Learning, Reflections, Rhizo15, Teaching

Measure This, #Rhizo15!

If you are teaching a course or conducting a training, those providing and taking ALWAYS want to know how you will measure success, learning, and performance. ALWAYS. What’s the bottom line? What’s the ROI? What’s the learning outcome? How will we know our learners have learned or our training participants “get it”? GRADES. SCORES. NUMBERS. STATISTICS.

This week Dave reminds #Rhizo15: “Learning is a not a counting noun.”

I am tardy in this post for a number of reasons (#et4online and #Fiachra40Fest, I’m looking at you). Without even knowing it, we actually had a late night discussion post-fire pit sing-song at the #et4online conference. {How did you get in our heads, Dave? Well done, sir.} Let me share a bit of that post-ukulele, harmonizing chat for you here.

FireSide

If you think about it, our learners are programmed to believe a grade informs their knowledge but is this actually the case? Grades evaluate an outcome; however it might not really mean learning. Do you know if your learners make meaning, identify value, or apply their knowledge beyond the assignment or specific course requirement? Grades have been there to offer benchmarks, set standards of evaluation, and help instructors measure FOREVER.

“You actually believe in grades?” asked Pete (a.k.a. @allistelling)

Great question. I thought about it. My response: Not really. As a faculty member, I have to provide an outcome or a grade for my students – but that is the university requirement and standard for our department. Our academic institutions require a numbered measurement to move forward in degree programs; however it is really the process of development, fine-tuning, and involvement where I see my students “learn” the most. For our students, a number is easy. It places them in a particular level or understanding of “how am I doing in the course?” Often they look at their learning in comparison to one another, and to figure out if they are “measuring” up to the learning standards. We could do better to “show you know” in other ways beyond a numbered evaluation. Really.

I am thinking more about the grades or non-grades in a couple of my courses. Two of my online courses are very much project/portfolio based, where the final product is built throughout the whole semester. My presentation class #LTEC4121 has a “TED” talk and short demonstration video, and my instructional design/facilitation #LTEC4440 class is building a 5-week online training proposal. Both of these assignments are very applied and relevant for my students; however a number of my learners are being pushed outside the comfort zone for their projects. Although most of the course evaluation (the numbers) are weighted towards the final projects, a few students will leave this course or give up based on early grade assignments. They are concerned about their GPA in this course, their cumulative GPA, etc. Those who stick past the first few weeks actually stop asking me about the numbers. Which is great! They want to know more about shooting film and editing, or considerations for putting media into their training course program. At the end of the course, I am impressed by their projects and final videos they deliver, here are a few examples of technical demonstration created last Fall 2014 :

In our fireside conversation, we talked about the value of developing artifacts, engaging in the peer-review process, how collaborative input matters, and working through revisions leads to understanding. With grades or marks (I’ll be inclusive to my Canadian & US colleagues), educators (myself included) often forget to model learning as a process. Learning should be developmental. As instructors, we need to remember to have our learners build upon previous knowledge and apply their learning beyond our course. There should be an opportunity for our learners to take risks, make mistakes, and pick up the pieces for the course and beyond. Making learning as not a number is not easy – for both the instructor and the students. There will be confusion and possibly frustration; however you have to be willing to work through the learning process with your students. I am thinking of just grading early items as complete or not, and providing feedback for their final projects. I am also considering what really needs to be accounted for in a letter or percentage grade, with regards to their final project developments. Finally, I do want to give credit for my students who have collaborated and learned on a local level. I have witnessed a number of connections thrive beyond a semester or course, as they support one another in work, life, and then some. Perhaps it is time to get rid of a few numbers to meaure what matters for learning for my next term… it would help with all the grading that I am now going to work on now.

p.s. If you are into learning about learning, it’s not too late to join the #Rhizo15 conversation… better late than never.

EdTech, Learning Technologies

Checklist: Selecting Technology for Learning

With so many possibilities for digital learning, selecting media and technologies for appropriate course instruction is a very complex process. Although there are a wide range of options in the ed tech realm, pedagogical considerations should always come first. Instructors should reflect on the learning objective and desired outcomes for their subject matter before identifying identifying technological applications for the course.

