3 Ideas for Creating an Exceptional Student Experience

3 Ideas for Creating an Exceptional Student Experience

3 Ideas for Creating an Exceptional Student Experience

The overall student experience can make or break any university’s reputation. This experience isn’t just about the curriculum or the quality of the education itself, but also about what other services students are provided such as dining, parking, student housing, facility maintenance, and the list goes on.

Statistics show that 43 percent of U.S. students decide on their future college based on their first impression of the campus. Likewise, 83 percent of students consider the friendliness of the campus as more important than the school’s prestige and overall standing. Here are three ideas on how to improve your students’ experience and with it, your college’s reputation.

Listening

Today’s evermore digital world has opened up plenty of opportunities for people to finally have a place where their opinions can be expressed freely. Unfortunately, however, this development has left little room for listening. This means that a lot of questions are being asked but very few actually receive an ear and a comprehensive answer.

You can use this situation to your advantage by doing on-campus surveys to determine what your students’ wants and needs really are. There is nobody more qualified to say what requires an upgrade than those who are experiencing it every day. Each university’s campus is different and all have their own areas that need improvement.

These surveys should also focus on particular aspects of on-campus life and not be left to the students’ own interpretation. This way, you can be sure to receive the most thorough and objective answers. So, instead of asking “What should be improved on campus?” you should ask something like “What’s the least attractive thing about the cafeteria and how can we improve it?”

Encouraging Collaboration

Colleges and universities were first established as a means to provide a space where learned minds could share ideas and points of view. Yet, 86% of today’s American students study independently in their rooms. This is in stark contrast to what was observed in the rest of the world. It, thus, falls under the responsibility of the university to try and find new ways on how to increase inter-student collaboration and social engagement.

Some of the ideas proposed were about rethinking how the living and learning spaces are designed so as to promote as much connection as possible. Similarly, universities should put forth new engaging ways of drawing students to the already existing places such as the library. Another idea here would be to create a third kind of space that’s not for living or for studying, but one that encourages congregation, collaboration, and interaction.

Incorporating Technology into Everything

Technology is already used to facilitate teaching and learning but it can have many other uses as well. To keep things simple, mobile technology nowadays is limited mostly by one’s own imagination. An easy-to-use mobile app can be used to inform students about upcoming events, relevant news, streaming live events, local bus routes, university highlights, sports teams’ progress, parking lot or laundry room status, the cafeteria menu, shortest routes from one place to another, and the list can go on and on. Offering students the convenience of having this seemingly trivial information in one app is the key to enhancing their experience.

Conclusion

Keeping up-to-date on what students want and need is crucial in creating an exceptional student experience. Only by gathering and analyzing the necessary data can a campus hope to achieve the desired results.

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About the author

Johann Leitner is the founder and president of Touchwork, a marketing management software company.