Communicating with Students

The Washington Post runs a story on one of the most vexing problems I face in my administrative capacity–how to communicate programmatic or administrative announcements to students. The article explains that proliferation of communication technologies has reduced the likelihood that any one method will reach students; plus, students routinely and deliberately ignore messages they receive via any of the official communication media (the article has quote after quote from students fessing up to this willful blindness). I can’t count the number of times that I’ve spoken with a disappointed student saying “I had no idea” about some message that I had done my best to disseminate. It’s very, very frustrating for everyone involved!

One particularly cumbersome solution is to blast students with the same message via multiple media, which only compounds the problem by increasing the data flow (and, perhaps more importantly, the irrelevancy of some of the data flow) to students, giving them even more incentive to check out. If anyone has figured out an effective method to reach students, I would LOVE to hear it!

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