5 Ways to Improve Education Program Utilization
So you have a program that’s being used in schools. How can you get more schools to learn about and use the program? If you want to increase participation and usage, we have some ideas to make sure you’re doing all you can to increase your program’s utilization and impact! Here are five simple steps to help schools learn about, enroll in, and integrate your program into their curriculum:
1. Who doesn’t like easy? You like your program’s users, right? So why not make it easy on them? Work with your team or hire an independent reviewer to take a look under the hood, so to speak, to see if the process you’re asking users to follow is working—everything from the enrollment to activation process. An external review will help you see what your users see and experience and can help you identify areas for improvement, for example where steps in the process can be combined or even eliminated.
2. Keep communication channels open. From the get-go, be clear and direct about things like time commitment, responsibilities, and program requirements. Provide an email address users can use to get help, set up a live help desk, or create easily located FAQs on your website to give users a place to go with problems and questions. Make them feel that their questions can and will be answered. Allow your users to feel heard and appreciated, and get back to them with a response, even if it’s a simple “Thank you for your email. We will get back to you in 48 hours.”
3. Lend a hand. Make the whole process of using your program easy and pleasant for the schools you work with. Provide useful resources that help users feel supported throughout their participation in the program. And be sure to test these resources with users so that you know they are working. Similarly, continually test your program and identify areas that could be seen as barriers. If and when any barriers come up, make it a priority to provide resources to help guide participants through them.
4. Get a hand. If you have participants who love your program, use them to help spread the word to get others involved and participating, too. Provide suggestions for and ways they can share their successes with their friends via social media. Ask for testimonials to use in program promotion.
5. Be open and ready to change. Make sure to listen to what users have to say, and adjust the program design to implement their feedback as you go. If you hear from users that something is not working, do not be afraid to change course. This helps users feel like they’re a part of the program. If you’re not hearing a lot of input, ask. Online surveys and virtual or in-person focus groups are great ways to get the input you need.
And put yourself in your users’ shoes. If your program has an online/computer component, set up a GoToMeeting so you can experience how your users use your program. That way, you can diagnose rough spots in your own program or at least have a better understanding of how your users experience the program.
MMS Education helps nonprofit and for-profit companies and organizations reach, engage, and measure impact in the PreK-12 education market.
Why do so many of the country’s Fortune 500 companies, corporate foundations, technology companies, government organizations, and education companies choose MMS Education as their partner?
Clients choose MMS Education because of our deep understanding of the education market, backed by nearly 40 years of working with schools, systems, administrators, and agencies.
Most importantly, we embrace your mission and deliver on time and on budget, whether you’re outsourcing one specific project or need a complete turnkey operation.
Call us today at 800.523.5948 or fill out this form to see how MMS Education can help you reach, engage, and measure impact in the PreK-12 education market.