The SECTIONS model, developed by Tony Bates (2015), is a pedagogical framework for determining what technology, specifically how this technology will be appropriate for instructional approaches. This might include identifying and determining pedagogical characteristics of text, audio, video, computing, and social media. With this framework, Bates (2015) asks five critical questions for teaching and learning for technology and media selection:

  1. Who are the learners?
  2. What are the desired learning outcomes from the teaching?
  3. What instructional strategies will be employed to facilitate the learning outcomes?
  4. What are the unique educational characteristics of each medium/technology, and how well do these match the learning and teaching requirements?
  5. What resources are available?

In thinking about the interplay of technology and learning, higher education courses will need to consider how this design process is developed. In this book chapter, Bates shared an alternative approach to the ADDIE model for instructional design – Learning + Technology Development Process Model (Hibbitts & Travin, 2015).

Learning + Technology Development Process Model (Hibbitts & Travin, 2015)

Regardless of the model for learning design, it will be important to assess how technology will impact the pedagogy. The SECTIONS model is an effective framework to best inform instructors when deciding what media or technology to use for face-to-face, online or blended learning courses:

  • Students
  • Ease of use
  • Costs
  • Teaching functions (including the affordances of different media)
  • Interaction
  • Organizational issues
  • Networking
  • Security and privacy

I would encourage you to utilize Bate’s (2015) Questions to Guide Media Selection and Use, to support your learning design when consider technology adoption for teaching. This open, shared educational resource will provide you with a broader reflection on issues and considerations for your digital pedagogy. Here is an abbreviated checklist for selecting technologies for learning I adopted for a learning module. It was developed for faculty who would like to consider the broader issues for teaching with technology, and how to navigate this course planning process for digital/media inclusions.

Checklist: Selecting Technology for Learning

STUDENTS

  • Review accessibility mandate or policy of your institution, department or program.
  • Determine demographics of the students and appropriateness of technology.
  • Consider student access to technologies, both off campus and on campus.
  • Determine digital skills and digital readiness of your students with learning expectations.
  • Justify students’ purchases of a new technology component (if needed) for learning.
  • Assess prior learning approaches & how technology can support student learning.

EASE OF USE

  • Select the technology for ease of use by instructor and students.
  • Identify technology that is reliable for teaching and learning.
  • Verify the technology set up, maintenance and upgrade is simple.
  • Confirm the technology provider/company is stable to support hardware or software use.
  • Outline strategies to secure any digital teaching materials you create should the organization providing the software or service cease to exist.
  • Locate technical & professional support, both in terms of the technology and with respect to the design of materials.
  • Determine technologies to best support edits and updates of learning materials.
  • Outline how the new technology will change teaching with to get better results
  • Assess risks and potential challenges for using this technology for teaching and learning.

COST & YOUR TIME

  • Consider media selection by the length of time and ease of use during course development.
  • Factor the time it takes to prepare lectures, and determine if development of digital learning materials will save time and encourage interaction with students (online and/or face-to-face).
  • Investigate if there is extra funding for innovative teaching or technology applications; if so, determine how to best use that funding for learning technologies.
  • Assess the local support from your institution from instructional designers and media professionals for media design and development.
  • Identify open educational resources for the course, e.g. an open textbook, online videos, library page of articles, or other potential open educational resources.

TEACHING & LEARNING FACTORS

  • Determine the desired learning outcomes from the teaching in terms of content and skills.
  • Design instructional strategies to facilitate the learning outcomes.
  • Outline unique pedagogical characteristics appropriate for this course, in terms of content presentation and skill development, specifically for:
    • Textbook, readings, or other online text materials;
    • Audio, such as podcasts, streaming audio from news, etc.;
    • Video, such as slide presentations, lectures, tutorials, and screencasts; and
    • Social media, such as blogs, wikis, microblogs, photo sharing, curation, etc.
  • Plan learning aspects that must be face-to-face (in-person or online).

INTERACTION

  • Identify the skills for development and interactions that are most to determine the best type of media or technology to facilitate this learning.
  • Determine the kinds of kinds of interaction to produce a good balance between student comprehension and student skills development.
  • Estimate the amount of time the instructor will be interacting personally or online with students, and the type of medium for this interaction.

ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES

  • Determine institutional support in choosing and using media or technology for teaching.
  • Identify if the institutional support is easily accessible, helpful, and will meet the needs for the learning technologies for the course.
  • Determine if there is funding available to ‘buy me out’ for a semester and/or to fund a teaching assistance/support to concentrate on designing a new course or revising an existing course.
  • Locate institutional funding or resources for any learning technology or media production.
  • Review the ‘standard’ technologies, practices and procedures for teaching and learning, to verify requirements for utilizing institutional technology resources, i.e. the learning management system, lecture capture system, etc.
  • Determine if the institution will support trying a new technological approach to learning, and will support innovative media or digital design.

NETWORKING

  • Outline the importance for learners to network beyond a course, i.e. with subject specialists, professionals in the field, and relevant people in the community.
  • Identify how the course or student learning can benefit from networking and learning from external connections.
  • Determine the appropriate network and/or social media space to integrate for your learners to network with each other and connect with external community members.
  • Integrate these networking mediums with standard course technology.
  • Delegate responsibility for its design and/or administration to students or learners.

SECURITY AND PRIVACY

  • Determine the student information you are obliged to keep private and secure.
  • Identify the institutional policies for security and privacy for teaching & learning.
  • Outline potential risks and challenges of using a particular technology where institutional policies concerning privacy could easily be breached.
  • Identify who at your institution could best advise you on security and privacy concerns, with regards to learning and teaching technologies.
  • Itemize the areas of teaching and learning, if any, available only to students registered in the course.
  • Identify the types of technologies to best restrict or limit access to course materials (if any) for my registered students.

 

Interested in reviewing your own learning design further? DOWNLOAD the Checklist: Selecting Technology for Learning

Reference:

Bates, A. W. (2015). Chapter 8: Choosing and using media in education: The SECTIONS model. From Teaching in a Digital Age. A Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Retrieved from http://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/

Hibbitts, P. D., & Travin, M. T. (2015). Learning + technology development process model.

 

edusocmedia, Social Media

How is social media being researched to support student development/success in higher education beyond the “classroom”?

I recently curated a  reading list of literature/research on social media and technology use, specifically outside the higher ed “classroom” for a colleague at Niagara University, Dr. John Sauter. For his Sociology of Higher Education course, John wanted to share readings that demonstrate how social media and technology are being utilized outside formalized learning, and provide more information beyond the Social Media Resources [from the WNY Advising group] the practical guides/strategies. A recent prompt from my #edusocmedia friend Ove, made me think that this short list should be shared and hopefully expanded upon – enter this blog post.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 12.02.04 PMImage c/o mkhmarketing on Flickr

In searching online, you will find that there are no shortage of “how to” and “social media strategy” publications – which often bridge the marketing, communications, education, business, and student affair disciplines. A growing number of  bloggers also share suggestions for social media use, community development, and campus engagement; however  my focus was to find recent RESEARCH in post-secondary education that examined how social media and emerging technologies are impacting student life, support, and success outside the “classroom” (face-to-face, online & blended learning) environments.

To consider social media perceptions and use outside of formal learning environments, it is important to gain insight from recent studies around learning in higher education with technologies, including:

Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of computer assisted learning, 27(2), 119-132.

Junco, R. (2012). Too much face and not enough books: The relationship between multiple indices of Facebook use and academic performance.Computers in Human Behavior, 28(1), 187-198.

Junco, R., Elavsky, C. M., & Heiberger, G. (2013). PuttingTwitter to the test: Assessing outcomes for student collaboration, engagement and successBritish Journal of Educational Technology, 44(2), 273-287.

Junco, R. (2015). Student class standing, Facebook use, and academic performance. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 18-29.

Muñoz, C. L., & Towner, T. (2011). Back to the “wall”: How to use Facebook in the college classroom. First Monday, 16(12).

Roblyer, M. D., McDaniel, M., Webb, M., Herman, J., & Witty, J. V. (2010). Findings on Facebook in higher education: A comparison of college faculty and student uses and perceptions of social networking sites. Internet and Higher Education, 13(3), 134-140.

