ConnectTxt for Learn in studentcentral


ConnectTxt for Learn is a text messaging system that is built into studentcentral and can be used in School areas, Course areas and Module areas as a means to contact students. This texting sevice is distinct from the former ConnectTxt, which some schools and departments have used for a number of years, this service should no longer be used by schools. 

ConnectTxt for Learn is linked to the school/course/module area roster, so it allows authorised staff to send messages to individual students, ad hoc groups of students, or groups of students created through the use of the studentcentral groups tool. See the Text Messaging Policy.


Benefits

ConnectTxt for Learn should be used for timely/urgent information when an alternative method (such as email) cannot offer the desired level of immediacy.
 
Accepted uses:
  • Text messaging students about a room changes or class cancellations
  • Contacting students for pastoral reasons* e.g. SSGT or counselling appointments
  • Contacting students who are on placement about changes and meetings
  • Small scale emergencies such as chemical spills
The Text Messaging Policy provides detail on these uses, the service should not be used for purposes beyond the stated accepted uses.

*Confidential and sensitive information must not be sent via Text Message.

The system is very easy to use and is built into the studentcentral interface.


 

 Appropriate Message Format and Syntax - Quick Reference

 


Example One: Room Change:

“UniBrighton – todays EC222 Lecture will now be held in Mithras 228 at 2pm, check https://studentcentral.brighton.ac.uk for details of what to bring (KP)”

 

Example Two: Session Booking Reminder:

“UniBrighton – Reminder: Your appointment with Stuart Bullen (SSGT) is at 2pm tomorrow in Watts room 317 (SB)”

 

Example Three: Placement Visit Change:

“UniBrighton – Your placement officer will be visiting this Thursday, 4 November 2016 at 3.30pm. Please contact the office if you need to arrange (EB)”

Please refer to the policy for the use of this service. These tips are included for quick reference purposes.

1.       Format of message: the message must not exceed 160 characters in order stay within the bounds of a single message. This character limit includes any stock text and identifiers.

2.       Sender: all messages must identify the university. The message shall be identified as from the “UniBrighton” when received but should also be accompanied by some form of identifier, such as ‘UniBrighton’.

 

3.       Message Author: the message author should be identified by the inclusion of initials at the end of the message. For example Jane Brown should be written as “(JB)”. This is to identify the author to staff and students with regard to additional questions.

4.       Where to obtain additional information: due to the character limit, it may be necessary to refer students to additional information.

a.       Where used the full web address (URL) to the necessary site in the message itself as many mobile devices will allow direct access from the Text Message link to the website. This should be written as  ‘seehttps://www.brighton.ac.uk/current-students/

b.      Do not use URL shorteners (e.g. Bit.ly or Goo.gl) as these pass user data through third-party services

c.       In the case where a more detailed email is sent in addition to a Text Message, use the following: ‘check university email’

5.       When requesting a meeting with individual students do not include the reason for the meeting in the message as other instructors will be able to access the content. Ensure that the text message is neutral and written in professional business language. Ask the student to arrange the meeting time/location via alternative communication e.g. email, phone.

 

6.       Avoid colloquialisms and text speak vernacular:

a.       Avoid non-latin characters.

b.    Numbers: Spell out up to nine, after that use numbers; Six semesters, 10 modules.

c.     Dates: Use 1 January 2016 (not January 1, 2016); use 1; 2; 3 (not 1st, 2nd, 3rd).

d.      Do not use Text Speak: substitution of the “4” for “For”, or emoticon characters.

e.      Avoid “FYI” for “For Your Information” as it is redundant in this context.

f.  Do not include personal information such as personal phone numbers.



 

How does it work?

ConnectTxt for Learn relies on your students keeping their mobile phone numbers up-to-date in the personal tab within studentcentral.TwoWay01.png

  1. You can access ConnectTxt for Learn from any studentcentral area by going to the Course Management menu and selecting Send Two-Way SMS. 
  2. Once you are in the ConnectTxt for Learn tool you can write your message by clicking on the Compose tab.
    compose message tab

    The Compose tab contains: areas to select recipients or groups, an area to compose your message and an area to set message scheduling. The following screenshot shows the complete compose page, steps 3 - 8 show how to use each area.

    Compose message screen
  3. If you want to send a message to individual students, or an ad hoc group, click the Browse button underneath the Select Recipients option.
    Browse recipients screen
  4. To select single or multiple recipients:

    a. Find the recipient in the list of students - you can search using the empty field under name, typing in the student name and then hitting enter on your keyboard. Click the textbox next to each name that you would like to select. Please note: you cannot use this service to send text messages to instructors.

    b. When you have selected all the recipients click on the Save and Return button.

    Select recipients
     
  5. The number of recipients will be shown in the select recipients area. You can revise the recipient list (following steps 4a. 4b.) at any point prior to submitting your message content to be sent.

    Selection confirmed
  6. Further down the page, the process is the same as 4a. and 4b. if you wish to send a message to a pre-existing group. The group needs to have been created prior to the entering the ConnectTxt for Learn area using the studentcentral Groups tool.

    Select group
  7. The next area on the page is where you can compose your text message. You have 160 characters for the message and the countdown underneath the text entry box shows the number of characters remaining. Please refer to the universtiry texting policy (currently in draft) for text message writing style and guidelines, basic guidelines are included below for your reference.

    Write text message
  8. Once you have written your message:

    a. If you want to send the message immediately select the radio button on the left of Send Now.
    b. If you want to send the message at a scheduled date/time select the ration button on the left of the scheduling options (see arrow in the screenshot below).
    c. Click Submit on the bottom right when: you have selected all your recipients, written your message and set the sending option.

    Schedule message
  9. If you opted to schedule your message the details of the message will be shown in the Outbox tab.

    Check outbox

After you have sent your message 

 
If you would like to review a record of messages that you have sent from any school/course/module you can view your complete records by clicking on the Sent tab.

Check sent
Please note: our service is not setup to receive text messages, students cannot reply to text messages that they receive. Therefore the Inbox tab is not in use at this time.
 
 

Questions?

  • I am concerned that the text message was not delivered to all my students.
    If you plan to use the service we recommend that you remind your students to keep their mobile phone numbers up-to-date in the personal tab. Reporting on failed messages is being developed, contact Internal Communications for more information.
  • Some of my students don't have mobile phones or only have an International number.
    The service cannot send messages to International numbers therefore it is advised that you also send out a similar, companion message using the studentcentral announcement tool.
  • I have been contacted by a student who wishes to opt-out of this service.
    This is not possible and is covered by our terms and conditions when joining the university. The policy is designed to ensure only relevant, urgent information is communicated via this channel and we ask your support in maintaining the integrity of the channel.
  • How much does this cost?
    Messages cost the university 7.5p each, this is centrally funded.
 

Support

 
star3.pngFully Supported

For more information and full details of how to use the service, please contact your Learning Technology Adviser.