Throughout 2020, Res Life programs have transformed into more socially distant programming and virtual activities. Communication and engagement are essential to maintaining a positive residence life experience. With the power of a Res Life engagement platform, it makes it a lot more efficient to manage these interactive efforts and continuously provide entertainment and connection between residents.
We’ve compiled 8 features your residence life engagement platform must-have to build a dynamic space for residents to not only stay informed on the latest updates, but also discover and participate in activities, whether in person and socially distant or virtual.
1) Virtual Communities Dedicated to Each Residence Building and Floor
Res Life consists of several residence communities that can be distinguished by building and floor. Not only do you want to provide a space for the entire Res Life community to virtually convene, you also want to provide specific hubs for each residence community, whether that’s the entire building, or by floor. By giving each community its own personal page and channel, they’re able to hold conversations and activities within their particular community. By providing a channel for each floor, personalize the conversation even more by giving residents on the same floor the opportunity to discuss priorities or questions within their particular shared space.
2) A Private Channel Dedicated to RAs and Staff
RAs and Res Life staff are a community of its own. In order to plan upcoming events, discuss relevant community topics, or discuss work in general there needs to be a virtual space they’re able to privately connect and discuss these efforts. Similarly to working in an office setting, staff needs a go-to space to host these conversations and meetings, that’s where private channels are a necessity. By creating a safe, secure, and designated virtual spot for Res Life staff they can delve into discussions and work collaboratively.
3) A Compilation of Filterable Resident Events Calendar
Everyone relies on some sort of calendar to maintain their upcoming schedule. Your residents will be spending ample time on their Res Life engagement platform to see what newest announcements your community has made or upcoming events to participate in. By enabling a calendar, your residents can look ahead and plan accordingly. The ability to filter these events based on academia, athletics, or wellness to name a few, give users the opportunity to seek events based on their interests. It organizes it in a way that makes it customizable for users to join in on the programming.
4) Customizable Communities for Resident Users
Another important feature your Res Life student engagement platform cannot live without is customizable capabilities. Depending on the culture of your university, maybe you prefer certain administrative abilities, or potentially you want to give users the creative ability to build sub-communities of their own. Make sure your platform is able to provide you with several different organizational configurations that empowers you to build and shape a community space that best suits your Res Life experience.
5) Push Notifications for Announcements
There’s always a need for important announcements to be made in a quick, efficient and secure manner. Whether it’s a can’t miss event/meeting or critical Res Life message from the staff, your engagement platform should be able to disseminate the notice asap or schedule in advance. Check to see if your platform enables you to do both and notify users when needed.
6) Polls & Lists for Increased Engagement
Every resident’s engagement level will vary, and your platform should have the ability to provide a comfortable space for people to participate at their own leisure. A couple of easier forms of participation come with the opportunity to host polls and lists. With polls, enable users to interact with other residents on a simpler engagement. Users can offer feedback in the form of a vote and see what other users are also saying. The ability of lists, gives staff a way to create resource lists of ideas or participation checklists that also build engagement for users. Some samples include, a list of cafes and restaurants to check out in the area or a checklist for a social distance scavenger hunt. Make the most of these features and amplify your resident participation.
7) Messaging, Chat, and DM Capabilities
In a world of social media, your platform has to include messaging, chat and DMs to host conversations among all users. Whether it’s a resident contacting an RA with a question or residents in the same community wanting to talk about an upcoming trivia night they want to plan, having several types of discussion areas opens up conversations and connections among all Res Life users.
8) Interactive, and Easy to Read Maps
As you’re planning your upcoming events you can choose to host virtual activities or social distance programming, maybe even a blend of both, it is very helpful to have maps to locate these upcoming efforts. Some new students might need an extra hand locating particular activities, and this gives them the opportunity to discover the campus, plan ahead, and refer to and help them find their way.