The first week of classes can be nerve-wracking for students: new classes, new buildings, and new professors. We strive to provide students with every tool possible to make the first week a great experience. For example, the university emails every student their schedule a week before classes start, our campus map is completely mobile, and the student’s schedule is available at any time through the Wayne State mobile app.
Utilizing digital signage
This week we took another step to help students. By utilizing the digital signage in the Nursing building we were able to display all the current and upcoming courses in the building for a given day. A screenshot of the sign can be found above. Not only does this catch all the students as they walk in the door but it also helps those students who may not always be staring at their smartphones.
Build once, use many
Nursing specifically asked for this sign, but we made it in a way that allows us to plug in any building and display the current and upcoming classes for that day. The sign updates throughout the day and courses drop off as they end.
It’s a basic proof of concept at the moment but the initial feedback from students has been very positive. We hope to expand the level of information and reach of this sign in future semesters.
Power of local information
Digital signage is a powerful tool that has been a focus of the Web Communications staff for almost two years now. After experimenting a lot, visiting other campuses, experiencing the signage ourselves on a daily basis we feel that this medium is just as important to students as the Web or email. I know that’s a bold statement but nothing beats the ability to dynamically pull up local information in real time without students having to take action.
Digital signage as an afterthought or without centralized control is just as useless as a campus-wide Listserv that everyone has access to. Yes, it would be convenient but the mass amount of messages screaming for attention just reinforces the desire to ignore them all. Like all mediums, respect the user and they will thank you ten fold.