Buy-in: Yes, You Need it From Students Too!

21 June 2017

At Engineerica, one of the questions we hear most often from prospective and current clients is, “How do I get my students to use the system?”

The truth is, no system can guarantee student participation 100% of the time, but when making a decision for any new system that will require participation from students, we recommend keeping these two questions in mind:

  • How easy will it be for students to use? Will it take more than a few minutes of their time with each interaction? Will the extra time required from students ultimately be worth it?
  • What methods can our student assistance areas employ to encourage students to use it?

Your students are an important factor when considering any new investment for your center or institution!

For the first question (or set of questions), it can be hard to answer without seeing the system in action on your campus. This can be difficult to accomplish before you make a purchase decision. We recommend requesting a demo account in any system you are seriously considering, and maybe even a pilot if it’s feasible, even for just a few areas.

But we also meet with a lot of folks who assume that any system that requires ANY sort of participation from students will ultimately fail. This just is not true. You should strive for a process that’s as unobtrusive as possible, but if you can integrate it with the culture on campus that already exists, most students will not even notice that this new system has been added. Furthermore, if they can see the value in it, then buy-in becomes much easier for everyone.

For example, many tutoring centers already offer appointments to students, but without appointment software, the process is often laborious and time-consuming for everyone, including students. Making the appointment can take several steps, and being marked as present may require paperwork or something similar which takes precious time away from the appointment itself. If the new system offers a way for students to make appointments quicker and easier, even if they have to learn to do something new, you may be surprised at how quickly students adapt to it.

Other methods can help students adapt to the new system as well. Our Implementation Team has lots of experience helping our clients get students using the system, which don’t always have anything to do with the system itself! Stay tuned to this blog for more ideas.

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