Student Communications Plan
Today multiple channels are used to communicate with current students:
• First Class e-mail – urgent alerts • First Class Conferences – MIIS* announcements, MIIS events, MIIS reminders, student announcements, student events, classifieds • Student Services blog – campus news, MIIS announcements • Foghorn – student news • Moodle – course information, class schedules • Events Calendar – events (about to go live on Web site)
- “MIIS” as an adjective describes official Institute announcements posted by staff/faculty.
The proliferation of communications channels creates confusion as students have too many different places to go to get the information they need and find too many duplicative messages that have been communicated in multiple places. There is no clear definition for staff of what information should go where, and no clear definition for students of where they should look for what information.
Solution: Create a Temporary Student Portal Using Moodle
We know that:
• First Class is being phased out by Fall 2009. • A key component of the Web site redesign plan is the creation of a student portal. • Moodle is a tool most students use daily right now. • Moodle offers significant flexibility as a content aggregating tool. • Students have expressed a preference to receive information via e-mail where practical.
We have concluded that Moodle offers a potential “bridge” solution where we can aggregate information in such a way as to create a temporary but highly functional student portal until a longer-term student portal solution can be implemented on the Web site. This portal approach, coupled with greater utilization of e-mail, can reduce the communications clutter students experience, reduce the channels they need to pay attention to and clarify for everyone on campus which channels should be used to transmit (and receive) what information.
The following revised channel guide details which channels should be used for which kinds of information:
• E-mail (FC until phased out; then Outlook) – MIIS reminders, urgent alerts • Student Services blog – campus news, MIIS announcements, MIIS events • Foghorn – student news, student announcements, student events, classifieds • Moodle -- course information, class schedules • Events Calendar – events
The Moodle portal will aggregate the Student Services blog, the Foghorn and the Events Calendar onto a single site, while continuing to feature course and class schedule information as well.
There will be two main channels for “official” MIIS communications from faculty & staff to students -- the Student Services blog and email.
There will be two main channels for student communications to other students -- The Foghorn and email.
SCP Communications Plan
One of the keys to a successful implementation of the SCP will be a successful roll-out that engages key stakeholders and earns their buy-in. Recommended steps are:
- Create formal channel guide showing what information belongs where.
- Communicate plan to key contacts (information managers and student leaders), get feedback.
- Create posting standards.
- Present plan to Amy Sands, get feedback.
- Present plan to President’s Staff, get feedback.
- Implement portal solution.
- Issue memo with guidelines to key contacts.
- Announce to campus community using all channels.