Building a Better Campus Community in a Digital World
The pandemic changed the way we approach building community in higher ed. While that immediate pressure is receding, institutions must continue adapting their approach and support new digital communities with a variety of tools if they want to compete.
Now more than ever, creating a sense of belonging for students in an era of isolation matters. Unfortunately, too many digital tools muddy the waters. Learn how to build digital communities that students actually engage with and how to balance the relationship between digital solutions and real human interaction.
Why Community Matters
Students crave connections and community. More than that, it’s vital to their higher ed success. Not all communities are the same though. Pathify Chief Product Officer Brian Alexander shares some research-backed insight into the best types of higher ed community support.
How to Build Digital Community
Between the pandemic and the growing emphasis on online education, community can be hard to come by. The solution? Create a digital community. A Salesforce study found that nearly 30% of students said online communities create a sense of belonging at their institution, and 25% said online communities support their wellbeing.
Tips for Creating Community
Focus on student needs
To create a community students actually to use, you have to focus on the features they actually want, need, and find helpful. Bring students into the process to their voice is clearly heard.
Make your community sticky
Too many higher ed portals have information students only need once a semester. That’s not a foundation for an engaging community. Include features that keep them coming back regularly.
Start early (with prospects)
Don’t wait until the semester starts to build community! Let students connect and engage while they’re assessing your school and before classes begin.
Use technology to your advantage
Students always engage with social media, so take some cues from those addicting platforms. Allow for direct communication, recommendations, and notifications to keep them engaged & coming back for more.
Download the PDF for more tips
Guide: Building Communities in Higher Ed
Learn more about how supportive communities disappeared from higher ed campuses, why it matters, and what you can do to get it back.
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