Can WhatsApp make a difference in education, whether it’s in terms of learning or management?
Like every other facet of our life, education is transforming due to the communication revolution that is transforming our personal and professional lives. During the previous decade, digital communication between groups of students, teachers and students, educational institutions and their employees, and institutions and possible prospects has grown in popularity.
Social media gradually eclipsed traditional platforms like websites and emails. Today, social media is being surpassed by a new competitor: messaging apps.
In educational institutions worldwide, mobile technology is increasingly being employed in management and instruction. It gives students more options and chances in online and offline learning environments. Indeed, a WhatsApp chatbot for educational purposes is not exactly new, as you can see from a quick internet search. So, why are we discussing it now?
WhatsApp Business API, how to use it in education
The official WhatsApp API for schools gives control to educational institutions, whether private or public. The power and legality of the communication channel as a business tool opens up many possibilities.
As a result, in three major areas, this essay will analyze and present real examples of the usage of Whatsapp in education.
WhatsApp API for Education, marketing strategies
Educational institutions were pushed to modernize as a result of increased competition, which was fueled by the introduction of online education possibilities. In order to survive and grow, purely government-funded enterprises that functioned outside of the consumer market began to absorb business ethos and commercial procedures.
People today perceive and treat education as if it were any other market, wanting user and customer experiences worthy of their time, money, and attention. As a result, educational institutions and organizations must sell their brand, like any other business.
Educational marketing tactics have become increasingly competitive and complicated over time. For example, university marketing tactics are frequently constrained by tight budget limits, and, as if that weren’t enough, they must target whole new consumers (students and parents) annually.
Students, parents, and instructors comb the internet for information, looking at anything from official websites to social media and peer evaluations. It’s difficult to differentiate out in a world where practically every player has a strong online presence…
Whatsapp Business API gives educational institutions a new communication channel that is significantly more intimate and less congested than the others.
While instant messaging is a widely used communication tool, few universities have fully exploited its potential for student recruiting.
Prospective students and their parents are hungry for greater human connections delivered through direct, two-way communication after being bombarded with commercial messages on the web and social media.
IM is the ideal way for acquiring and exchanging information because of its intimacy and convenience.
Why not divert prospective students to WhatsApp instead of employing landing pages, online marketing, or even fliers to entice people to trade their email for electronic content like course descriptions and curriculums?
As a result, instead of an email address, you’ll get a phone number and access to prospects on a channel that they check many times a day, allowing you to not only produce but also nurture leads.
Qualification of the Lead
After acquiring a lead, the next step is to qualify it.
Who is this mysterious figure? Student? Parent? Are you a student advisor? What stage of the purchase funnel are they in? Do they have a specific plan in mind? Is it possible that they are still undecided? Is this the first time they’ve heard of your institution/center/agency (maybe even taken a course with you) or is this the first time?
To get all of this information in normal conditions, you’d have to use an online form or a live agent.
The WhatsApp API for education allows you to construct a bot that will handle all of that work for you, with an interface that not only seems natural to your prospects but also frees them from having to use their computers.
That’s not all, though. Because bots are conversational, they can respond to inputs in real time, allowing you to customise each prospect’s experience based on their responses. This manner, you can ensure that you aren’t wasting anyone’s time with material that they already know, as well as assuring relevancy and efficiency.
Campaigns to Engage People
Potential clients aren’t always ready to convert right away… These leads, on the other hand, should not be dismissed. After all, they’ve expressed interest in your offering, whether it’s a course, seminars, or a full degree.
You may use WhatsApp to stay in touch with your contacts, send them regular updates about events, news, and new releases, or keep their curiosity piqued with rich media content. This is your chance to be innovative and reengage with prospects in a more immediate and personal way than social media marketing campaigns ever could.
HeyPatch, an online language school, developed a WhatsApp engagement campaign in which it offered weekly challenges to potential students. Users who successfully finished them were given a free speaking session with one of their local teachers. It allowed the school to keep prospective students engaged while also reminding them of the benefits of studying with them.
haypatch prospect engagement with whatsapp for education
Customer Retention and Relationship Management are the fourth and fifth steps in the customer retention process.
