This month in EDUCAUSE

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My name is Irene Knokh and I’m the EDUCAUSE ambassador for U-M. I share articles of interest, upcoming trends, and advocate on your behalf for EDUCAUSE.

How to connect with students using technology: CTU Messenger 

Colorado Technical University (CTU) began using Messenger before the pandemic–back in 2018. The goals were to reach out to as many students as possible for connecting them with needed resources. The population in school is mostly non-traditional students with varied commitments. The best way to get in touch with many of them is through text messaging. 

Text messaging is done through LMS or mobile applications; the questions range from tech issues, questions or clarification of classroom content, to physical or emotional challenges. The school uses Kapiche AI text analysis system to sort the texts and to connect students to assistance as soon as possible-often within 48 hours or less. Instructors must know how to help their students and gauge the struggles in class. CTU’s messaging system helps them do just that. Students are aware that messages will be reviewed.

CTU made an impressive and very helpful infographic, “CTU Faculty Engagement Strategy.” The analysis of text messages showed what issues students mentioned in text messaging (March-May 2021 by week data analysis). 

The authors briefly mention studies conducted by other schools, such as the University of West Indies; students use texting, hardly ever turn off their phones, and respond much quicker than to emails. Most importantly–students want to do the work and to succeed. The school’s messenger tool is the pulse checker to make sure that they do. More information: CTU Messenger: Classroom Insights through TechnologyConnie Johnson, Margaret Carmack, and Tina Morrell discuss the use of Messenger at CTU.

My own thoughts? I am curious how the school addresses privacy issues and communication guidelines between students, faculty, and support staff-since very personal information can come up. How do you prevent faculty and staff burnout in trying to do the best for each student? 

Do we have a similar service at U-M (all campuses)?

The year 2022 is here: Digital Transformation (DX) is ongoing

Take a look at community conversations and how DX is evolving with post-pandemic. Investing in technology is important-but it’s only a piece of the puzzle. 

How do you serve students and stay nimble? 

How Dx Powers the Post-Pandemic Institution | EDUCAUSE

Let me know if you would like me to explore further any of these topics in the coming months.

Mentoring Tidbit: Free Mentoring Program for EDUCAUSE members

If you ever wanted to be a mentor and learn more from colleagues at other schools or organizations-do it! Review the resources on EDUCAUSE Mentoring Talk page (use your UMICH [Level-1] credentials through Federated Login), to access the recording. 

I wrote blogs on mentoring and will be polishing up a final copy sometime in February. I’ll be happy to share my experiences. You can be a mentor…and a mentee. It’s about learning-not status.

“See” you next month!


If you have any questions about the content, tidbits you’d like to share, or anything EDUCAUSE related, email Irene Knokh, instructional design and technology consultant, Professional Development and Education for Nursing, or Chris Eagle, EDUCAUSE coordinator for U-M.