Rodriguez, J. E. (2011). Social media use in higher education: Key areas to consider for educators. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(4).

Silius, K., Kailanto, M., & Tervakari, A-M. (2011). Evaluating the quality of social media in an educational context. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 6(3), 21-27.

Wakefield, J. S., Warren, S. J., Alsobrook, M., & Knight, K. A. (2013). What do they really think? Higher education students’ perceptions of using Facebook and Twitter in formal higher education learning. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments1(4), 330-354.

**Shout out to Josie Ahlquist for also sharing a wealth of resources on her Reference List page related to this topic as well and more related to student development theory and youth culture in media!**

My focus for this class reading list, was to find recent (2011 forward) peer-reviewed publications that share implications and findings from research on how social media impacts support/success in higher ed beyond the instructional context. Yes. Student affairs, academic advisors, and the like, in student support areas of higher ed, ARE educators – however social media/technology use for learning without the weight of the grade “carrot” does impact and influence adoption/use. In looking around, I found a number of recent literature reviews and compilations that look at social media in higher education – here are a select few I thought I would share:

Davis III, C. H., Deil-Amen, R., Rios-Aguilar, C., & Gonzalez Canche, M. S. (2012). Social Media in Higher Education: A literature review and research directions.

Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. (2013). Use of Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 and higher education: The search for evidence-based practice. Educational Research Review, 9, 47-64.

Lewis, B., & Rush, D. (2013). Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education. Research in Learning Technology21.

Rios-Aguilar, C., Canché, G., Sacramento, M., Deil-Amen, R., & Davis III, C. H. (2012). The role of social media in community colleges.

Tarantino, K., McDonough, J., & Hua, M. (2013). Effects of student engagement with social media on student learning: A review of literature. The Journal of Technology in Student Affairs.

Tess, P. A. (2013). The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual)–A literature reviewComputers in Human Behavior29(5), A60-A68.

For my own interest, I decided to conduct a preliminary literature search to determine “How is social media being researched to support student development/success in higher education beyond the “classroom”?  This is NOT a comprehensive list, but more of a primer to initiate a more comprehensive search for recent (2011 forward) scholarly publications involving research on this topic:

Al-Harrasi, A. S., & Al-Badi, A. H. (2014). The Impact Of Social Networking: A Study Of The Influence Of Smartphones On College Students. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (CIER), 7(2), 129-136.

Birnbaum, M. G. (2013). The fronts students use: Facebook and the standardization of self-presentations. Journal of College Student Development54(2), 155-171.

Chen, B., & Bryer, T. (2012). Investigating instructional strategies for using social media in formal and informal learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(1), 87-104.

Cheung, C. M., Chiu, P. Y., & Lee, M. K. (2011). Online social networks: Why do students use Facebook? Computers in Human Behavior, 27(4), 1337-1343.

DeAndrea, D. C., Ellison, N. B., LaRose, R., Steinfield, C., & Fiore, A. (2011). Serious social media: On the use of social media for improving students’ adjustment. Internet and Higher Education, 15, 15-23.

Fuller, M., & Pittarese, T. (2012, June). Effectively communicating with university students using social media: a study of social media usage patterns. In 45th Annual Conference June 10-14, 2012 (p. 46).

Graham, M. (2014). Social Media as a tool for increased student participation and engagement outside the classroom in higher education. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 2(3).

Jacobsen, W. C., & Forste, R. (2011). The wired generation: Academic and social outcomes of electronic media use among university studentsCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(5), 275-280.

Lin, M. F. G., Hoffman, E. S., & Borengasser, C. (2013). Is social media too social for class? A case study of Twitter use. TechTrends, 57(2), 39-45.

Lou, L. L., Yan, Z., Nickerson, A., & McMorris, R. (2012). An examination of the reciprocal relationship of loneliness and Facebook use among first-year college students. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 46(1), 105-117.

Joosten, T., Pasquini, L. A., & Harness, L. (2013). Guiding social media in our institutions. Planning for Higher Education – Society for College and University Planners. 41(2), 1-11.

Mastrodicasa, J., & Metellus, P. (2013). The impact of social media on college students. Journal of College & Character, 14(1), 21-29.

