Communicating the Student Experience

The core aim of this project group is to improve student’s access to the correct information at the right time along the student journey by:

  • Reviewing correspondence received by students. This has highlighted the very high volumes of emails received by students – who suggest that this has led to a feeling of being bombarded.
  • Developing a coherent and structured approach to our communications with students.
  • Improving student’s awareness of services, supports and opportunities through targeted and structured communication.

Weekly Student Experience News

The  Student Experience Newsletter is a weekly publication, showcasing to students all events and services that come under the remit of the Student Experience Office.

 Why was this needed?

An audit of student communications was undertaken under the Communicating the Student Experience Project Group.  It was clear from feedback that there were areas that could be improved on. It was agreed that in the first instance departments/units under the remit of the SEO should work together to produce a weekly newsletter for students which would be sent via email.

 Comments from the audit included:

  • Email communication seems to be ‘random and chaotic’ and most correspondence does not serve any purpose.
  • Some emails are very poorly written (grammar, spelling, punctuation) and the message is not always easy to grasp.
  • Messages are sent by staff who are unknown to the student.
  • Messages are sent by offices and the student wondered why.
  • All emails look different – there is no branding. It is not easy to recognise the source -‘Who has the authority to send emails’.
  • There is a scattergun approach used to corresponding with students, not a student centred systematic approach.
  • Correspondence reflects a ‘silo’ effect.

 

Standardised email signature

 In the interests of promoting professional standards a standardised email signature has been adopted by all offices under the Student Experience Office remit. The format has been approved by SMG (Senior Management Group), and has also been considered in terms of meeting international standards for those with visual impairment. Its main attributes are:

 (a) that it be black/navy in colour, Calibri or Arial font type and 12 point size.

(b) A comma , should be used rather than a vertical bar to separate details.

(c) All email should contain the full name, and contact details of the sender.

(d) Social media links for services to be added as appropriate.

 

  • Create a student centric “Campus Life” section on the UCC website.
  • Centralise Student Experience social media accounts.
  • Continuation of student focus groups.
  • Organise facilitation training for focus groups.
  • Identification of Student Experience champions in departments.
  • Briefing session for academics.
  • Class rep focus group based on survey results.
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