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Preferred student communication channels

In the recent StuComm Educational Communication Survey, Dutch vocational and higher education students were asked about their preferences regarding educational communication. These included both students who have the StuCommApp at their disposal and those that don’t. Participating students were asked about their preferences toward different channels of educational communication. What stood out, was that there were two prefered channels, namely the student app and student email.

Extensive reach 

“Which channel should an educational institution use to ensure that the information reaches you?” was a question asked to students. Student email was the preferred channel for 57% of all students surveyed, compared with 33% of students who prefered a student app. There was a big difference in the preference of students who already have the StuCommApp at their disposal and those that didn’t. When the StuCommApp is available, 59% of the students prefer a student app as a communication channel, compared to 31% of the students who choose student email.

Other channels, such as the virtual learning environment, social media or the website, are less often mentioned by students. Students appear to use these channels to a lesser extent. For important messages, such as timetable changes, study results and emergency information, the student app and the student email appear to be the most important.

Quick contact

“Which channel should an educational institution use to reach you quickly?” Similarly, it was found that the student app and student email were the preferred means of delivery. Students who have the StuCommApp at their disposal prefer a student app in 70% of the cases, while 22% prefer their student email. Students who do not have the StuCommApp at their disposal, prefer email in 64% of the cases, while 16% still prefer a student app. 

One of the main takeaways was that there was a preference for communication being done through smartphones rather than on other channels.

“When the StuCommApp is available, 77% of students prefer a student app over all other channels for educational communication”

Communication preferences

“Through which channels do you prefer your educational institution to communicate with you?” Students were able to indicate multiple channels for this question. 84% of students at institutions without the StuCommApp preferred student email. This was followed by a student app with 50%. Other channels were preferred by less than a quarter of the students. This includes the virtual learning environment (23%), social media (16%), intranet (13%) and the website (9%).

Amongst the students who do have the StuCommApp at their disposal, the student app is preferred by 77% of all students. This is followed by student email with 54%. The other channels are hardly mentioned when the StuCommApp is available.

For 10% of the students, there is no preferred channel, only a preferred device. They indicate that the channel does not matter, as long as they can use the channel on their smartphone.

StuCommApp users

The difference in channel choice between students who have the StuCommApp at their disposal and students who do not have the StuCommApp at their disposal was striking. For institution without the StuCommApp student email turns out to be the best option to guarantee the majority of students are reached. For StuCommApp users, however, the StuCommApp proves to be the preferred channel for receiving secure and fast communication, being preferred by 77% of students. This data demonstrates that students appreciate the use of the StuCommApp for receiving fast communication.