Enhancing student engagement using innovative student experience platforms

Using technology to help students during trying times can help streamline communications and improve engagement

Ready Education's avatar
Ready Education
15 Jan 2024
bookmark plus
  • Top of page
  • Main text
  • More on this topic
Ready Education session at THE Campus Live UK&IE 2023
Sponsored by
Ready Education logo

Ready Education

Find out how Ready Education’s feature-rich solution ensures all of your digital campus needs are met

Student engagement is a crucial aspect of modern education. Amid the widespread integration of technology in the sector, higher education institutions are exploring innovative tools to improve engagement. During a session at the 2023 THE Campus Live UK&IE event, Adam Smith, business development manager at Ready Education, and Chris Sherwood, user experience lead at Swansea University, shared valuable insights on using technology to tackle the challenges students face during their academic journey.

Ready Education’s myday app is a bespoke campus solution that enables institutions to build their own custom web and mobile platform through a secure portal. It includes a number of integrations that universities can use with their existing software, such as Blackboard or Moodle, to ensure a fully centralised system, Additionally, it comes with multiple authentication methods such as Google, Facebook and AzureAD.

Swansea University used myday to develop an app for students called MySwansea. Sherwood shed light on the development of Swansea University’s student app, emphasising the importance of adopting a product mindset that focuses on continuous improvement. The app includes integrations, event promotions and an arrivals area to facilitate smoother transitions for first-year students.

Sherwood explained the thought process behind this feature: “The idea was that we could link to lots of useful resources to make them feel good about coming to the university because a lot of user research found that issues such as social isolation and cost of living were a big worry.” The Unibuddy Community embedded in the myday platform, which Swansea University used, operates as a buddy network. It connects students who may feel isolated by enabling them to organise meetups to foster connections.

However, the panel noted that a balance has to be struck to ensure students don’t experience notification overload. “You don’t want to give them another channel to deal with, and then they just turn off from it,” Sherwood said.

He discussed the importance of frequent user engagement testing to ensure both staff and students get the maximum benefit from the app. “Don’t just assume that it’s working – test it, validate it. It won’t take very long to do, and you’ll know if your message is going to make an impact.”

Smith noted that while the initial adoption of this technology in an institution may fall under the IT department's remit, the key to continued success and engagement lies in adopting a comprehensive approach. “It’s very much a university-wide platform,” he said. Universities will achieve the most impact by involving different teams, such as marketing and student support, instead of maintaining a siloed system. “The academic data is what drives students to check the app, but bringing those student support services into the app is what keeps students using it.”

The panel:

  • Chris Sherwood, user experience lead, Swansea University
  • Adam Smith, business development manager for the UK, Ready Education

Find out more about myday by Ready Education.

You may also like

Live chat, weekly digests and newsletters: online tools to boost engagement
Tools to engage students in online courses
sticky sign up

Register for free

and unlock a host of features on the THE site