Customer churn is something that the education industry, like any other business domain, needs to deal with and aim to avoid. As a result, relationship marketing appears to be highly important because it aids firms in developing meaningful connections that are vital for retention and loyalty.
According to research, the quality of the institution’s offerings as perceived by student-customers is the most potent variable in student retention. Many characteristics of loyalty, such as perceived value, trust, and emotional commitment, are influenced by perceived quality. It’s crucial to note, however, that quality isn’t entirely determined by objective standards; it’s also determined by students’ perceptions of what quality means to them.
You may provide tailored services at scale by using WhatsApp to help manage student connections and thereby retention. Furthermore, it ensures that students are aware of their “presence” on a secure channel at all times.
For example, in higher education, using WhatsApp to check in on students on a regular basis can help prevent dropouts by keeping them up to date and engaged with events and happenings without requiring them to go out of their way to become more involved or aware of additional opportunities and support available.
Re-engagement after the study
Once your customers have completed the course or workshop they paid up for, marketing’s job isn’t done.
Your finest ambassadors are your former students. Their accomplishments and success are tangible results of your educational efforts. It makes no difference what you teach or how you teach it. It doesn’t matter if they got a full degree with your company, took a rigorous leadership course, learned a foreign language, or honed a set of physical skills… Maintaining a close relationship with your alumni can help you achieve the following goals:
Ensure that your customers come back.
Current students should be supported (internships, mentoring, career advice)
Improve the quality of instruction (feedback)
Enhance your online presence (word-of-mouth marketing)
Obtain more financial backing (donations or networking)
WhatsApp also makes it simple to keep alumni informed about events in which they participated.
distributing changes over a messaging API
Educational Management with WhatsApp
Educational organizations/centers/institutions/agencies, whether online or offline, deal with a variety of administrative and managerial operations, just like any other business. There would be no way to teach or learn in the classroom if it wasn’t for it.
WhatsApp Business API integration allows educational institutions of all sizes to not just digitalize the majority of vital processes, but to do so in a way that is current, convenient, and most importantly, natural.
How to Submit an Application
For both your employees and prospective students, the administrative part of the application process can be extremely burdensome. Furthermore, paper-based processes are time-consuming and error-prone.
Higher education institutions can utilize WhatsApp to keep applicants informed about the status of their applications, quickly request missing information, and even schedule face-to-face interviews when necessary.
Smaller companies, such as language training centers, can use it to quickly assess applicants’ abilities by asking them to answer a few questions and upload an audio recording of their pronunciation over WhatsApp, which is then immediately sent to a suitable teacher for review. This simplifies the process and saves both the applicant and the teacher time.
Enrollment and Registration
Following the approval of an application, the enrollment procedure begins.
Registration for students may be a nightmare. Most of the time, all newcomers must be processed and registered in the course within a short amount of time.
Students can provide the majority of information and document copies via WhatsApp conversation with your WhatsApp bot, which can quickly save the information in your central system, whether it’s a complex intranet or a Google Spreadsheet.
Student Support Services & Frequently Asked Questions
Your students or workshop participants will require assistance with a variety of challenges throughout the course. It can cover a wide range of topics, from legal and administrative to housing, health, and financial concerns.
The WhatsApp API can assist you in removing needless friction points.
By allowing students to get simple answers to frequently asked questions and receive immediate support via the messaging app, wherever and whenever they choose.
Marketing approach for higher education
A chatbot can handle common questions and concerns concerning courses, visas, tuition fees, payments, financial aid, tests, credentials, counseling, and career advice, among other things.
The benefit of using a WhatsApp chatbot is that if the problem is too complex for the bot to solve, you can build up a system to trigger a chatbot-human handoff.
As a result, one of your employees will be prompted to take over the conversation thread and provide advice on the topic at hand. If no member of staff is available, the bot can suggest that the student plan a meeting or a phone call.