O’Brien, O., & Glowatz, M. (2013). Utilising a social networking site as an academic tool in an academic environment: student development from information-sharing to collaboration and innovation (ICI). AISHE-J: The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 5(3).

Pettijohn, T. F., LaPiene, K. E., & Horting, A. L. (2012). Relationships between Facebook intensity, friendship contingent self-esteem, and personality in US college students. Cyberpsychology, 6(1), 1-7.

Ternes, J. A. (2013). Using social media to engage students in campus life. (Doctoral dissertation, Kansas State University).

Sponcil, M., & Gitimu, P. (2013). Use of social media by college students: relationship to communication and self-concept.  Journal of Technology Research, 4, 1-13.

Wang, Z., Tcherneve, J. M., & Solloway, T.  (2012).  A dynamic longitudinal examination of social media use, needs, and gratifications among college students.  Computers in Human Beheavior, 28(5), 1829-1839.

If you have published any articles and/or have contributions for research in this area – please add to the list! Post any publication references in the comments or reach out to me to discuss further.  I suspect this quest will continue, and it will also need a few collaborators to be successful. Are you interested in digging into the research to learn more about HOW we are SUPPORTING students in higher education using social media beyond formalized learning structures?  Let’s talk – so we can move forward in understanding the research lay of the land.

Social Media

Do You Have Social Media Goals?

After participating in today’s Social Media Metrics in Government Using GSA Guidelines webinar hosted by Hootsuite, I began to think more about the WHY and HOW social media guidelines and policies develop. This session discussed how the government developed their guidelines around their GSA social media goals which were connected to their strategic communication plan and web presence.

Obviously this webinar had a focus on measurement and assessment for social media use using both free and paid tools, like Hootsuite; however it offered some sound advice to organizations that are just developing social media guidance or for those who are re-thinking their social media policy. Instead of starting with a policy, strategy, or guideline list of what to do or not do, it would be more helpful for institutions to think through the WHY of social media. This process provides organizations focus, sets out objectives, and creates a rationale for social media use and how these goals might be measured and assessed. For example, the GSA wanted to use social media and social data goals, included:

  • Be more effective in how they distribute critical information to citizens & communities
  • Engage citizens to help shape to public programs
  • Better inform strategies leading to greater efficiency
  • Increase use of innovative tools and services to further development

It is important to consider your institutional goals when organizing your social media guidance, here a few suggestions given from the webinar – but I am sure your organization has many others.

Internal Considerations:

  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Cost saving & cost avoidance strategy
  • To be transparent
  • Talent acquisition

External Considerations:

  • Citizen engagement – Active use and participation (2-ways)
  • Promote services and resources
  • Provide customer service – feedback
  • Provide real-time resources – expand upon current communication channels

Here are a couple of examples shared from the GSA for their use of social media goals:

Example of Goals for Using Social Media in Government

Another reason to consider developing social media goals before establishing your guidelines is to consider how you will evaluate social media use for your organization. Social media management of your resources is critical. To help assess social media engagement and use it will be helpful to align your goals to evaluation as part of your strategic communication plan. Social media analytics and metrics through different 3rd party tools and social dashboards; however what will be relevant for your organization to track and use for assessment purposes. You want to connect your goals to your key performance indicators (KPI) and desired evidence-based outcomes.

Planning for Measurement

One example was the use of hashtags from the Twitter for Public  Health case study to outline a clear system for planning social media management. This public health group utilized a hashtag, #SM4PH, to build hype around the start of a regular, organized Twitter chat and to launch a hashtag for community development. Their goal was to measure the impact of the hashtag use, conversation, and community involvement before, during, and after this first chat to assess the long tail of this campaign.

Does your organization or institution have social media goals? How do these goals support your social media spaces? How do you assess and measure your social media goals? Let me know.

Reference:

Macey, B. (2013, November 14). Social media metrics in government: Using GSA Guidelines – Webinar. HootSource. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-metrics-gsa-guidelines/

UPDATE 11-19-13: If interested, this webinar is available for viewing on demand.

Higher Education, MOOC, Open Education

New Social Learning … is It “New”?

