Navigating Student Engagement in a World of Mobile Devices // #NASPA15 Session Notes

IMG_8987So first off, this session on Mobile Devices didn’t disappoint – it was a full house of folks all on their phones. However, this wasn’t just about phones, it was about all mobile devices.

One of the biggest takeaways from the session (especially as a Campus Activities pro) was this:
The skill of planning ahead may be gone forever. Based on the research, they found “If friends go, then they will go. Not really about the event.” BOOM. I’ve always said this. Activities during college are all about seeing, being seen and hooking up.
Another great example of students using tech was one of students texting each other about long lines which made folks leave. This is interaction you might never see or even know about. What does this mean for our customer service practices during events? What can we be doing to help create fun environments that keep student engaged?
Short term planning skills are needed by this new crop of students. The language is changing. “Talking” is texting not actual phone calls or face to face conversations.
Urgency and frustration appear from a fear of missing out.
  • 3-4 days to wait for a professor to respond to students is ridiculous according to students.
If your institution has an official app or some sort of app you are hoping they’ll use – if they hear from others that it doesn’t work or that it sucks – they will not use it themselves. They want integrated systems. They want to reserve rooms and other things in one place and via mobile.
Holding each other accountable happens more often. I know this to be true myself – you can’t say you didn’t know someone was trying to contact you when you are connected all the time.
Suggestions from presenters for what we can be doing as Student Affairs professionals:
  • Conduct Focus Groups with student on an annual basis to understand usage.
  • Create programs and systems that teach students to develop short term plans and follow through on those plans.
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