AcAdv, ACPA, ACPAdigital, Blended Learning, Higher Education, Learning, Learning Technologies, Online Learning, Professional Development

Academic Support In A Digital Age

Although you might not advise or support students in an online degree program, there are increasing efforts for teaching and learning technology. Learning delivery and design does impact how we support our students, and we mediate much of our work in higher education using digital tools and platforms. That being said, any adoption of technology should be led with informed decisions on modifying pedagogical methods (Bates, 2015), which is directly related to our advising models and programs we offer in the post-secondary. Our students want the same flexibility, access, and online support.

Our students want the same flexibility, access, and online support they often receive from instruction and other services they use. When learning with technology, our students are accustomed to having access to student support or other features alongside their online/blended coursework; however, the digital student success side is frequently an afterthought for these technology determinations. We need to have more student success and academic advising programs consider the best technology to provide advising content and service delivery (Steele, 2015) for a more learner-centered approach.

digital DNA

Digital DNA by Adriana Varella and Nilton Malz 

Whether you are leveraging technology to optimize your student support services or your campus is transitioning to either a blended or online learning model, there is both a need and desire to improve technology for academic advisors and student support practices in higher education (Pasquini & Steele, 2015). During your planning, it will be critical for your institution to ask the following questions before selecting technology-mediated environments for advising and learner support: 

  • What technologies is your institution currently utilizing for academic advising or student support?
  • How does your division or unit on campus decide on the most appropriate mode of technology delivery? [Will this be a campus-wide decision?]
  • What factors should be determined when designing technology in advising program and/or student support functional area?
  • What other strategies and structural support might benefit your campus in preparing  staff as they support learners digitally?  (e.g. training, skill development, etc.)

Join me as I discuss this further next Wednesday, September 14th from 12-1 pm EDT for the ACPA Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) Presents Webinar: “Selecting Technology for Advising and Supporting Your Students.” During this online event, I will be sharing a few evidence-based ideas and practical resources to help your advising team address these questions. This webinar will introduce your campus planning group to a few strategies and structures as they select technology for advising and student support. Sign up for this FREE webinar sponsored by ACPA CASHE here: http://goo.gl/tR8THa 

References

Bates, A. W., (2015). Chapter 9: Modes of delivery. In Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age. Open Text BC.

Pasquini, L. A., & Steele, G. (2016). Technology in academic advising: Perceptions and practices in higher education. figshare. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3053569.v7

Steele, G. (2015). Using Technology for Intentional Student Evaluation and Program AssessmentNACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources. 

AcAdv, AdvTech, StudentAffairs

Supporting Learners with Technology: Perceptions and Practices of Technology in Advising

It is a critical time to assess how campus stakeholders are employing digital resources to scaffold learners beyond the course curriculum and learning environments. A growing number of colleges and universities want to advance how they offer student support using technology outside the “classroom.” This campus change is impacting more student success and academic advising programs as they consider the best technology to provide advising content and service delivery for learner-centered approaches. By researching technological trends and challenges, conducting campus-wide assessments, and establishing strategic plans, higher education stakeholders can effectively integrate technology into student support practices to align with individual advising objectives and to further the goals of the institution.

#advtech

Surveying Institutional Perceptions and Practices on Advising
 To understand the impact technology has on student support and practice The Global Community for Academic Advising (NACADA) association, specifically the NACADA Technology in Advising Commission sponsors semi-regular surveys for the NACADA membership (e.g. 2002, 2007, and 2011). In 2013 a new survey instrument was designed to capture data, specifically to identify how higher education advising staff and senior administration employ technology to support their practices. A total of 990 respondents completed the survey; however 65% identified as an academic advisor/counselor. The other respondent’s role on campus included advising administrators (22%) and faculty (4%).

