Your Guide to Student Engagement. 4 Ways to Get Today s Students Involved Using Mobile Technology

Your Guide to Student Engagement 4 Ways to Get Today’s Students Involved Using Mobile Technology Introduction Student engagement is a complex concep...
Author: Preston Preston
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Your Guide to Student Engagement 4 Ways to Get Today’s Students Involved Using Mobile Technology

Introduction Student engagement is a complex concept, especially in an ever-changing higher education landscape. When examining the dynamics between students and their institution, research suggests considering engagement as a multi-faceted construct. The aspects of engagement consist of: • The effort and time a student invests in their academic tasks • The effort a student extends to being engaged in their first year of school1 • The level of involvement in extracurricular activities, and • The level of interactions with peers2. Engagement is critical for all students, and it is particularly important when considering dropout rates in higher education. Today’s connected students need effective tools that can deliver these different types of engagement. With 82% of incoming students owning smartphones3, mobile apps are a great resource for engaging students, as they seamlessly integrate many facets of engagement in one place. Here’s what mobile can do for these four types of student engagement.

Transition Engagement In the U.S., 68.7 % of college freshman in 2012 continued their higher education, with only 58.2% of those students returned to the same institution as their first year4. Transition engagement considers how engaged a student is with their university as a first year student. During the transition from high school to university, the effectiveness of the institution’s orientation process is highly important for connecting students to one another and to the available programs and services at school.

How a mobile app can help: • Provides the opportunity to connect students with their peers, orientation leaders and faculty before start of school year through social interactions • Makes important resources available for first-year students facilitating acclimation to their school environment (campus map, student services, academic advising, etc.)

Academic Engagement First year students who are able to complete 30 credit hours in a year are 40-46% more likely to graduate5. Academic engagement encompasses a student’s time and effort toward academic tasks, including applying strategies toward their learning. A student who is academically engaged completes their assignments and their credit hours, and is able to apply their learning to their life outside of school.

How a mobile app can help: • Provides time management tools that help with task management, including reminders for upcoming due dates • Provides organizational tools, such as schedule planners and an upcoming task check-lists

Peer Engagement Students involved in a learning community show a 5-10% increase in retention rates5. Students who interact with their peers in educationally meaningful ways are more likely to be engaged with their learning overall (Krause & Coates, 2008). Students who are engaged with their peers get together outside of class to study, go to campus events, or work on assignments. This is a collaborative learning environment (frequently called learning communities) in which a student builds their knowledge through peer interactions.

How launching a mobile app can help: • Option to direct message classmates to foster collaboration between students • Opportunities for students to easily connect virtually and be able meet up in person

Beyond Class Engagement Students involved in co-curricular programs showed 5-20% higher persistence to graduate than students not involved in those programs5. Students’ engagement with their institution is highly impacted by their activity outside of the classroom. Extracurricular activities that can impact engagement can occur on or off campus and involves peers with similar interests or goals. Such activities, like cultural groups or sport events, help students form bonds with other students and create a stronger connection to the institution, which forms a stronger sense of belonging.

How launching a mobile app can help: • Provides easy access to campus-related events, campaigns and initiatives • Access to contact information and location details to student clubs and organizations

Conclusion With the right technology, a campus-based mobile app can efficiently engage the student body by addressing these 4 aspects of student engagement. If you’re wondering how to use technology to suit your institutional needs, consider how you might enhance your existing institutional engagement techniques with the launch of a mobile app. We hope this guide serves as a resource for anyone looking to boost student engagement or looking to leverage mobile technology on your campus.

About the OOHLALA App

OOHLALA is a mobile app for institutions and students in secondary and higher education. We followed student engagement theory to design our app with the goal of engaging students academically, through first year transitions, fostering peer relationships, and by promoting beyond-class involvement. Twitter: https://twitter.com/OOHLALAapp Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oohlalamobileapp

? Request a personalized demo at oohlalamobile.com Questions? Contact us at: [email protected]

References 1. Tinto, V. (1987). Leaving college. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2. Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of college student personnel, 25(4), 297-308. 3. USCA Media. (2014). Does student marketing now mean mobile marketing? UCAS Media. Retrieved from http://www.ucasmedia.com/2014/ eight-out-ten-freshers-have-smartphones 4. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (July 9, 2014). Firstyear persistence and retention rates by starting enrollment intensity: 20092012. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Retrieved from http://nscresearchcenter.org/snapshotreport-persistenceretention14/ 5. Tannous, J., & Moore, S. (January, 2013). Improving upper-class engagement and retention: academic and co-curricular strategies. Education Advisory Board. Retrieved from http://www20.csueastbay.edu/oaa/files/ student_success/UpperClassEngemnt.pdf