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An Oracle blog about Education and Research

Oracle Student Cloud: Leverage Social Insights to Improve Your Student Engagement

Gary Allen
Director, Global Product Strategy

According to the Pew Research Center, almost 70% of the American public uses some type of social media. For younger adults the percentages are even higher: 86% of young adults aged 18-29 and 80% of those aged 30-49. And these users are active and vocal; a recent study by Statista estimates that young adults aged 16-24 years old spend almost 200 minutes per day on social media via mobile devices. And we probably all know someone who loves to Tweet or post things to Facebook or online reviews because they want to be heard or because they want a business or service provider to respond to an issue or complaint. That is the power of social media—its ability to provide everyone with a voice and a venue to be heard and to influence others with our opinions, ideas, and concerns.

So, do you know what your students and community are saying about your institution on social media? Clearly they are out there and they are talking! Are they praising your academics, instructors, residence halls, and dining options, or are they telling their friends and networks problems they recently had enrolling, or complaining about a recent policy change, or problems in the residence halls, or parking (well of course, everyone complains about parking)?

These postings—both good and bad—have potentially enormous impact as they get multiplied by the possible number of viewers. The average Facebook user has 155 friends (and don't kid yourself, Facebook is still highly influential, with over three-quarters of teens and adults using it regularly), and the average Twitter user has over 700 followers! The potential reach of these posting, especially the negative ones, is astronomical. How are you going to manage these?

Many Higher Education institutions monitor social media and track the number of "Likes" or the number of "Shares" or "Retweets". But more often than not this is done site-by-site and on an ad hoc basis. But modern institutions need more. They need the ability to view and understand both the content and context of the messages and posts to understand which are real concerns versus simply excitement over last weekend's football game.

Oracle Student Engagement provides modern institutions with exactly this ability. With Oracle Student Engagement institutions can:

  • Monitor hundreds of thousands of social sites.
  • Create multiple keyword search topics and refine those results using semantic analysis to filter out "noise" or false hits.
  • Understand the sentiment, location, source, and demographics of social messages and posts and drill into the actual messages and posts to see the exact content.
  • Respond to individual messages and posts via the same media and engage the submitter in a productive dialogue and to resolve any issues or problems they were having.
  • Enhance collaboration across campus by forwarding messages to other campus experts for follow-up with the submitter.

The result is a truly new and modern means of engagement with your students and all constituents, via their chosen mode of interaction.

Today's modern students have high expectations for how they communicate and interact with each other and with the various organizations and institutions in their lives. And at the same time, the pressure for Higher Education institutions to meet these expectations, to improve student outcomes like retention and graduation rates, and to recruit more and better students has never been greater. Modern institutions can achieve these goals with a new strategy and new tools. Oracle Student Engagement is one of these modern tools institutions need to distinguish themselves by meeting student expectations and improving student engagement.

Meet our experts and hear more about Oracle's Higher Education solutions, including Oracle Student Engagement. Come see us at the Educause Annual Conference from October 31 to November 3 in Philadelphia, PA.

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