Six strategies can help develop intentional, effective structures to improve students’ digital experiences.
Most of us working in higher education these days understand that many incoming students have never known a world without technology that is centered around them as individuals. They are accustomed to using technology in all aspects of their lives and expect an intuitive, easy, and efficient consumer-grade experience. For some institutions, including the University of Arizona, the student digital experience leaves something to be desired—or at least it did five years ago. In 2018, after being at the university for just six months, I was asked to participate in the University of Arizona's strategic planning process and partnered with leaders in Academic and Student Affairs to craft a proposal I called Personal, Digital U.
This proposal included the collective ideas of these leaders (with their permission) and expanded on those ideas to envision a holistic, unified digital experience that would make it easier for students to navigate a large, complex, highly decentralized R1 university. The proposal grew into a larger enterprise constituent relationship management (CRM) initiative, focused on the student experience, that received buy-in from university leaders and kicked-off in January 2019. In the four and a half years since, the university has transformed and unified the student digital experience. Six key strategies supported this work, and our teams learned many lessons along the way.
Published on EDUCAUSE Review on January 9, 2024
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