Seamless Communication with Faculty and Students

Nassau Community College leveraged Impact to seamlessly provide users with in-app support & improve LMS usage.

Neil Francisco


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Nassau Community College (NCC) is an award-winning community college located in Long Island, New York. The institution offers 60+ degree programs, supports over 30,000 students each year, and is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) college system. The college has been using Impact by Instructure’s adoption and support solutions since 2016.

Finding Ways to Leverage Support Resources

In early 2014, Deborah Spiro and the Distance Education team at Nassau Community College set out to create a knowledge center that pulled all faculty resources into one central location. These resources included guidance documents, support videos, Blackboard shortcuts, and best practices. However, despite the effort that went into constructing this resource center, staff and faculty weren’t accessing it.

“We had faculty members that were not going into our online faculty resource center that we had created within Blackboard. We would put up all kinds of documentation and videos, but it wasn’t connecting….They needed help at the point of contact, right when [they] were in the course, right when she was experiencing the issue. [They] didn’t like to have to navigate out of the course.” – Deborah Spiro

Deborah and her team were looking for ways to promote the new resource center, but it was not easily accessible and forced users to follow links that would take them outside the Learning Management System (LMS). Faculty members expressed their desire to access relevant documentation from the specific page they need answers about.

Improving Communication and Easy Access to Resources

After listening to the key stakeholders, Deborah turned to Impact to introduce proactive messaging and support for all LMS users, right within their Blackboard Learn environment.

“That was an issue in my head, how do we get help when and where the faculty members needed it. Then I got an email from [Impact] and it really connected the dots.” – Deborah Spiro

The subsequent implementation of Impact transformed Blackboard’s learning environment into a dynamic digital space that provided on-demand help and insights on function and pedagogy.

The team at NCC took a 3-pronged approach to roll out Impact

  • Phase 1: Deploy proactive messaging to communicate with faculty & students.
  • Phase 2: Design and develop a customized NCC Online Support Center using the Impact prototype to provide help contextually and at the moment of need.
  • Phase 3: Utilize Impact reports to provide data and insights to drive tool adoption.

Shortly after the initial implementation of phases 1 and 2 began, faculty started to notice and even suggested their own use cases and ideas.

“We did hear from faculty, especially our power users, who had noticed it and mentioned that [Impact] is a really great tool. The beauty of the solution is being in the Blackboard environment and not having to leave the software to get help. One thing I have heard as well is that faculty members actually want to create their own proactive messages to target students.” – Deborah Spiro

As the Blackboard team at NCC rolled out Impact messaging and the Impact Support Center, more and more use cases became apparent.

“At the beginning of the semester, faculty members need to make their course available on Blackboard. It’s a very easy process but faculty may forget to turn the toggle switch on with the hectic start of the semester. With Impact, instead of waiting for the students to call the helpdesk regarding this issue, we can now notify the faculty to make sure to make their courses available in the first place. This has been so helpful.” – Deborah Spiro

By collaborating with the Impact support team, NCC placed custom activity monitors throughout their LMS, which collected data to construct different Impact reports. These reports allowed Deborah and her team to identify users that needed more support or encouragement with specific tools or functionalities within the LMS. 

Deborah’s team was then able to create custom proactive messages and target these users to provide additional support and foster tool adoption. For example, NCC used messaging to show students how to upload assignments.

Proactive messages guide users and drive adoption

With Impact, institutions can create custom messages like the one above and also target them at specific segments of their LMS audience in order to make sure that the right information is reaching the right users. In addition, our Impact team of EdTech experts prepares out-of-the-box content that addresses some of the most relevant topics to help institution’s implement adoption strategies with ease. To browse through our library of use-cases and pre-made content, check out the Impact Universe.

Looking to the Future

Impact continues to help Nassau Community College with its messaging and support in order to optimize LMS adoption. Impact reports will also keep Nassau up to date with EdTech tool usage insights so they can keep their users engaged and satisfied.

“Our live training and brainstorming sessions with [Impact] have been extremely helpful. We are extremely pleased that their team has been so receptive in working with us,  us every step of the way. I will say that [Impact’s] customer service is fantastic!” – Deborah Spiro

Read about the specific steps Nassau Community College used to help their users.

Download the full customer story now to learn more about Impact at Nassau Community College

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