A. Laosunthara1, N. Leelawat2, A. Nishihara1

1Tokyo Institute of Technology (JAPAN)
2Chulalongkorn University (THAILAND)
Higher education institutions, such as universities, play vital roles of developing human resources that can support the society. Demands of society change dramatically with times, however, and become diverse nowadays. Universities require good internal communication inside the campus among staff and students to achieve and transfer such experience and knowledge from generation to generation. This study focuses on a main research problem: Is the communication in campus sufficient and effective?. Information Technology (IT) is an influential factor in education. Even in primary and secondary education in Japan, IT is already linked to students’ life. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan plans to introduce programming courses in elementary schools from 2020 because of high demands of human resources in IT field. IT usage will be more active in higher education, and IT is going to be more interactive on campus in the near future. There are some activities to seek a good campus communication, especially the interaction. What we have to pay attention is not only the one-way communication, from staff to students, but also from students to staff. That task is very important and requires experienced staff to conduct. This study presents one of the suggestions, based on “Student Survey”, to enhance communication in campus in T university in Japan. The survey was planned and conducted by a committee consisting of students, staff, and faculty. It takes for about one month via university portal to ensure that the respondents belong to the university. The committee uses T mail news to announce the survey. Next, the data was gathered by the student committee.

We analyzed of T mail news (campus monthly newsletter in T university) using text analysis (e.g., collecting a number of characters in each T mail news) and content analysis focusing on some specific keywords. We found that the top 1 and 2 of channels for students to get campus information changes from conventional way like bulletin board to IT channels like email or website. In line with the 2015 white paper of Ministry of Information Affairs and Communications which disclosed the smartphones were used over 90% of 20-29 year-old Japanese; the student survey found that more than 60% of T university students owned smartphones. The results of the T mail news analysis showed that the amount of information is dramatically increasing, especially after T mail news adds English contents for international students. However, increase in information makes the information accessibility low. When the information be increasing, which parts of Email will be most accessible? Generally, the top part of the email is the easiest part to access. The remaining become less accessible. But we are not sure if the last part of email is lowest accessible. We also found that positions of contents in T mail news are important. Despite heavy-weight information the students can get, the way most students utilize to access such information is still light-weight (i.e., smartphone screen). Some information may get lost in the crowd of information. It is shown that students could not receive some contents because of flooding information.