College and university students communicate with their peers via specialized mobile communication platforms like Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc. and expect a seamless communication experience with their campus staff and other students. This is where a mobile private social network becomes an invaluable tool to increase campus connectivity. Students want to be constantly connected. They need their information to be immediate, continually renewing and available on their phones. Not to mention that when they ask a question they expect an immediate response. You already know this. But did you know that an effective way to meet these needs is by implementing a mobile and private social network for your campus?
5 Reasons You Need a Private Social Network on Your Campus
1.Direct Campus Communication Channel
Public social networks are designed to increase engagement between friends—they’re not built to facilitate campus engagement among students and staff. As a result, important campus questions posted by students are competing for attention among an unlimited stream of selfies and posts. A campus exclusive platform cuts out all the extra "noise." A mobile campus feed caters to your students ,it's a dedicated place where students can ask questions, and post campus related content directly from their phones. It also places administrators on the same level as students. This breaks the traditional brick and mortar barrier that we often see between staff and students.Thus, it's dedicated to campus information and campus members. This means that students are guaranteed to get the information you want them to receive. Additionally, students can communicate with you. The exclusivity of the campus feed means that they know that their school is more likely to see what they post. If they have a question, comment or complaint they can post it in the campus feed and you can respond to them.
2.Peer-to-Peer Campus Support
A private mobile communication platform helps increase peer-to-peer campus support by providing a safe environment for students. This platform gives students a place to share their thoughts and feelings and connect with other students.When students get supportive messages from members of their campus it creates a sense of belonging. Having the ability to seek out help and express feelings and concerns has been shown to play a role in students’ adjustment to college. Research by Srivastava,Tamir, McGonigal, John, and Gross (2009) indicates that among students entering college, emotional suppression was associated with less social support, less closeness to others, and less satisfaction with one’s social network. Furthermore, research shows that developing interpersonal relationships with peers affects a student’s grades and retention, (Tobey, 1997). [caption id="attachment_951" align="aligncenter" width="678"]
Example of students using a mobile campus social platform to interact and connect with their peers.[/caption] Put yourself in the shoes of a first-year student—you’re going to a new school, in a new city, and you don’t know many people. Orientation isn’t for a few days, and you’re nervous about meeting so many new people. It can be hard to make new friends. What if you were able to “meet” students from your school before orientation? The campus feed allows new students to start making friends before orientation.Interacting with peers in a digital environment helps break the ice and ease nerves. The campus feed can also help students find study partners and roommates. The campus feed also helps commuter students to keep in touch with what’s going on on campus. It’s also useful for international students to become acclimatized with the campus culture and to start making social connections even while a thousand miles away. [caption id="attachment_952" align="aligncenter" width="678"]
International students from Turkey (left), and Egypt (right), making social connections before arriving on Canadian campus.[/caption]
3.Immediate Help to Students in Need
As a member of the campus social platform, you can identify problems as they happen. If a student expresses that they're experiencing a mental health issue you can reach out right away. Rather than waiting for them to come to you. This is a helpful intervention tool that helps to create a supportive environment. For instance, a student posts about how stressed they are about the upcoming exams. Or they start talking about how they’re thinking about dropping out. This is something that needs immediate attention. A campus feed allows academic advisors to intervene. Being able to help a student who’s talking about dropping out increases the likelihood that you will retain them.
4.Assess The Mood on Campus
When your school has its mobile communication platform you can use tools to better assess the feelings of your students. A campus sentiment analysis system assesses the overall campus mood by determining the contextual polarity of student posts on various conversations in the app. Conversations are categorized as positive,negative, and neutral based on a broad set of parameters (e.g. exams, dropout, events)This is a great way to track how students are feeling about campus. It’s also a good way to get feedback on campus initiatives. A private social network also lets you “support your students when they need you. Students will use this mobile platform to discuss campus issues because they know the campus is “listening.” This allows you to understand what’s going on on your campus. It’s akin to being a “fly on the wall.”
5.Students Are Accountable for What They Say
Yik Yak allows students to be anonymous. This means that people don't have to take responsibility for what they say. But, in a mobile and private campus network, students are identified by their registered school name. They thus become accountable. And, as a result, they self-moderate. This prevents many of the problems that administrators experience on public social networks. It also helps ensure that productive discussions about campus issues can take place. Public social networks like Facebook and Twitter were all the rage a couple years ago. But they’re the trend of the past. Private social networks—feeds exclusive to your campus, are the future. It’s time to get on board. What are you waiting for?
Download this ebook and find out how the OOHLALA app’s campus feed can benefit you.