Case Study

City of Wolverhampton College

 

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City of Wolverhampton College connects its entire campus ecosystem with a single app from Tribal

With over 7,400 students, 600 staff and 3 campuses, and an education provision that runs from pre-entry, vocational and sixth form learning through to commercial training, City of Wolverhampton College is a well-established FE institution that has been working in close partnership with University of Wolverhampton since 1997.

The College, committed to innovation, had employed a range of different student communication methods over the years, with departments communicating in differing ways. Yet the institution had faced multiple challenges, including disparate systems and poor communication across curriculum areas, all of which had had an adverse impact on operational efficiency.

The College identified the need for a ‘strategic step change’ - one that would centralise its communications and engender better collaboration across all stakeholders, with the primary goal of facilitating an even higher quality of education for all.

The need for an app was clear and the College’s first step, even before appointing a technical partner for the build, was to empower students by asking them to name it, showcasing that the College truly values its student voice. myWolvColl would be the driving force behind the college’s digital communication. As one central and secure app that would allow students to build their profile, direct message, collaborate and explore together – it would positively impact the overall student journey.

The College needed an end-to-end system, spanning initial enquiries right through to alumni, and selected both Tribal Engage, the complete mobile solution designed for campus communities, and Tribal’s Student Information System (SIS) - ebs - to optimise every stage.

Tribal’s entire suite of applications were chosen by City of Wolverhampton College, and all of these interconnected systems helped us to reduce the duplication of data internally: we would now have one single source.

Conrad Taylor
Business Learning & Technologies Manager
City of Wolverhampton College

One key advantage of travelling down this digital road, from the student experience standpoint, would be that any changes made at a central level - including revised timetables and key college announcements - would be seamlessly relayed to not only current students via the new mobile app but also applicants who would have the opportunity to track the status of their applications through myWolvColl.

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The app, powered by Tribal Engage, launched for the College in September 2021, and has now become the “driving force behind our digital transformation,” says Conrad. Strategically implemented, staff were first onboarded on to the app through dedicated training sessions before it was made available to students, with nominated champions appointed from curriculum and support areas.

We wanted every stakeholder across the business to know the features and the functionalities of the app … champions from across all college departments, all the way from finance to HR, needed to understand how the app will play a key part in College and student life.

Conrad Taylor
Business Learning & Technologies Manager
City of Wolverhampton College

The app delivers a multitude of benefits to the College. It enables learners to receive information clearly from tutors and encourages discussion, while also allowing teachers to check learners’ understanding effectively and identify and correct any misunderstandings. Promoting an inclusive environment, it also helps to minimise disruption to learning by supporting the College’s strong focus on attendance and punctuality.

The broad scope of the app has bridged the gap between the College’s academics and its students, while also enabling the institution to have one centralised communication channel to promote all its business services and additional offerings to its wide and disparate audience. Numerous marketing strategies were utilised by the College to ensure swift uptake for the app. This included prize draw entries for logging into the app and free hot or cold drinks for new app users, to encourage new downloaders to access key tabs such as events and things to do at the College. Drop-in sessions were provided to help users orientate themselves within the app, while posters and digital signage advertised the app at various college touchpoints.

We wanted to create a single collaborative space where all of the different business support areas in the College can communicate to students, but also allow all staff and students to speak with one another within ‘one pool’ - and this, for us, has been achieved with Tribal Engage.

Conrad Taylor
Business Learning & Technologies Manager
City of Wolverhampton College

The myWolvColl app now serves as a central hub for all student communications, with close to 2,500 downloads achieved since launch. Giving students the whole campus in the palm of their hand, users are benefitting from being able to view up-to-date timetables, track their academic progress and access lesson content and resources 24/7. The highly-visual app has been integral to the College’s communication of COVID rules and restrictions in response to the pandemic, while also encouraging charitable events and fundraising initiatives amongst the student body.

The College has big plans for the app in the future, which will continue to grow and evolve to meet ever-shifting needs in its goal of helping students to feel like part of a community. Forthcoming plans include enabling students to view their ID badges on the app, allowing for self-absence reporting and creating an alumni destination point via the app to continue conversations and a strong sense of connection with the College even after moving on.

The new app has become a go-to “single source of truth” for the College’s younger and adult learners alike, with engagement levels proving high amongst users and strong safeguarding measures in place. Conrad describes City of Wolverhampton College’s partnering with Tribal Engage as “innovative thinking for the digital age”, with Tribal’s ongoing support and guidance proving invaluable in helping the College to meet its strategic goals and look, with confidence, towards the future.

Webinar on-demand 

At the end of 2021, City of Wolverhampton College shared their journey so far on a live webinar. The session looked at the College's approach to rolling out the Tribal Engage app to staff and students and their experiences. Packed with insights from Conrad Taylor, you can access the recording on-demand below. 

Watch the webinar