Communications on Campus
- 1 Meetings
- 2 Things to Consider
- 2.1 1) What is our scope?
- 2.2 2) What are the primary communication issues as we see them?
- 2.3 3) What are our current methods of communication?
- 2.4 4) What do we foresee changing in our communications with the move to Outlook?
- 2.5 5) What is/are the best way(s) to find out from students/faculty/staff what needs improvement, and what we already do well?
- 2.6 6) Are there any changes we can implement immediately?
- 2.7 7) Is there anything else I haven’t thought of here which needs to be looked at?
Initial Discussion: 1/8/2009
What things do we want to accomplish?
- Clear, concise way of communicating with students
- Establish a tool and TELL people about it
Things to Consider
1) What is our scope?
A focus group of staff and faculty on internal communications was conducted last summer by Beth McDermott and Amy McGill (see attached focus group questions and results). Direct results include the MIIS@Work blog and the emergence of new communication tools such as Yammer. Should we, then, focus entirely on communications to and amongst our student population? Or are there still issues with employee communications that need to be addressed?
- Information overload: if ALL the information is there, people may not read it all/digest the information
- Define the needs of each audience, catalog the ways we communicate with each of them, and create a sheet that defines where each audience should go to find information (a "Channel Guide")
- Are there better ways to communicate than blasting FirstClass with several notices about the same event/news?
- Need for clarity vs. control
- Need to make a decision as to how we are going to communicate and communicate that method/channel to students
- Don't limit discussion to specific tools -- focus on WHAT WE WANT
- In this day and age, most of what we can imagine is possible
- Many things we want can be implemented in the main website redesign
2) What are the primary communication issues as we see them?
- People consume information differently
- People may not be getting to YouTube videos through the website -- may be accessing through YouTube directly, Facebook, etc.
- People are overwhelmed by the many different sources of information
- New student orientation information -- the information was given to them, yet new students didn't know where to find it
- Faculty and staff need to understand where things are and relate the information to students
- Cost-benefit analysis
- People will return to channels they like/find helpful (ex: Yammer vs. FirstClass Institute News)
3) What are our current methods of communication?
If I remember correctly, someone was tasked with developing a list of blogs, conferences, etc.- is that true? Could we go through that list as a group and get a general sense of which methods are effective and which are not?
4) What do we foresee changing in our communications with the move to Outlook?
- FirstClass vs. Exchange
- It will be possible to filter groups through Outlook
- ex: send message to all students, all staff, all IEP students, etc.
5) What is/are the best way(s) to find out from students/faculty/staff what needs improvement, and what we already do well?
Would a survey be useful? A focus group? Would the questions used in the earlier focus group be useful here? How should we implement one or more of these processes?
6) Are there any changes we can implement immediately?
If we decide on a process of inquiry that will take longer than this January winterim, are there “quick fixes” to our communication issues that we can implement in the meantime?
- Short-term quick fixes may be helpful in creating successful long-term communications
- Develop a quick information sheet listing available tools and where to find them
- Create a short new student FAQ (top 5 or 10 questions)
- Where do I find my books?
- How do I find a syllabus?