Updates to the Timetable
One of the major challenges for educational institutions is scheduling. Students, professors, and (if the study takes place offline) the locations you have available must all be accommodated in the timetables.
Not only is WhatsApp an excellent tool to publish the course schedule, but it can also be used to send real-time updates concerning last-minute changes, cancellations, and rescheduling issues. Instant messages are far more likely to be checked by an ordinary student than email. As a result, WhatsApp is ideal for disseminating last-minute information.
Notifications and Announcements
WhatsApp’s HSMs (Highly Structured Messages) make it an ideal platform for sharing information and announcements.
You can use the messages to promote social and academic events, one-time seminars, new courses, student/teacher/organization success stories, or just to keep staff and students informed about relevant issues.
Extra-Curricular Activities & Clubs
We briefly highlighted the need of managing the student-provider connection as well as meeting students’ particular views of quality in the section on educational marketing. The social side of the educational experience plays a significant role in this equation.
You can utilize WhatsApp in education in two ways to increase participation in clubs and extracurricular activities:
Conversations in groups
The notifications ensure that your students are informed about or reminded of the alternatives and options in a timely and efficient manner. Furthermore, because any of the scheduled messages can be tracked by a bot, you can utilize them to pique curiosity.
Even the most basic facts can be gamified in this way.
WhatsApp Business API, on the other hand, enables YOUR organization to create official group chats for various student groups. It’s ideal for organizing club gatherings and fostering a sense of belonging.
Because you choose the group administrator when you create the group, you can be sure that a responsible person is in charge of upholding common social rules.
Registrations, Signups, and Cancellations
We’ve already mentioned how simple it is to utilize WhatsApp to make various announcements. You can go a step further if you’re announcing events or occasions that demand a signup or registration.
Students who are interested can simply reply to the message to reserve a spot in a special lecture or webinar… Alternatively, if further information is required, the responder can start a bot to collect the required sign-up information.
Even better, WhatsApp makes it simple to verify attendance and track no-shows.
A simple message asking for confirmation of attendance and the ease of sending that confirmation will weed out the no-shows and allow you to market last-minute seats to those who may be interested.
It’s no secret that gathering feedback is the most effective technique to assure client pleasure while also identifying problem areas. However, because surveys can be tedious, few people take the time to complete them.
As a result, if you want people to care, your survey should make it as simple as possible for them to participate.
You can easily conduct the survey over WhatsApp if you have the capacity to construct chatbots. As part of a natural discussion, the bot can collect responses and send them to a specific database or spreadsheet. As a result, your students can complete the survey anywhere, at any time, such as while waiting for a bus or enjoying a cup of coffee.
WhatsApp is a great tool for teaching and learning.
Last but not least, the WhatsApp API has the potential to improve teaching and learning. In reality, employing WhatsApp in the classroom to enhance the learning process is nothing new.
Teachers have been using WhatsApp Business API on a limited scale for a long time, thanks to the widespread use of smart phones.
Mobile technologies are increasingly being used in both regular classrooms and online courses. Positive outcomes such as enhanced cooperation, collaboration, and a better social atmosphere help to keep the trend going.
The various ways to use WhatsApp to increase learning and communication during the learning process are listed below.
Notifications for Course Communications
One of the most common uses of WhatsApp in education has been for student communication. Teachers use the group chat feature of the app to:
Please send information.
Organize the class.
Assist students in staying up to date no matter what This type of communication has been shown to save time that would otherwise be spent trying to communicate through other – slower – ways, resulting in increased efficiency.
This program may now be utilized on an organizational level, not just in individual classrooms and in privately created groups, thanks to the WhatsApp Business API.
Controlling such communication inside an organization can:
Boost your learning
Motivate students to be more active in their studies since they will be more up to date and prepared for the what-when-where of individual classes if they are more engaged in their studies.
