We recently visited NESCOT college, a further and higher education college based in Epsom, UK. They've been using a mobile app (NESCOMMS, a College branded version of Tribal's Student Engage App), to manage three-quarters of all College communication. Here's how their communication strategy has changed.
NESCOT's ethos is about getting young people ready for the world of work. Getting onboard with the most modern technology is helping them to do this.
Adam Beral, Director of Facilities at NESCOT told us, "The future of teaching and learning is evolving very quickly, the pressures and expectations of young people are changing… communication to students has changed. We used to use unreliable means to get our messages through to everyone, but now we use the NESCOMMS app, it's more effective and speeds up the relationships we build, provides a notion of trust with it being college-branded, and is in a format, students are familiar with."
With technology changing so quickly, Rob Greening, Director of Personal Development and Welfare claimed, "If we're not equipping them with technology, we're not preparing them for the world of work... the NESCOMMS app benefits us in an awful lot of ways. It's freedom in a box, they see it as a social network but a professional social network. It's so fast in disseminating important information such as room changes, rail strikes, adverse weather conditions around campus etc. Comms have improved considerably. Information is two-way. There were issues before we had the app around communication, for example, a student may have tried to call us or email us and we weren't able to take their message instantly, but now messages are in real time."
Andry Waters is the College's Curriculum and Standards Coordinator, she told us, "The NESCOMMS app has enriched the communication process at NESCOT. It is effectively instant communication, as opposed to more traditional comms methods such as email and paper-based letters; so naturally, the impact is much faster. It's revolutionised the way we work with each other and with students. Students expect this form of communication now. We have to match it, otherwise, we're not moving forward, we have to match what's going on in society.
The students think the app is awesome. They promote their own class work on there, show me their learner journey and know that they can message tutors directly and privately in a safe and approachable way. In this day and age, it's all about posting things in social network apps. If we're not grabbing the students' attention, we'll lose their interest."
Ellie, a Level 3 Beauty Therapy student described the app, "It's kind of like Facebook in that there's a feed and you can see all the different things happening at the College. We have a group chat, which is great as you don’t have everyone's numbers, we use that to communicate with the tutor and each other."
To discover more about the changes in student communications and how you can prepare for the future, download our guide today. Also, be sure to read the next blog in our mobile app series - A mobile app for education: Using app communication to reduce anxiety.