Key findings from this study:

  • Top 3 advising technologies: desktop computers, campus storage networks, & Wi-Fi
  • Technology tools/platforms the institution wants advisors to use: learning management systems (46%) and laptops (40%)
  • Technology tools/platforms utilized by advisors: 24% use scanners and 23% use social networks (e.g. Twitter and Facebook).
  • Advisors communicate with technology (daily) primarily with: other academic advisors/counselors (86.35%) and students (89.88%).
  • Advisors less frequently use technology to communicate with: academic administrators (58.08%), faculty (47.22%), & student affairs administrators (37%).
  • Daily advising practices include: e-mail (99%); face-to-face interactions (91%); locally installed word processor, spreadsheets, etc. (80%); phone (73%) and Facebook (30%).
  • Less frequently used advising technology (< 2%): licensed video-conferencing (e.g. Adobe Connect, Wimba, Zoom), retention software, photo-sharing websites, and podcasts.

Overall, we found the advising community communicates with campus stakeholders across their institutions and to stay connected to professional peers outside the institution:

  • 70-90% think advising technology supports information distribution on campus, and sharing knowledge and maintaining connections within higher education.
  • 24% indicated that advising technology tools do not help with communication and student scheduling.
  • 80-92% believe advising technology helps them work faster and more efficiently, produce higher quality work, store advising information, simplifies the academic advising administrative processes, and contributes positively to their academic advising role.

Technology Needs to be Location-Free, Build Rapport, and Use Current Systems

When asked what their “ideal technology in advising practice” to support students and advising functions, respondents wanted advising technology to:

  • Be integrated into current systems and existing campus technologies.
  • Create opportunity and access for student support and advising regardless of physical location, time, etc.
  • Help build an advising rapport, make connections, and support communication.
  • Support transparent knowledge sharing and degree completion information.
  • Scaffold effective online and blended models of academic advising.
  • Address the needs and challenges related to advisor and learner preferences and/or practices for student support/services.
  • Capture the holistic view of the student learning experience, which is essential to enhance academic advising practices and institutional outcomes.

It is imperative that campus decisions about technology and learning also include design and delivery methods that are inclusive of academic advising needs. From this research, it there is both a need and desire to improve front-line advising and student support practices in higher education using technology. Beyond soliciting input during the technology purchasing and implementation phase, institutions need to consider HOW student support is organized and ASSESS current advising practices and models.

To integrate or update technology for advising, our institutions will need to also consider how they will provide additional support, offer advisors training, and create job aids or resources to scaffold technology use for the students, staff, and faculty user experience. In the efforts to expand this research and distribute this knowledge for higher education technology for advising, the survey instrument, data, and white paper (also shared on Academia.edu) from this study are shared by the researchers with a Creative Commons license. Thanks for the support of the NACADA #AdvTech Commission, and co-author George Steele.

Reference:
Pasquini, L. A., & Steele, G. (2016). Technology in academic advising: Perceptions and practices in higher education. figshare. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3053569.v7

Note: A version of this blog post was also shared on the NACADA Blog and the WCET Blog. In the coming months, I look forward to working with research collaborators on an updated version and replication of this study.  

AcAdv, AdvTech, nacada

NACADA TechTalks: Connecting 1:1 – Using Digital Tools to Enhance Advising

NACADA

The NACADA Technology in Advising Commission is pleased to announce our next “NACADA #AdvTech Talk” happening on Friday, February 21st at 1 pm CST.

You may have joined us for previous NACADA TechTalks; however this upcoming event we will be piloting a few new technology platforms, such Google +Hangout ON AIR and the #advtech Twitter backchannel.

Connecting 1:1 – Using Digital Tools to Enhance Advising

{You can watch this event as we STREAM LIVE from this blog post, directly broadcasting from the NACADA #AdvTech YouTube Channel, or find the event on NACADA #AdvTech on Google Plus!}

About the upcoming NACADA #AdvTech Talk:

This interactive one-hour session will introduce you to a student-focused approach for using social media and other digital tools for academic advising.  Learn how to increase your accessibility for students by effectively communicating one-on-one via digital tools like instant-messaging, tweeting, and texting… all without overwhelming…

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AcAdv, nacada

What’s On the Horizon for Academic Advising?

Last week, I shared my thoughts about what academic advising might look in the future in higher education with an advising group.

Based on Lowenstein’s (2013) “Vision, Not a Prediction” description in his Academic Advising Approaches chapter, I shared my ideas of how the field of academic advising COULD contribute to evolution of post-secondary education. Lowenstein shares a number of insights and examples about how advising as a profession can move forward, so my talk focussed on HOW (specifically with examples) where faculty and professional advisors can enhance student development in terms of:

  1. Interaction with students to  contribute and encourage learning outside their curriculum.
  2. Influence to changes and developments on their own campuses.
  3. Integration into the broader focus and purpose of academia.

