Top Tasks for “Online” Future Students: Tasks of Least Interest

Guest blog by Bob Johnson, Higher Education Marketing Consultant

This blog – the second of two from Bob – summarizes results from a recent ‘Top Task Identification’ research activity.

In my first article, 3 Top Tasks for “Online” Future Students: Cost, financial aid, affordability, I wrote about the four tasks at the top of our recent research responses from 133 students considering enrolling in an online degree program. In that survey, the #1 task, “Costs,” received as many votes as the 23 at the bottom. (Total tasks in survey: 54.)

And so let’s note some of those in the bottom 20 that marketing plans might elevate beyond their value. We are not saying that content for these should not be somewhere on a website. But we are saying to take care that these are not included in a way that blocks attention to the tasks noted last week.

#35: “Rankings and Awards”… note that “Accreditation information” was higher at #14.
#38: “Diversity and inclusion.”
#40: “Social media sites.”
#44: “News.”
#47: “Admissions events (open houses, orientation etc).”
#48: “Campus events (lectures, sports, theatre).”
#51: “Volunteering.”
#53: “Campus visit.”

Your potential online students, of course, might be different. The 54 tasks included here were selected in part from our master list and in part a team at the client school. Results for three items were similar to results from a survey for an online-only university a few years ago: “Costs” as the #1 task area and interest in social media and campus news near the bottom.

In the first article, 3 Top Tasks for “Online” Future Students: Cost, financial aid, affordability, Bob discussed the recruitment-related tasks that were the highest priority for future students.

We often work on Higher Education projects with Bob Johnson; he manages the branding and marketing aspects, and we focus on user experience and usability. Follow Bob on Twitter: @HighEdMarketing or join his “Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content” group on LinkedIn. You can also view his weekly blog on Higher Education Marketing.

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