Education rarely reinvents the wheel. This is not necessarily a bad thing. There are a number of great theorists, researchers, scholars, practitioners, and educators who have been utilizing connected and social learning ideas for decades.

In thinking about social learning for instructional design, I will turn to Bingham and Conner’s (2010) outline for how this is “new” in many of our organizations:

  • The new social learning is not just for knowledge workers – community-oriented.
  • Plays well with formal education to capture shared learning.
  • Compliments training and supplements development.
  • Similar but not the same as informal learning – more search and reading.
  • More than just online search and social networking.
  • Not like broadcasting information, more communal.
  • Allows for interaction and experiences to share ideas.

Image from Social Media Portal

Thomas and Brown (2011) inquire about the new culture of learning in their book, specifically asking: “What happens to learning when we move from stable infrastructure of the twentieth century to the fluid infrastructure of the twenty-first century, where technology is constantly creating and responding to change?”

I am thinking about this question a lot. A number of educators are looking for the “new” instead of asking questions and assessing the present practices. As a scholar-practitioner with perhaps faculty inklings, I have many concerns and questions for the future of our learning in higher education:

  1. Who (collaboratively) will best respond to the challenges and changes for our learning landscape on your campus?
  2. Why are educational changes and decisions being made? Is there assessment and evaluation? Data-driven decisions? Literature to support the change?
  3. What are we doing well & what can we improve upon in our face-to-face, online, and blended pedagogy in higher education?
  4. How are we thinking about connections, creativity, and social learning for our campus learning environments?
  5. When & how seek out the learners’ input for changes to our educational curriculum, campus programs, and student support services?

The idea of one idea, one thing, or one person to tackle the challenges/changes in higher education is ridiculous. If you think a “new” way to learn – perhaps a MOOC – will solve your university or college, then I am concerned about your strategic goals and learning outcomes. Take a gander at George Siemen’s recent #open13 talk [slides & video] to get a historical perspective on MOOCs (then and now), learning challenges, and other considerations for higher education pedagogy. [P.s. If you want to talk more MOOCs and research – y’all should come down to Texas for the 1st MOOC Research Conference in December]

One great take away from George’s talk (via a priest) about the upcoming shifts to higher education: “Don’t move away from things…because if you move away from things you don’t have a clue where you’re going to end up. Instead, move towards something.”

References

Bingham, T., & Conner, M. (2010). The new social learning: A guide to transforming organizations through social media. Berrett-Koehler Store.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (Vol. 219). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.

Siemens, G. (2013, November 7). MOOCs: How did we get here? Elearnspace. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2013/11/07/moocs-how-did-we-get-here/

MOOC, Web Design

#EDUSprint 3 – Creating the IT Architecture for the Connected Age

Here’s the recap for the last EDUCAUSE webinar of the EDU Sprint series: #EDUSprint 3 – Creating the IT Architecture for the Connected Age. Today’s session talked about the role of IT on campus, technology planning, and the infrastructure of IT services for digital learning.

#EDUsprint 3 - Is IT Creating a New, Connected Age?

The session discussed the processes, management strategies, and governance structures from the following higher education leaders on the panel:

  • Tracy Futhey, Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Duke University
  • Tracy Schroeder, Vice President, Information Services and Technology, Boston University
  • Ethan Benatan, Vice President, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Strategy Officer, Marylhurst University

Many spoke about how their IT unit is thinking deeper about services to connect to learning and the needs on their campus in a holistic manner. Tracy Futhey shared her ideas around IT services, and how we not only need to consider location within the organization, but more about the delivery and methods for our IT units.

IT Services

Although there was talk about campus-wide strategy, I rarely heard much about bringing others around the table for this discussion. Much of higher education still operates in silos, so the full potential of connectedness and planning technology in learning cannot just occur in an IT unit, academic department or business solutions. I think that more administrative leaders need to bring faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, IT developers, and external shareholders together for these strategy meetings. in higher education. As our campus environments change, so does the IT needs and services to support learning and engagement.

I did appreciate when Tracy Schoeder shared about the Digital Learning Initiative and Technology Planning at Boston University. Although emerging technological trends evolve, I think that planning and assessment need to be part of the regular planning cycle.