Much of this session discussed how higher education institutions and administrators would be the only ones to lead advising changes, unless the advising profession asked the following questions themselves:

  • What is the role of advising or the advisor in post-secondary education?
  • What will advising look like in 5, 10, or 20 years?
  • What do YOU want the profession of advising to look like?
  • What sort of advising “profession” do YOU want to participate in?
  • How can YOU contribute to the change and develops occurring in higher ed, specifically with regards to how advising is organized?

In thinking about my own responses to the above prompts, I know that advisors can be at the forefront of institutional and organizational change. A number of advisors I interact with and know are very forward thinking, innovative problem-solvers who want to contribute to research, teaching, or service initiatives for the profession. It is this type of critical thinking and resilience of this generation of advisors, that we need to step up to debate practices, contribute ideas, and become active participants in how the role of advising at our institutions.  Does this mean increased advising training and development, enhance qualifications, or greater expectations for advisors? Perhaps. I think the advising community of practice can decide that, and should before some one else in the post-secondary sector decides to take this challenge on without consulting advisors altogether.

 

Reference

Lowenstein, M. (2013). Chapter 14: Envisioning the future. In J. K. Drake, P. Jordan, & M. A. Miller (Eds.), Academic advising approaches: Strategies that   teach students to make the most of college. (pp. 243-258). San Francisco,   CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

 

AcAdv, nacada, NACADA Tech

#AdvTech at #nacada13…More Than Just a Hashtag!

AdvTech Puts A Hashtag on It

 

Well, I’ve had some travel & packed appointment days, so here’s my delayed RECAP post from the 2013 Annual NACADA Conference (#nacada13) in Salt Lake City, UT. I proudly passed the NACADA Technology in Advising Commission (#AdvTech) chair torch to Julie Larsen (@julieclarsen); however I thought I would highlight some of the great things from our commission, steering committee, and general happenings at the #nacada13 conference:

So I just want to say…

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Are you interested in getting involved with the #advtech commission? The #AdvTech NACADA Technology in Advising Commission Sign-up for 2013-2014 is still open http://bit.ly/advtech13.  Please complete this form to let us know HOW you want to be involved this year. Talk to our #advtech steering committee leaders if you have questions, ideas, or suggestions for our commission!

AcAdv

#AdvTech Commission Events & Happenings at #nacada13

Hello #acadv & #nacada13 friends! The 2013 Annual NACADA Conference has kicked off, and is in full swing here in Salt Lake City, UT. This might be my last week serving as the NACADA Technology in Advising Commission (#AdvTech) chair; however I have no doubt that our group will continue great things with the incoming elected chair, Julie Larsen (@julieclarsen).  Here is a little bit about our NACADA Commission, and how you can get involved with us whether you are in SLC or at home.

What is the #AdvTech Commission?

The purpose of NACADA’s Technology in Advising Commission is to help academic advisors, faculty advisors, and advising administrators understand the impact of using technologies in advising, including:

  • Online communication & virtual advising
  • Degree audits & web registration
  • Student information systems & electronic advising notes
  • Social and connected spaces for innovative staff/faculty resources
  • Understand the ideas and trends of how technology is being utilized in higher education

How to get active with our commission?  Find out from our very own #advtech steering committee member and NACADA Commission & Interest Group Division Service Award winner, Paul Cox (@peacox), on how to get ACTIVE with #advtech:

Do you want to get involved and ACTIVE with the #advtech commission? #AdvTech NACADA Technology in Advising Commission Sign-up for 2013-2014 http://bit.ly/advtech13.  This form is for ALL commission members both at the conference in SLC and at home. Please let us know HOW you want to be involved this year. Talk to our #advtech steering committee leaders or me if you have questions, ideas, or suggestions for our commission!

