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6 ways to Engage Students in Incident Reporting

Student incident reporting can be an incredibly effective way of bringing about change in important issues. It is especially important when it comes to issues such as campus safety and wellbeing, living conditions, student problems or bullying. 

University incident reporting requires the involved parties, such as the students, to be highly engaged in the process. If students are proactively engaged in the reporting, it becomes easier to build a database of incidents and formulate appropriate responses to the most frequent ones. 

Having this information available to campuses can help them instigate changes and put safety measures in place.

6 Ways To Engage Students In Incident Reporting

 

1. Every voice matters

 

School incident reporting relies on all students being engaged in the process. In order for this to happen, there must be a system in place that the students can easily access, to report anything that they observe. Make sure that the reports are followed up on, so that the students can see that their voice matters. If incidents are reported and simply get added to a database without any further actions taken, incident reporting will not be effective. 

One way to check if students feel heard in the process is by sending out student surveys, and by making open-link incident reporting possible. This way, campuses can incorporate student voices into the incident reporting process. 

 

2. Gamify reporting 

 

Gamifying the student incident reporting process can increase the level of engagement. This can be done by creating a faculty leaderboard that tracks student incident reporting across campus. By having a leaderboard like this, students are encouraged to work as a faculty team to report observations. 

Another way of doing this is to give a prize to the faculty that reports the most incidents inside a specific time-frame. This will create incentive for the students to rally together, report observations relating their personal safety on campus, and help the management understand what incidents happen. That can help in preventing similar incidents in the future. 

 

3. Enable anonymous reporting

 

Incident reporting should be kept anonymous in schools, especially if the matter of the incident is sensitive. If this anonymity is non-existent or broken, students might feel less inclined to report sensitive incidents. 

For example, a student may want to report an occurrence of bullying. But, they might worry that the individual they want to report might find out who lodged the incident, which could lead to more severe bullying. This is why anonymous reporting is so important.  

 

4. Go mobile

 

Going mobile for incident reporting means that students can report their challenges from anywhere. If the students aren't dependent on a laptop only for reporting, they will be more likely to engage and report. Imagine having to remember details of an incident hours after it happened. The incident may be remembered incorrectly, and it is easy to forget to add vital information to the report.

By enabling an option for reporting on a smartphone or tablet, students will be more motivated to report what they observe on the spot.  

 

5. Conversational communication

 

In handling incidents that are reported, one way to encourage the students and make them feel heard is communicating about the investigation process. Typically this process isn't shared outside of the investigation team, unless more information is needed from the reporter. But by introducing a two-way communication platform around the incidents, it's possible to have a conversation with the reporter, and let the reporter follow the steps taken for the observation they made.

This doesn't only make the reporter feel that the incident is being taken care of, but also that their voice matters. 

 

6. Stop creating a culture of blame

 

Another big blocker for on-campus reporting is the blame game

Many people avoid reporting for fear of reprisal or blame. While anonymous reporting takes care of this from other parties, students may still fear being blamed by the people in charge, or by the people they might report about. It’s important to make students feel safe to report any and all incidents by creating an open and accepting reporting environment.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Enhancing student engagement in incident reporting is critical to being able to instigate effective change at schools. Ensuring that students' voices are heard, along with their concerns about the process, is critical for better incident management.

A great way to support this kind of change is to implement a mobile incident reporting platform, which allows for two-way communication and anonymous reporting. In that way it's possible to increase the amount of reports from the students, and make sure that they feel heard and involved in the investigation and close-out process. 

If you're looking to implement an incident platform that has all of this, we've got you covered. Incy.io is easy-to-use, fast to set up, ensures 100% anonymity, has customisable workflows, vast integration possibilities and more. Contact us for more information or start your FREE trial:

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Camilla Petersen

Country Manager, Denmark