BbWorld Blog: Engagement, Persistence and Retention:  How is the University of Southern Mississippi using ConnectYard to Successfully Enhance these Key Factors

Room 277
Tuesday 7/10/2012

Overall Concept: How Student Engagement and Persistence has a positive effect on retention.

Students and faculty choose course by course what channels they want to be communicated through.  (Facebook Twitter, Texting and e-mail)

Faculty doesn’t have to have a Facebook or twitter account to use ConnectYard for the students in their courses.

  • Social Media plays an important part in students’ lives.
  • U of M’s adoption of ConnectYard grew from a desire to improve communication and increase participation in online courses and enhance student learning.
  • Campus email is not an effective tool for student communication.


– Marketing

– Faculty and Student buy-in

  • Fear that professors will have to access FB pages
  • Faculty concerned with added workload

Social Media Policy (prohibits faculty from using it to teach classes through facebook, but they can use it to supplement.)

Faculty/Student Buy-in

  • Easy to use
  • Building block Integration
  • Bridge to Social Media

Position ConnectYard

  • Integral part to each course
  • Stress privacy protection

Encourage students to personalize notifications

Stress Use to Quantify Class Participation.

Current use of ConnectYard

Getting Everyone Involved

  • Faculty to Student
  • Student to Faculty
  • Student to Student

Communication within Courses

Student Notification

How it works: Messages, Discussions and Announcements come through Channels (Twitter, Facebook, Text & e-mail).  Gradebook updates coming.

Planned uses:

  • Enhance Hybrid courses & supplementals
  • Communication/interaction tool between learning teams
  • Back Channeling during course and web presentations (students communicating with each other during lecture/video etc)
  • Intra-department interaction & communication
  • Campus Notifications
  • Student Services
  • Marketing & Recruitment

Personalize Channels

  • personal perferences
  • protect privacy

One way & Two Way Communication
Bb Integration

  • Discussion Boards
  • Announcments
  • Messages (Blogs, Wikis and Grades coming)

Participation Points
Granular Administration