Educational institutions on all levels, from kindergartens to postgraduate studies, are trying to keep up with latest developments in the world of technology. All the rapid changes we experience influence our daily lives, presenting new possibilities for communicating, obtaining education and working. Colleges aren’t that different from companies in terms of constantly having to think about the changing patterns of behavior of their target audiences. Academic institutions are involved in continuous exchange of information with their students, and considering young people’s fascination with digital communication, they have to think of new ways to engage them. Here’s where live chat comes into education.
Fast-paced environment of the education industry calls for the implementation of new type of support for students and teachers. The former often attend multiple courses and take up part-time jobs, and the latter don’t limit themselves to a single university when it comes to sharing knowledge. To both groups time is of utmost importance.
The education process is a rather serious business. It doesn’t have to be boring, though. It seems like the websites of various learning institutions are mostly barren plains of text, which may discourage prospect students.
Putting a little fun in otherwise fundamental elements of a college website by adding a tool for real-time communication won’t hurt. Below you will find some arguments for using live chat in education. Let’s start the class, shall we?
Using live chat for e-learning
For starters, let me go back to what I said at the very beginning about the changes we experience in connection with the constantly developing technology. E-learning is becoming a growing trend, with more and more education institutions offering online courses utilizing an array of communication platforms.
The trend is an answer to the growing pace of life, especially of the social group of people who actively seek to expand their education due to personal or professional reasons. At the same time, they’re mostly well-acquainted with the latest digital solutions and find them to be beneficial.
It is precisely this group that the marketing managers at univerisites and colleges should target with e-learning curricula, and having live chat available can only be beneficial to both parties. It provides the learners removed from classroom with means to contact tutors in real time and receive immediate answers, and the teachers are able to multitask and work with a number of students simultaneously. This can create more of a one-to-one, high quality learning experience. Moreover, all chat sessions are saved and can serve as handouts after the class is finished.
Making student life and education process easier
There’s no reason to not incorporate technological solutions into the education process. Live social chat will make every student’s life easier, regardless if it’s full-time or extramural. It can serve as a means to stay connected and discuss more informal student life, but more importantly, as a tool to colaborate on projects, especially remotely.
Using live chat platform for education, people currently staying in different libraries or dorms can complete coursework together. Real-time collaboration with others leads to better processing and consolidation of learning materials.
With features like Full URL, based on having a single link opening the chat room in a separe browser tab, students can arrange to have brainstorming sessions. Everyone who has the link can join the discussion about a textbook and hold private and public conversations with other chat room users.
Use live chat to facilitate the internal workflow
Not only students can benefit from having live chat at their disposal in the education process. Such a communication platform can be also used by educators and the office staff. Professors can discuss their field-specific matters at a distance in an environment comfortable for them. Other employees of an academic institution can lessen the volume of emails and phone calls and deliver answers in a timely fashion without creating a backlog.
Also, a single chat operator is able to hold a number of conversations simultaneously instead of keeping people on hold over telephone. Having this means of communication available is a tip of the hat to young people, who constitute the clientele of administrative and dean’s offices at colleges. You’re helping them by not only providing the information they require but also by being accessible and allowing them to not waste time on misdirected phone calls.
These days, the education sector couldn’t exist without three crucial departments present in every university. It just so happens that they could also make great use of live chat software. A library could provide real-time information on accessibility of books and other media in a manner fit for it, which is without a phone ringing.
An IT department could help students having troubles with any online systems that a university may have, or receive reports about errors and mulfunctions. And lastly, a career counselling office could deliver prompt advice to students who seek information on, for example, job opportunities in their area.
Building the image of a modern educational institution
As I said a couple of times earlier in this post, it’s mostly young people, who are the target group of any college. Being a rector or other highly authoritative person involved in education, you need to take steps to make the interaction with prospect students easier.
Implementing live chat on a website is a lot about creating great first impression and being remembered well. By installing chat platform you’re giving your website a little bit of human touch, especially with the option to upload operator avatars and use smileys.
Allow your grand institution to become just a little more friendly without losing its due seriousness. Since the use of this solution still isn’t absolutely ubiquitous, it might be a good way to stand out in the field of education. Your students should also appreciate the option to use chat on their mobile devices. It will come in handy, for example during commute, when they’ll want to talk to a professor or the office staff and not necessarily share their issues with people around them.
Using live chat in the recruitment process
There’s another, highly important way in which live chat can be used in the education sector. The recruitment process is a huge part in the life of any learning institution. Prospect students, especially for private colleges, are a lot like potential clients. You need to make sure you provide them with excellent experience from the get-go.
The enrollment process doesn’t have to be tedious. After implementing chat platform, you can start by setting a creative Welcome Cloud message to show that you’re there to help in case of any doubts and encourage prospects to talk to you.
Working with live chat operators, future students can clarify all the admission-related issues they may have, ask general questions and be guided to the information they couldn’t find on their own.
Questions regarding admission requirements, availability of courses and various forms to fill out are certain to pop up. Great thing about chat software is that it allows you to attach documents directly to the messages you see in the conversation window. You could also use this tool during open days at your educational institution to answer questions of potential students.
All in all, live social chat is an excellent means of communication between students themselves, as well as getting in touch with libraries or professors. It has a considerable upside to it in being an up-to-date solution for transfer of knowledge in the education process and providing important information in real time.
Due to its social character, the educational institution using live chat has to make sure that certain etiquette and turn-taking system are introduced and upkept. It may be necessary to appoint moderators during discussions with guests or group projects. In my opinion, students may actually benefit from having to learn to express their thoughts in a precise and concise manner, a skill that will surely be useful later in their professional lives.
The education authorities of a particular college will have to make sure that security measures are in place if chat is to be used, and provide guidelines to its staff and students regarding how to use the platform safely.
Tha last thing I want to mention is that since a lot of the information provided in a live chat conversation may be crucial to its recipient, an option of transcript download may prove to be very useful. It should somewhat force a higher standard of service, something a serious institution involved in education should strive for at all times anyway.