COVID-19 Classroom Brings Reality to Arizona State Home Page
If face-to-face classes indeed return in the fall, website images of life about campus will have to be quite different from those online now. Face masks and social distancing within a classroom will be the norm. Classroom views of students without masks will not look real.
Arizona State University’s home page is the first one I’ve found in the U.S. that gives a prominent position to COVID-19 content. (Recent Link of the Week selections highlighted rare COVID-19 home pages at University of Montreal and University of Melbourne.)
In this case, ASU gives us a photo of a faculty person and students in a campus classroom. Not every school had summer classes this year so not everyone had a chance to do anything similar. But many schools did. And Arizona State went a step further than most in the reality sweepstakes.
Website reality is more important than ever…
A survey of rising high school seniors from CarnegieDartlet tells us that college and university websites will be even more important as a recruitment tool next year than in the past. About 75 percent of students will look to a website as the first source of information about a school that interests them, up from about 66 percent a year earlier.
Combine that high interest level with the high sensitivity to content that is seen as an unreal marketing message. Students don’t visit higher education websites for PR-style marketing content. They visit to learn real things about colleges.
For the coming year that means realistic views of what people on campus look like in the COVID-19 world that’s upon us for at least the remainder of the year. And quite possibly well into 2021. Anyone planning on an open campus this fall had best also be planning on a new series of images… of people wearing masks as they sit in classrooms, walk about campus, take their meals.
ASU puts words on the home page that match what many other schools are saying: “ASU is creating a safe and welcoming environment for the fall 2020 semester where students can confidently live and learn.”
Giving us an early view of what a classroom will look like, ASU makes that claim credible.
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Experience an early website example of COVID-19 reality when you visit the Arizona State University home page.
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