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UNIVERSITY PERSPECTIVE

SocialStudent and IBM Connections

Why Colleges / Universities need to take a look at SocialStudent…NOW.

4 major problems that Universities currently struggle with that SocialStudent can improve.


Dropout rates

American Dream 2.0 reported that in 2013, 46% of US college students failed to graduate in 6 years. College can be an overwhelming experience for students. College is filled with new freedom and challenges that are tough for many students to handle.

· The task that all universities face: engaging the student in a way that motivates them to be successful.

· The question all universities must ask: are we currently deploying the necessary tools that are relevant to this generation of students that captivates and prepares them for graduation?

· The goal all universities must strive for: creating an engaging learning environment that captivates, empowers, and motivates students to succeed, to increase student retention and decrease dropout rates.

· The solution – SocialStudent. SocialStudent can decrease dropout rates by empowering students to collaborate together to form a more rewarding college experience. Students are more likely to excel and stay motivated when they feel connected & essential.

o When student’s feel they are an essential part of a community or their voice is being heard, they are more likely to stay engaged in the activity at hand. Nothing is worse than being “just another face in the crowd,” this mentality of having no value in a large university can lead to loss of motivation, self-worth and productivity. SocialStudent gives each student their own identity in the university with the “profiles feature.” Profiles allow students to create their own personal identity, giving them an innovative platform to build collaborative networks with like-minded students, which in return, exponentially increases their feeling of self-worth, motivation and connection to the university.


Onboarding freshmen (or transfer) students

The way students are introduced and prepared for the new world of college sets the tone for their college success. When we look at the demographic of freshman students that are coming into universities today, the majority of students are 18 years old (born in 1996) and have RARELY used email to communicate up to this point. So what forms of communication is this generation of student used to? Social media and text messaging! These students view email as “old school,” nevertheless, they are bombarded with email after email on how to succeed as a new student and it is easy for important emails to get lost in the process.

· The task that all universities face: onboarding students in a way that is well received, preparing them for success with the end goal of graduation in mind.

· The question all universities must ask: are we providing the most effective onboarding process for our students that is completely tailored to their needs and ensures they fully understand their roadmap to graduate?

· The goal all universities must strive for: Creating a tailored and effective onboarding process that engages, informs, and motivates students to fully understand what it takes to be successful and ultimately graduate on time.

· The solution – SocialStudent. SocialStudent is the most innovative approach to onboarding this generation of college students. SocialStudent utilizes the most familiar form of communication that these students are used to: social collaboration. SocialStudent enables the university a very powerful tool to create onboarding communities. Onboarding communities will act as a centralized hub of information that students can look to for all of their new student requirements.

o When students are accepted into your college as a senior in high school, they can immediately gain access to the onboarding community. Within this onboarding community, you can provide all the essential information and updates these students need to access. Students are immediately connected with other students who have been accepted, they can post questions, locate key administrative information, read blogs from former freshmen students who have gone through the same process and even create a discussion forum to find potential dorm roommates. An onboarding community within SocialStudent is the most innovative way to create a collaborative learning environment before the student even steps on to campus.


Creating a dynamic learning experience that encourages collaboration

Let’s face it, the majority of universities struggle to create a unique, differentiated learning experience for their students. The college experience unfortunately has remained the same for decades: lectures, textbooks, homework and more lectures. This learning model lacks one CRUCIAL element, student engagement! How is your university breaking from this monotonous trend? What tools are you deploying in your university that encourages collaborative student engagement throughout their entire college experience? What separates your university from the university down the street? These are all questions that need to be answered when creating a dynamic college curriculum.

· The task that all universities face: creating a distinctive college experience that engages students and stimulates learning in a way that is relevant and receptive to their communication style.

· The question that all universities must ask: are we offering tools within our infrastructure to compliment our curriculum in a way that enhances student engagement and retention?

· The goal all universities must strive for: Constantly refreshing and innovating current processes to provide students with cutting-edge education that encourages learning and engagement.

· The solution – SocialStudent. SocialStudent brings a very powerful platform that works seamlessly to compliment your college curriculum. SocialStudent brings that missing element of student engagement that college students so desperately desire. By injecting SocialStudent within your curriculum you are enabling another level of student learning; engagement.

o For example, a student who is enrolled in finance 380 will also join the finance 380 community. Students in this community can engage in rich discussions with fellow classmates or instructors to collaborate all things finance such as: how to use the financial calculator, how to value stocks and bonds, setup a study group for next’s weeks test, or simply post a message about the most beneficial aspects they received from that mornings lecture. By creating an avenue for students to get engaged their class; you are dramatically increasing the student’s motivation for success, comprehension and productivity in the class. Imagine the possibilities of implementing this kind of collaboration for every class. Providing SocialStudent in your university can significantly increase the learning experience for your students, empowering them to be successful and in return, separating your university from the rest.


Enhancing the experience for online classes

College Explorer reported that 45% of college students are taking at least one online class. Online classes have afforded many students the great opportunity to take classes at their convenience. This is particularly beneficial for adult students who are working full time who still desire to earn their degree. Online classes continue to grow in popularity, however there is one MAJOR drawback of taking an online course; zero class engagement. At the price of convenience, students who take classes online, forgo their opportunity to raise their hand during class when they have a question, or talk to the student sitting next to them to gain further knowledge. To put this in perspective, 45% of students are missing out on key learning opportunities solely because there is no avenue to collaborate (besides emailing the teacher). With online classes, it is just you and your virtual instructor, sounds lonely right? How can we create a more dynamic experience for our online students that encourage collaborative learning similar to real life?

· The task that all universities face: Providing an effective online curriculum that enables the student to learn the subject matter without having to come into class.

· The question that all universities must ask: Are we providing the latest technology that will increase engagement for online students and maximize their online class experience?

· The goal all universities must strive for: create the most cutting-edge online curriculum that promotes the highest level of learning integrated with student engagement.

· The Solution – SocialStudent: SocialStudent will revolutionize the way students engage with online courses. SocialStudent strips away the lonely feeling of “it’s just me and my computer,” and brings the classroom environment to your home. By enabling students to connect with their peers who are in the same situation, the MAJOR problem of online classes can finally be put to rest.

o Traditionally, if a student was taking managerial accounting online, that student would have no access to any peers who are in the same course. With SocialStudent, online students can engage in rich collaboration. Students can create discussion forums asking: “did anyone understand what the teacher meant by variable cost formulas?” Furthermore, students can connect with other students, create study groups, hashtag relevant links, create blogs, and share useful resources like never before. By investing in a platform that enables student engagement online, students will inevitably have a more enjoyable and beneficial online class experience. Having a cutting-edge online class curriculum for your university can have a dramatic impact on the number of online registered students and create a competitive niche for your school.