Furthermore, by involving the school/organization in the group and push notification administration, you may avoid some of the most typical issues that come with using WhatsApp for learning, such as:
Unrealistic expectations about teacher availability among students (e.g. bot can answer or direct the students outside of working hours)
Because of the channel’s informality, there may be inappropriate behavior or profanity.
Learning Materials Accessibility
Uneven access to materials is one of the most common difficulties in education.
Teachers and professors can also use the official course/class chats to improve the accessibility to learning resources, as shown in the example above. As a result, learning activities are performed by default.
On a classroom and institutional level, WhatsApp allows you to communicate URLs, photos, videos, audios, and documents with ease.
Community Development (Nurturing Social Atmosphere)
While HSM notifications are useful for improving the learning experience in the situations stated above, we must not overlook the value of group chats.
It might be detrimental to a successful learning process to create a positive social atmosphere and group dynamic. In other words, pupils who are uncomfortable or isolated from the group may have difficulty learning.
Educators can use the familiarity and convenience of WhatsApp group chats to provide a secure area for students to express themselves. Such groups have been demonstrated to foster deeper relationships with both fellow students and the teacher. Deeper relationships also had a favorable impact on the way people talked. Students, for example, were more willing to ask questions and express their concerns).
For example, a Chinese AI-powered English learning program employs group discussions through messaging apps to enhance the value of its courses by fostering community learning. Students are encouraged to participate in a course group chat. The instructor then assigns a new activity to the group, such as analyzing song lyrics, doing mock interviews, or playing games like Word Snake (see below). Many of their students met in the real world as a result of the groups, according to the company!
The Journal of Information Technology Education conducted a study of Mobile Instant Messaging between Teachers and Students in 2014 that revealed a number of beneficial social benefits of educational WhatsApp groups. Some teachers (respondents) made the following observations:
“I learn a lot about my pupils, such as what worries them, what helps them, and what areas they thrive in… It helped me learn who responds angrily and who answers calmly; it helped me get to know people better.”
“The group has become so much fun… students upload humorous things… and I upload personal things… it creates a wonderful atmosphere in the classroom.”
“One of the groups I began teaching began the year with students who had little in common and were involved in several social problems. The good mood in that class was aided by the creation of a WhatsApp group and encouraging the group to participate in it.
Another wonderful method to use WhatsApp for learning is to use the group chat to foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork among students. Creating a discourse among the students allows them to exchange information with both the teacher and one another, allowing them to work as a team.
When students begin to assist one another by answering questions and discussing discoveries, they are said to be collaborating. As a result, limiting instructor availability within the group not only respects the teachers’ working hours, but it also fosters teamwork because other students are more likely to assist when the teacher is unavailable.
Implementing a WhatsApp bot can also keep your students on their toes by automatically delivering quizzes or short daily tasks – particularly if you’re conducting optional online courses.
You can ensure that students are engaged and that their perceptions of the quality and value of your courses improve in this way.
Sure, but isn’t the WhatsApp Business API a little overkill?
Why should you use API? Is it worth it if your teachers have the ability to create secret groups and send bulk messages when needed?
Yes, simply said.
Your institution/agency or education center will not be able to use WhatsApp beyond a single classroom if you use it for personal reasons.
Furthermore, you are not in charge in such circumstances, and as a result, you cannot utilize the app for mass marketing objectives or promote WhatsApp as part of your official administrative/management/teaching services.
While the term “API” may appear to be unnecessarily complicated, there are providers who can aid by providing more intuitive, no-code alternatives.
You can, for example, use Landbot’s WhatsApp API solution to:
Using a user-friendly no-code interface, create and deploy WhatsApp campaigns (HSM messages) to certain targets (students or teachers).
With a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can create WhatsApp chatbots.
All active talks can be managed (or let various staff members oversee) from a centralized dashboard.
As a result, the solution empowers your business and its educators and administrators. When in-person, the designated staff is free to control and manage their conversations. So, whether you want to use WhatsApp in education as a new digital marketing tool, redesign your management and administration processes, or utilize the app as part of the educational process, API allows you to stay in control and manage all activities at scale.