Ways to Implement Interactive Storytelling in Higher Education- The Back to School Redux

You might have seen our feature previously around graduation but August is all about getting back to school! In no time, students will be piling onto campus, eager to start the new year. With so much excitement and chaos as the school year kicks off, we have some ideas of ways to help capture that moment. Whether it be a pre-orientation program or First Day, there is too much going on to not be showing it off!

This time of year is special in that it only comes around about four times for a college student. It’s still hot out, suntans are in full effect, reunions with friends are happening after three months of long distance, and memories of the next school year are waiting to be made. There are stories being told and you do not want to miss out on capturing these back to school moments.

Pre-Orientation Programs and Orientation

Start displaying these moments before students even make it onto campus. Show off all that your students are experiencing at pre-orientation programs by leveraging the content they will be posting about. Showcasing these moments will get other students excited for the new school year.

Feature your newest class of freshmen participating in orientation weekend, meeting new people that will turn into life-long friends, or moving into their new homes for the next year. This new adventure they are about to embark on is equally exciting and nerve wracking. Imagine having a waterfall grid on a social wall in the student center for freshmen to see themselves and their new friends enjoying theses first moments on campus.

This content being featured real time will create even more excitement and connection among first year students, but also bring the upperclassmen back to when they first started their time off at your school. This full circle effect will bring greater connectivity amongst all classes.

Game Day

GET UP FOR GAME DAY!! Game day is one of the most loved days and seasons that happen during the school year. Whatever sport it may be, it is a huge part of the social culture in college.

These exciting days are filled with tailgates, spirited outfits, and a unified pride for the school among students. At my school we have a tradition for specific basketball games where we tent out in temperatures as low as 20 degrees the night before to get hyped for the game. Sounds crazy, but it’s a part of our school culture. There are traditions like this at every school that create the social climate around game day.

Not only students are passionate about university sports. A huge part of it are the fans, alumni, and community members surrounding your school. They also dress up, celebrate, and attend games to cheer on the team. Capturing real time content posted by fans or students and showcasing them on the jumbotron at the game pulls together this vast community that is passionate about supporting your team and university.


Another great use of social content can be through your university’s fundraising events. Whether it be raising money for a specific college, a good cause, or just for the university as a whole, give your audience a reason to share their experience and contribution. Implementing social content throughout the fundraising campaign shows people and their intention behind supporting your cause. Seeing how others contribute will inspire others to do the same.

Campus Events

Whether it be Move-In Day, a residence hall block party, Fall Family Weekend or the first Coffeehouse of the year there are plenty of events being held on campus these first few weeks back to school.

Capture your students at club fair trying to round up new peers to engage in their club for the next school year or families experiencing the campus their student’s now call home. Bringing this experience to life through digital storytelling highlights the adventure these students are about to take throughout the year.

Alumni Outreach

Alumni are just as important to your university as your current students are. As the new school year rolls around, imagine having a website for each graduating class where alumni can share their favorite memories from their time at school. It would also be a great place for current students to see what alumni are doing in the real world or for potential job opportunities as the school year continues.

This page could also serve as an area for alumni to donate to their alma mater. Keeping them involved and feeling that they are still apart of your school will encourage current students and showcase the love and support alumni have for their university, even years after they have graduated.

In this digital age, screens are where the majority of what your students consume content. Why not connect them to the greater population around campus by featuring real time social content. Seeing their own and their peer’s back to school experiences through a digital lens will allow for greater connectivity among students and excitement for what this new school year holds.