The Evolution of Technology and Student Affairs. Lindsay Blair, Jane Duffy, Stefanie Landsman, Colleen Ruppert University of Connecticut.
The Evolution of Technology and Student Affairs
Lindsay Blair, Jane Duffy, Stefanie Landsman, Colleen Ruppert
University of Connecticut
“In order to foster student development, information technology must encourage and foster the development of social connections between and among individuals and groups. Rather than replace the college campuses, information technology must be designed to strengthen and expand on the college learning community.” -Treue & Belote, 1997, p. 22
According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), marketing is “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals.”
Marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that the organization continues to meet the needs of customers and benefits from the relationship with the customer.
Marketing is usually focused on one product or service. Thus, a marketing plan for one product might be very different than that for another product.
Each student service is a product whose value is determined by the marketplace, college students who frequently question the purpose of these services and other administrators who wonder how to measure their effectiveness (Culp, 1987).
Today, the internet is the first place people look to find information about a college.
Mission statements, services, locations, and professionals can all be located on a college website (Greenfield, 2007).
StageOne Websites include the conversion of static brochures and program information to electronic formats. This is also known as one-way publishing. Anything in paper format can be posted online. Many departments create separate sites with little coordination between other departments and services (Kleeman, 2005).
Why do I have to print this form? Why can’t I fill it out on the website and email it to you?
Four stages of website development on a college campus:
Stage Two Websites become more interactive and transactional. The ability to conduct business, such as filling out forms, ordering and receiving services, and paying fees are incorporated. Information is still organized based on departments and not personalized for each user.
Stage Three Websites are experienced differently by each student. Personalized and customized websites allow the user to receive information based on their needs and wants. This begins to establish a more personal relationship between the student and the institution.
This is fine, but I just want to talk to someone online right now!
Fourth Stage Websites are highly customized. The use of interactive formats such as e-portfolios, video demonstrations, and instant messaging with student affairs professionals allow for the development of relationships and an enhanced community (Kleeman, 2005).
This is great! The website lets me access the information I need and chat with a career consultant.
Customer Service: assistance and other resources that a company provides to the people who buy or use its products or services.
Role in Student Affairs:
“Systems and services need to appear seamless... Students need to be able to access their personal information on-line through some self-service technology… students can have access to their personal records and information 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This reengineering of service processes gives the student access to the right information quickly and efficiently.” - Aoki & Pogroszewski, 1998, p. 5
Student Activities: Scheduling events
“If that experience is convenient, efficient, and student-centered, they have a positive reaction. If it provides a virtual runaround and inaccurate or outdated information, they have a negative one.” - Shea, 2005, p. 15
“Community is no longer defined as a physical place, but as a set of relationships where people interact socially for mutual benefit”
- Andrews, 2002, p. 64
“Facebook is nonetheless the most significant [social networking technology] to higher education because of its original focus on the college or university market.” - Tracy Mitrano, 2006, p. 22
Areas of Interest for Student Affairs Professionals:
“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
- Arthur C. Clarke, Technology and the Future
Why are these useful?
Program Assessment: provides the opportunity for the evaluation of what services and programs are currently doing, how well they are accomplishing goals, what is still needed for students, and the potential for growth in their program.
Individual/Self Assessment: is the process of gathering information about yourself or an individual in order to make an informed decision. An individualized assessment could include reviewing the following: values, interests, personality, skills, ability, at-risk status, or mental health conditions.
Online Screening and Evaluation Assessments:
Assessment has grown tremendously through technology advancements over the last twenty-five years.
Past: Assessments were paper-based or face-to-face interactions.
Present: The internet has impacted the distribution, presentation, and quality of assessment of student services.
Characteristics of Online Assessment:
“Information technology in student affairs has the potential to provide student services, programs, and activities that promote learning while also improving the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of administrative operations. The senior students affairs staff set the tone for how information technology is introduced in the division and possibly the greater campus community.”
- Karley Ausiello, 1997, p. 79
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