Totton College in Southampton caters for over 1,000 full-time 16 to 18 year olds, and over 7,000 part-time adults, and delivers in excess of 300 courses.
The College has earned a number of top accolades, has been judged Outstanding by the most recent Ofsted inspection, and has achieved an A-Level pass rate of 97% in 2012.
The College identified a challenge – how best to communicate with students on the first day of a new College year, providing them with the name and location of their new tutor. In order to give students the most appropriate tutor, finalised allocations are not confirmed until shortly before term time. Therefore a dynamic and swift means of communicating with students was required.
The requirement soon evolved in to a broader desire to be able to welcome students to the College on either their first day, or on the first day of a new term and to give them personalised directions to their meeting rooms.
To be able to address these requirements the College decided to implement a text-messaging solution.
Due to its in-house technical expertise, the College elected to develop its own text-messaging application, and to then choose a partner to send its messages through. TextAnywhere was selected as the College’s SMS partner.
“We chose TextAnywhere ahead of other organisations due primarily to their service reliability, quickness of delivery, and cost effectiveness”, said Alex Richards, Director for Client Sales Support at Totton College.
The College solution involved developing a web-based application, accessed by staff to send the messages, and linked to TextAnywhere through its Web Service development interface.
“We soon rolled out our initial service, which has been very well received by the student community”, added Alex. “By using the system the College has improved communication with students, saved money, saved time, and delivered a service that fits very well with the mobile phone generation.”
Since the initial use of text messaging a number of additional applications for text messaging have emerged within the College.
Through integration with Capita’s UNIT-e student records system, staff can now contact both individuals and classes of students by SMS. Reminders of exams and coursework deadlines can also now be sent to students by text message.
“A pilot for students to opt-in to receive exam results by text worked well, and was rolled-out to a full implementation last summer. We will also be introducing attendance monitoring by SMS to enable students to text in if they have been absent”, commented Alex Richards.
“Texting has been a tremendous success for Totton College with thousands of messages now being sent and received every month. Tangible benefits for both students and staff alike have been achieved. TextAnywhere met our original goals, and continues to provide a robust, high quality service”, added Alex.
Since 2002, TextAnywhere has offered a range of text services that focus on reliability, ease of use, security and good value, backed by quality support from a financially secure, profitable organisation.
TextAnywhere provides commercial and public sector organisations with text messaging services that enable the sending and receiving of SMS messages from individual desktops or handheld devices, through online and email applications. These can be through a simple pre-paid model or monthly account terms.
The company also offers a Developer Toolkit for clients to integrate texting in to their own applications, as well as a White Label service for partners who wish to offer TextAnywhere's services as their own, branded text messaging services.
If you would like to find out more about how TextAnywhere can help your business communications, please visit www.textanywhere.net or call the sales team on 08451 221 302, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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