Navigate: Text Message Guidelines
Guidelines for using the text messaging functions within Navigate for student outreach.
The Navigate platform at UW-La Crosse offers text messaging functionality to staff and faculty. As a university, we want to be strategic about when we use text messaging to avoid inundating students.
Therefore, text messaging should only be used to support UWL academic and student success initiatives. Any messages sent should be timely and only used in cases that require urgent action be completed by the student. Examples include:
- Probation advising
- Outreach to students to schedule appointments with you for registration in addition to appointment campaigns
Navigate Roles with text messaging capability
- Professional Advisors
- Faculty Advisors
- Other users with permissions tied to reporting, campaigns, and cases
The UWL Navigate team uses text messaging to reach out to large groups of students throughout the semester for:
- Class registration and graduation planning efforts
- Urgent campus wide announcements-such as class cancellations or closed academic service offices
UWL Alert is utilized by Campus Police for campus-wide announcements such as inclement weather, campus security alerts, etc.
Students will only receive text messages on the phone number that they identified as a TEXT phone type in WINGS. Students will have the ability to opt out of receiving text messages by replying STOP. Students who have opted-out of receiving text-messages will receive messages to their university email address.
Text messages should be sent to no more than 100 students at a time to ensure that students can respond to the text message. As configured in the Navigate platform, the content of text messages may not exceed 160 characters. The staff member who initiates text messages, individually or at scale, is responsible for the content of their messages and for managing responses.
When sending text messages users should:
- Identify themselves in the text message
- Be responsive to any and all replies
- Proof-read messages for errors before sending
- Double check filters in search for the intended recipients
- Send to 100 students or less at a time
- Use professional judgement in content
- Send text messages during normal working hours-between 8am and 5pm
- This will also allow responses to be made in a timely manner
- Include personal/sensitive information such as GPA or Academic Status
- SMS messages are NOT password protected by the university like emails
- Send mass text messages outside of the allowed messages in the policy
- Use text messaging for voluntary programs such as campus event attendance
- Send to over 100 students at a time (since students won’t be able to respond)
Text message activity will periodically be reviewed to check compliance and to ensure that student contact information is being utilized in an ethical manner. Users who send mass text messages for purposes not listed in the policy could have their ability to send text messages through Navigate suspended.
Always remember that the official communication of UWL is email communications using UWL email addresses for both students and faculty/staff. Email should remain your primary form of communication with students.
For assistance in utilizing the text messaging capabilities of Navigate: Text KB Doc