While messaging via email or learning management system (LMS) has emerged as the critical and comfortable link for daily information exchange in higher education, it has unfortunately also come to double in many institutions as a platform for document sharing, an essential activity for which it is ill-suited.
Faculty distribute important documents such as syllabi and test notes in attachments to email or other messaging media, a time-consuming practice that greatly increases the risk that recipients will wind up with outdated or incorrect information. Administrators commit the same error when sharing policy documents and other critical communications.
Sharing documents through links on school websites or LMSs avoids some of the problems inherent in sharing attachments, but doing so is often inconvenient for faculty and staff, and an additional burden on IT staff maintaining the website. Doing so also shares another fundamental flaw with distributing documents through message attachments: What if the recipient does not have the application or viewer program required for reading the document type attached?
This whitepaper describes how the use of a document sharing environment designed for the purpose can enhance communication effectiveness in higher education settings.