functionality is rolled out ahead of time and knowing how it works is also critical. It ensures users make the best use of the platform. User communities, webinars, and workshops are great ways to introduce new features and keep users  active and engaged on the platform.

TIP: Select a platform that values innovation and invests in its product by developing new features and upgrading technology. Solutions such as CampusGroups are continually working to enhance the student experience and stay ahead of the curve. This helps ensure  your digital student experience is always exciting and up to date..


We hope that these insights help you determine when it’s time to upgrade your student engagement platform.

You can also learn why the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (UWEC) decided to upgrade their student engagement platform here. This case study highlights how attendance tracking and other automated workflows that feed into a powerful analytics and reporting dashboard in real time, created a better user experience and efficiencies for students and administrators at UWEC.