Here are a few dates, times and locations to for our #AdvTech Commission Happenings and Events at the 2013 NACADA Annual Conference:

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 12.08.33 AM
• CIG Fair & Continental Breakfast – Tuesday (10/8) from 7:15-8:30 am (Exhibit Hall A); drop by our booth & say hello!
• #AdvTech Commission Meeting – Tuesday (10/8) from 4:30-5:30 pm (251 EF); all are welcome – information, updates & fun. 
• #nacada13 & #AcAdv Chat Tweet Up – Tuesday (10/8) 7:30 pm (Location TBA) http://bit.ly/nacada13tweetup (Pass it on!)

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 12.37.47 AM
• #AdvTech HOT TOPIC – Wednesday (10/9) from 10:30-11:30 am (255 C); roundtable discussions to chat more about advising technology, specifically:

1. Mobile Learning in Academic Advising

2. Enterprise (CRM/LMS) Student Information Systems in Advising

3. Communication Modes & Mediums We Use with Our Students

4. Advising Technology Policies, Strategies, & Guidance in Our Institutions

Side note: Here are #nacada13 panels I am involved outside of the #advtech commission specific events:

  • Session 42: How To Hack Your PhD: Being a Doctoral Student & Academic Advisor @drmelissajl,  @polishpattycake@sarahhcraddock – Monday (10/7) 11:30 am-12:30 pm in Grand Ballroom A
  • Session 94: Social Media “Strategery” & Guidance for Advising with @matt_rupert – Follow #SMadv & http://bit.ly/smadv – Monday (10/7) 3:15-4:15 pm in 255 C

  • Session 165: #AltProDev Using Technology in Training: Informal Learning & Communities of Practice for Advising with @allenmtaylor, @peacox, @polishpattycake – Tuesday (10/8) 11:15 am-12:15 pm in 255 D

 

AcAdv, NACADA Tech, nacada10, Reflections

Academic Advisors + @AcAdvChat = #AcAdv Chat Network

For my colleagues in higher education, WHERE do you get new ideas, resources, and share information about academic advising?

  • Is it just down the hall from your office in the break room near the water-cooler or coffee pot?
  • Do you connect with others at a regional or national conference every year?
  • Or is there an opportunity to connect with other faculty and professional advisors at your campus for a training and development session?
  • Is it through a professional association listserv, e-mail list or discussion board?
  • On a Facebook page/group, LinkedIn Discussion, or another social media platform?

BUT wouldn’t it be great if you had a regular space and place to have these conversations, ask questions, share trends & issues, utilize a professional sounding board, and connect to  advising colleagues at other institutions about academic advising? {A small group of advisors asked in October 2010 at #nacada10}

sh

ENTER = @AcAdvChat & the #AcAdv Chat Hashtag

#AcAdv Chat

Since the start we have been fortunate to have a few great people collaborate to support the @AcAdvChat handle and chat each week. The #AcAdv Chat Team helps create weekly chat topic polls, brainstorm questions,  moderate the chat, and update our social media platforms, including those we said goodbye to (Delicious & Posterous), and those  social media sites we still use (Twtpoll, WordPress, Twitter, & Facebook Page) each and every week. THANKS FOR ALL THAT YOU DO! Go team! Here are the #AcAdv Chat-ers current & past from the top (L-R): @AcAdvChat, @sarahhcraddock, @peacox, @laurapasquini, @bilmorrill, @kellyjbailey, @howardsj, @julieclarsen, & @bradpopiolek!

Screen Shot 2013-09-14 at 12.48.02 PM

Can you believe that we are about to celebrate our 100th @AcAdvChat? It’s true! The #AcAdv tweeps have been busy discussing academic advising issues and happenings in higher education since Fall 2010! Time flies when you’re having fun with the fantastic members in the #AcAdv community.

Join us on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 from 12-1 pm CT for our 100th #AcAdv Chat.

100-fireworks

To honor this milestone with our #acadv chat friends, we thought it would be great to share WHY YOU PARTICIPATE in #AcAdv Chat. Let us know how we got to this 100th #AcAdv Chat.  Also, please be sure to  introduce your academic advising colleagues #AcAdv Chat (about) and encourage others to FOLLOW @AcAdvChat on Twitter. Thanks!   Now let us know…

“Why do you #AcAdv Chat?”

 

{This message is cross-posted at the AcAdvChat WordPress Blog}