ProcessFlows SMS Messaging for Education given A* by Brockenhurst College –
Brockenhurst College is one of the most successful tertiary and sixth form colleges in the UK. It has an outstanding reputation for sporting excellence and provides a wide educational choice, including A-levels, International Baccalaureate and adult learning courses.
Making it easier to get in touch with students
Being able to communicate effectively with their community is a high priority for the college.
Snail mail and email have slipped from popularity. Text has grown to become the most popular way to keep in touch (145 billion text messages were sent in 2013), so introducing text into the college’s communications infrastructure was an obvious next step.
Text is more or less instant; it’s convenient, direct and unobtrusive. It would provide an ideal way for personal tutoring staff to notify students of any class time or location changes, last minute cancellations and reminders. If a tutoring appointment is missed, simply because a student forgot, staff time is wasted and this ultimately affects the bottom line.
Robin Gadd, MLE Manager at Brockenhurst College said;
Bums on seats in classrooms means money for the college, so it’s essential that we make every effort to minimise no-shows and enhance the way we support our students. Text messaging will help us to achieve this and more … students will also be able to sign up for text alerts on future courses, events and special offers from the college.
Integrated information systems
The college has a Managed Learning Environment Strategy (MLE). It’s an information systems integration programme, linked to business process review/re-engineering and communications modernisation. SMS is a key technology within the architecture.
SMS Messaging for Education
ProcessFlows implemented an SMS messaging service, which would enable tutors to contact pupils quickly and easily, as well as providing a solution to handle incoming enquiries which would allow the college to provide a self-service information option for all students.
ProcessFlows Text Message Solution brings SMS to the desktop via the LAN, without the need to deploy new hardware. “This suits our requirements exactly” said Robin, who went on to say “The service and account management has been excellent and the installation was on time and without problem“.
ProcessFlows Text Message Solution is configured to allow SMS messaging from e-mail and applications interfaces, allowing SMS messages to be sent from an email client, such as MS Outlook, just as you would send a normal email. The modem is attached to the web server and set-up to enable two-way messaging via Novell GroupWise, or through integration into the student support system, EMILY.
The options suggested by ProcessFlows were straight forward and fitted well with our existing systems. A self-service option for parents to request information by SMS enables communication directly with students and parents. Tutors use Emily on a daily basis to monitor attendance and to relay information to learners.
Saving time and improving access to information
ProcessFlows Text Message Solution has enabled us to move our MLE strategy forward in terms of on-demand accessibility to information. Text messaging is saving tutors time; eliminating the need to chase around the campus in pursuit of individuals. Cost is a key issue that we will be keeping under review to quantify cost of messaging against potential costs saved in time and effort. We are confident this will continue to be favourable.