Strategic IT Planning - The BU Example #edusprint I also appreciated that BU puts a focus on the human aspect of their planning, and not just the IT solution. Organizational structures should be assessed and reviewed for the IT architecture, to meet the needs and understand the institutional goals for learning.

Human Architecture for Digital Learning @ BU

Finally Ethan Benatan, started with a few predictions on how IT will change, be challenged, and move in the future – which is always a difficult task. I did appreciate that he shared a design process… and that it was just that – A PROCESS. There will not be a single solution to each campus environment, and it takes some agility and insight to move your higher education institution in the right IT direction and continue to assess your needs.

Here are some new links & reads from the session in no particular order:

Did you miss the last of the 3-day #EDUsprint? No worries. Here are a few resources for you:

You’re very welcome. Happy learning!

AcAdv

Implications for Use of Technology in Advising @NACADA 2011 National Survey

In Fall 2011, I was asked to review data collected from a national survey sponsored by The Global Community of Academic Advising (NACADA) and contribute to the chapter on advising technology. The survey posed a few questions about technology in advising, such as assessment of institutional advising types (e.g. online, on-campus, and blended), communication with advisees, and student information management practices. The entire 2011 NACADA National Survey results and chapters can be found in the NACADA Clearinghouse; and my chapter, “Implications for use of technology in advising 2011 National Survey” are available to read online.

One final sentiment I shared in the conclusion, was to push higher education administration to consider how they assess technology in advising as holistic process connected to other campus divisions:

“When assessing technology usage, postsecondary leadership must also consider future significant challenges such as economic pressures and new modes of scholarship (Johnson et al., 2012). Through researching these technological trends and challenges, conducting campus-wide assessments, and establishing strategic plans, advising stakeholders can effectively integrate technology in advising practices that support both advising units and institutional goals” (Pasquini, 2013).

I did include a few recommendations and guiding questions to consider when considering and  evaluating technology for advising:

“Many students bring expectations about using technology to campus, and therefore, many institutions participate in community advising approaches in which technological solutions provide seamless support and communication for academic planning and progression. When advising units address the use of technologies for both managing student information and communicating with students, they may impact student support and retention initiatives on campus. Higher education institutions, who deploy technologies for communication and information management, benefit from having both the data and ability to effectively connect to their student populations” (Pasquini, 2013).

What was key from this data analysis, was that the advising and a number of student service providers lack specific information about the WHY, WHAT, and HOW technology is being used in the advising profession. With the 2011 NACADA survey and encouragement from the NACADA Executive Office, development of the 2013 Technology in Advising Use in Higher Education Survey (which is still OPEN FOR RESPONSES until March 4, 2013 at 11:55 pm CDT) was initiated. I hope that this instrument helps us critically evaluate HOW the field of advising IS using technology at colleges and universities around the globe.

#AdvTech Use in #HigherEd Survey… Launches on 02-18-2013

In developing this instrument, our working group discovered that, overall, any assessment of technology in advising was lacking. The last time information about advising and technology was collected was circa 2002, and a number of the instrument items are already obsolete (e.g. overhead projectors, Netscape web browser, and Palm Pilots). Needless to say, information about where the advising community and technology stood was missing, and the overarching idea about use, perceptions, and  the current state for technology in advising.

Here are the objectives for the 2013 Technology in Advising Use in Higher Education survey:

  1. Establish what the current use of technology in advising among the advising profession – student management, regular use, applications, software, etc.
  2. Understand how technology in advising is being used for communication purposes with students, professionals and faculty
  3. Identify the relevance of technology for advising on a global scale for the advising profession
  4. Understand the current perspectives and perceptions of how technology in advising is being utilized in the profession today

So far we have 523 responses to the survey. The data collected will help to better inform the advising profession beyond anecdotal assessment, and critically evaluate how technological solutions effectively support our advising practice.  Without any real assessment for technology use in advising, how can we determine what direction we should move forward? I hope that survey responses and data analysis can provide some of these answers. More to come…

Reference:

Pasquini, L. A. (2013). Implications for use of technology in advising 2011 National Survey. NACADA Clearinghouse. Retrieved from http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse/View-Articles/Implications-for-use-of-technology-in-advising-2011-National-Survey.aspx