It’s safe to say that technological advancement has had a hand in making plenty of things obsolete. Fax machines, phones with buttons, CD’s and our private lives have all been evaporated in the last decade through the introduction of devices that work faster, better and smarter than their predecessors. The ‘Tinder Generation’ are so named because they no longer need to risk the humiliation of making themselves vulnerable and then getting rejected. Why would they, when they can just swipe right? Inherently, its lazy. But everyone does it.
But what happens when this laziness starts to bleed into other aspects of their lives? As more and more things are handed to them on a plate, they less and less frequently go looking for them. And its not too much of a stretch to say that the reason University student services aren’t working is because they’re trying to engage with a generation who just aren’t used to doing the leg work. No one’s doubting the brilliance of the fax machine, someone just found a smoother alternative. No one’s doubting the brilliance of your peer mentoring scheme, it just needs better visibility. The key components are already there, and they’re far too valuable to be missed out on – so how do we make sure that they’re seen?
Communicate in a way they understand
To continue the analogy, there’s three key components that make Tinder so successful: it’s quick, easy and no-strings-attached. In fact , almost every modern technological solution relies on being instant, easy and low commitment/ high reward.
So how do we engage the generation that thrive on it?
At Tyfy, we take your student services and make sure they’re seen. We take good old fashioned peer mentoring and hand it to students, just like they’re used to, on a plate.
Put yourself in the shoes of a student buried in coursework deadlines. They barely have time to breathe, let alone schedule a meeting with their tutor a week in advance just to ask where they can find that one quote from Freud. They need the reference now. So what do they do? Google doesn’t know. At best their anxiety is heightened. At worst they get a low mark on the assignment and drop out because they’ve lost confidence in themselves.
Here at Tyfy, we match them with a mentor. They’ve already studied the module, so they know the answer. And they can communicate entirely from their phones, so it takes a fraction of the time. They get what they need, they’re comforted, they’re confident in themselves again. What’s more, it saves the already stretched and valuable time of their tutor, and you have an additional point of contact for potentially at-risk students.
‘But we already offer a peer mentoring programme,’ I hear you cry. Of course you do. And I’m willing to bet you put in an enormous amount of time, effort and resources only for a frustrating lack of students to get involved. It’s not a fault in the system, it just needs an update.
Third years don’t have time for an awkward meeting with a younger student (they’re too busy writing their dissertation.) First years are far too intimidated to ask an older student for help. But they do have time to send a quick message on their phone.
At Tyfy, we make it easier for the students by taking peer mentoring online. But this also makes it easier for you. Most current schemes involve somebody sending emails introducing students to one another that, commonly, get ignored. Our algorithm does the matching for you, and lets you get back to your real job. Get in touch and we can talk you through this process more, but basically once you’re all signed up, your mentoring scheme runs itself (under your supervision). No time wasted, and the students are engaged.
You already have a scheme, you’ve already acknowledged that it helps your students. Why not let technology do the leg work?
Low commitment, high reward
Signing up to a peer mentoring programme as it stands typically means being assigned a student for the year. Long term, and for very little in return.
At Tyfy, mentors send a quick response to a question they already know the answer to, then log off and get on with their day. What’s more, our system of reviews means they get to prove their communication and leadership skills. In an ever increasingly competitive job market, this sort of incentive is invaluable when employers are watching.
The bottom line is that, it’s 2019, students rely heavily on technology. Its what they’re used to. They’re far less likely to engage with something they can’t access from their phones. Taking student services online is they key to keeping them interested.