Articles like “Why we hate using email but love sending texts,” underscore one of the challenges most faculty members have in reaching students that have simply stopped reading their email. It explains that students don’t like email because:
With email, there’s “something actionable” about it, Lauricella says. This means some kind of labour is required, especially since it’s so often tied with work. You have to respond to something, or you have to commit to doing something.
Email is also asynchronous – you can receive and respond to them at any time – which is what can cause them to pile up and feel so overwhelming. Responding to emails can quickly start to feel like a chore. That all disappears with the fast, personal, casual nature of texting.
Short of giving out their cellphone numbers to their students, what can faculty do to find a different way to communicate important information to their class members? Here are a few ideas:
1) Send out class information via Blackboard Announcements. If students have the Blackboard App on their phone and have notifications enabled, they will get an alert on their phone when the faculty member sends out an announcement to the class (see this related article on setting up Bb app notifications).
2) Encourage students to set up email notification on their phone, so they receive an alert when they get a new email at their Chapman address.
3) Use an app for distributing information to students, such as Remind101, WhatsApp, Slack, or Facebook Messenger. However, because these apps are not officially supported by the university like using the Bb Mobile App, students may be resistant to adding a new app to their device or using a personal (non-school) account to communicate with faculty members.