Many FE colleges now work in places far beyond the bounds of their main centres. Teaching in community and Train to Gain mean that we provide teaching and learning over an ever-expanding area. m-learning enables our tutors to take a wide variety of learning and assessment materials to wherever they have to teach. We were lucky to work in tandem with x-learn, who provided us with an easy to use sms texting system and helped get teachers involved in creating materials for PDAs and other handheld devices. This presentation gives a flavour of the reaction of staff and students to the texting system.
Keith Tellum & Lilian Soon
SMS Texting: the view from JPC
Texting system “ I think it would be extremely beneficial to have this method of contacting students both for general info, reminders, class time changes etc and especially for informing students of ESOL test dates or start dates. It would save hours of telephone time and make information more clearly understood. If we could have a group text message where the same text could be sent to various mobile numbers and if there was a facility for them to reply with yes, no, etc. even better!!!”
Feedback from Teachers <ul><li>Students like the personal link to tutors </li></ul><ul><li>They like not having to use the reception telephone services as they find it tedious and time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>They know that the message gets straight to the relevant tutor </li></ul>
Feedback from Teachers I have sent uplifting texts to boost morale as well as reminders of important events, tests etc. It’s quicker and easier than the phone and can be accessed anywhere. Telephones are at a premium in most centres and are not easily available to tutors to speak in confidence to students. It gives us proof of their messages which we can use to verify EMA payments.
Marketing your courses <ul><li>One in four heard about the open evening via the texting system, completed 24 hours before the event; </li></ul><ul><li>The event gained more than 500 visitors, making it by far the most successful in the college’s history. </li></ul>
Marketing your courses <ul><li>Half of the respondents had a specific enquiry about a course or requested the course guide </li></ul><ul><li>Almost a third texted the college to confirm their attendance at an event (the SLFLC family fun day and September open evening.) </li></ul>