School disconnects with students over email

The Los Angeles Community College District requires all official class communication to be done through their student email account, an account that is run on an antiquated system.

The system LACCD uses for student accounts, Microsoft Office 365, is not widely used by many on campus for their personal email accounts. So those students, along with some faculty and staff, use Gmail or other online services because they’re free to create and are more user-friendly than Office 365.

But for now, students have to manage their personal and student accounts on separate systems rather than link them together in one inbox like Gmail allows you to easily do. Besides the fact that students do not like the interface of the system, the assigned address could be reason enough to not use the system.

The address are constructed by taking the first six letters of a student’s last name, followed by the first and middle initials, then a series of numbers that appear to have been created by a random number generator. This just adds another user account that must be remembered.

Other issues with the system stem from the fact that students not only do not want to add checking the school account to their list of tasks, but admit to not checking the system at all.

In a recent New York Times article, students nationwide said they either do not regularly check their student accounts, if at all, or prefer messaging be done via text message or social media. At “elite universities,” students are slightly more likely to use student email but it seems that students across the board want a better method of communication.

Students spend a lot of time on their smart phones and teachers have noticed. Professors like Monika Del Bosque at Pierce College have started using a texting service to send class news and updates to students. Students in Del Bosque’s class said they prefer the service because it takes less work to set up and maintain.

Students want a form of communication that is easily integrated into their daily lives and this student email system does not come close to flipping the bill.