Question #9 in the 2009 LSC Student Technology Survey took a look at student uses of the LSC student e-mail system. Each student is assigned a student.lsc.edu address when they enroll at LSC. We have a college policy that makes e-mail an official means of communication for the college. We have the normal issues of getting students to read their e-mail when we send them out “important” messages – and yes, “importance” is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Our students think that much of the mail we send to them is SPAM. Of course the sender doesn’t think so. We are looking at several opt-in newsletters as ways of cutting down on the messages that not all students want to see. We’ll see how well that works. (Click image to enlarge)
As we saw in a previous post, most students (87%) have one or more additional e-mail accounts besides their LSC student account. We’ve often speculated that many of the students automatically forward their LSC message to another account. Mostly wrong – only 2.7% of the students report doing this.
About 80% of the students consider their school account to be a secondary e-mail account, not their primary account. That doesn’t surprise me at all. 11% say they will continue to use their LSC account after they leave the college. We have continuing conversations about whether we should give students a lifetime e-mail account in order to develop a more active alumni community and to keep some sort of tie to the college after they leave. Not sure how to read into the 11% figure. Not sure if that will be worth the effort. We may want to consider some sort of free option (Google, MS, etc) that allows them to keep an LSC e-mail addy without us having to manage their accounts on a regular basis. Again, we’ll see.
The most surprising news to me was the fact that 55% access their e-mail account through the student portal. The portal is less than two years old and I wasn’t sure how much traffic was going through the portal since they can still access all the services (including e-mail) without going into the portal. The portal is intended to be a single sign-on, one-stop-shop for all of our e-services. Quite frankly I didn’t think that this number of students were using it on a regular basis (at least not yet). So that’s a good thing.