Creating the Competitive Edge: Making Student Learning Experiences Valuable for the Job Market (TIE2)
As a student supervisor of a team of six at Kennedy Library, I am challenged not just with providing services to clients and stakeholders, but also carry a moral responsibility for my employed students. Students are essential to my daily work, and indispensable for many large-scale, high-visibility projects. It is important to identify individual students’ needs and goals, as well to recognize current stressors and worries. It is essential to me to provide student assistants with valuable experiences that directly apply to their interests and their future job tasks. To mentor effectively also means to collaborate broadly with colleagues from different disciplines and other colleges in hands-on partnerships. Class assignments, senior projects, and staff collaborations provide opportunities for students to experiment, explore, and broaden their skill sets. To ensure the library project demands are in alignment with students' future job requirements, and to support each student individually, regular check-ins are mandatory. My entire student team meets regularly once a week over lunch, and assigns upcoming projects, reviews tasks and developments and invites constructive feedback for designs and approaches. We also discuss future dreams, possible career options, and potential areas of improvement. Students’ performance is evaluated on a regular basis. My ten rules for an effective student-supervisor relationship, which I will elaborate in my presentation, are: 1. Give pointers and directions, not orders. 2. Teach only what you’re good at. 3. Take students seriously. 4. Talk and sketch together. 5. Listen. 6. Watch. 7. Learn. 8. Experiment. 9. Keep problems away. 10. Have fun! To prove the effectiveness of these simple rules, I will highlight library projects, faculty collaborations, and successful partnerships with examples from Outstanding Student Employees of the Year, Hackathon competitors, and successful graduates.
Sometimes it takes a horrible event (like a disastrous website launch) to get all the resources in place to finally do things right. Hear how Grinnell College royally messed up, but then took the opportunity to rebuild an accessible site from the ground up. Whether you have a "pretty accessible" site or are starting from scratch, learn how to get internal buy-in (without manufacturing a disaster), secure internal and external resources, and manage the project from start to finish.
Every year, you look forward to the big HighEdWeb conference. You count down the days until October and then, high on that wonderful feeling of community, networking, and professional development, you return to your campus, ready to kick-start all of your new ideas. But the fun doesn’t have to stop just because you left Milwaukee. Conferences are a wonderful outlet for igniting your creative and collaborative juices, but you don’t have to be limited by your budget, and one or two annual trips, to engage with -- and find inspiration from -- your peers. You can have your own mini-conference every month by starting your own web professionals community right on your own campus. In this presentation, Rachel Carden will share how she started a web professionals community at The University of Alabama that went from a ten-member group that met every couple months at the campus coffee shop to a seventy-plus member community that meets every month to hear from presenters and discuss topics ranging from social media to crisis communication. All with no budget. This year her community, WebTide, also hosted and organized the HighEdWeb Alabama regional conference. Rachel will share what she did right, what she did wrong, and what she learned along the way, as well as tips and resources to start your own community and to help it flourish.
Only a few years ago, New York University lacked a central team to oversee its social media presence, and there was very little sense of community among social media managers in various departments across the university. Through the creation of a new position and a Social Media Ambassadors group, the university has dramatically refocused its efforts in the social media realm -- and achieved some striking results. Two actions played a key role in these successes. First, the New York University Social Media Ambassadors group was formed in 2012, and now counts as members more than 175 community managers from across NYU. From online meetings and knowledge sharing through the use of Google Groups to in-person meetings twice a semester -- featuring presentations from representatives of industry giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram -- the group has created a professional development opportunity for NYU’s community managers to share and learn. Secondly, social media training was implemented through the use of NYU's iLearn program, as well as one-on-one and group consultations with school and department employees. The opportunity to learn, share, and lead has led to an increased interest and sense of community in social media across the university's global campus. This presentation will provide guidance on creating community of learning and leading, tips for forming a collaborative university group of your own, and lessons learned over the course of the past two and a half years.
Last year, one-third of HighEdWeb attendees packed into a session about playing politics. This year, I'll take that talk to the next level. I'll start with a brief review of the principles I discussed last year to get everyone on the same page, and then apply the framework directly to real world situations. What do you do when your boss just doesn't get it? How do you handle that admissions director who thinks they are a web expert, or that guy who thinks he's your boss? What do you do when the right answer is clear as day to you, but you need to rally internal support for it? And the faculty. Oh yes, the faculty. I'll cover all this and more, and teach attendees how to manage their bosses, their peers, and their subordinates more effectively. As with last year, if you attend the presentation you can get a complimentary custom DiSC Profile to help you navigate the human aspects of your job ($50 value!).
Slacking Off at Work (AIM5)
SLACK. It's no longer a bad word at work. Slack is the communication platform that will change how your team works. In this session we'll explore how Vanderbilt University implemented Slack in their Web Communications office, integrated it with their help desk, project management system, code repositories, and how it completely changed the culture of the office. (Oh, and there may be some incoming Slack messages from some of our friends in Milwaukee ... and some at home!)
The Web Culture Shift (MCS6)
A successful web content strategy requires support from people all across an organization -- people with a wide range of experience and comfort levels when it comes to web work. To get our people invested in web content and thinking strategically, we first need to change the culture and thinking surrounding “web” in our institutions. This session will offer practical advice for influencing culture change on your campus, and convincing your people that they have a part in the “web” after all.
Most institutions have a roster of external vendors and partners, but how can you make the most out of this relationship? JP Rains will share his insight as a client for five years at Laurentian University, and as a Strategy Director at Soshal for the past 16 months. This session will help you understand what type of information your external partners need from you, and how you can get the most value out of your work together. Whether you are entry level or senior level, this session will improve your ability to work with external partners. This isn't about procurement, this is about end results -- this is the session your agency and vendors don't want you to attend. Sections covered in the talk: - Proposals and contracts - Joint strategy - Project management - Delivery
Come Together, Right Now (MPD8)
Collectively, we in higher ed pour a lot of resources into reinventing wheels and solving problems others have solved elsewhere. There have been many efforts across higher ed to remedy this by pooling resources, but often this has foundered because the only thing slower and more painful than committee-based decision making within your institution is committee-based decision making involving multiple institutions! The schools that are part of this presentation have worked together on an open-source project for several years. We'll share things we've learned about intercollegiate cooperation, how can we build structures that effectively help us support each other, and point out models for shared projects in higher ed.
Our Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment department, like all institutions, has multiple interaction points with students before they make the all-important choice of where to attend school in September. We see many students multiple times throughout the fall and winter recruitment seasons and at on-campus events before they accept their offers. So how can we measure the effectiveness of our efforts and get a sense of the sentiment of our prospective students and applicants? Through extensive use of event- and cycle-specific hashtags and enterprise tools, we tag and match students throughout the recruitment and admissions cycle with the ultimate goal – a tweet that they will be a #futureram. We will discuss this pilot project, which has transitioned us away from typical feedback routes such as event surveys, and has allowed us to correlate tweet sentiment and virtual touch points with admission decisions.
Social media accounts are created every day by student organizations, academic departments, programs, and countless other units across your campus. How do you support and coordinate all of these accounts when they're managed by dozens (or hundreds) of people scattered throughout your institution? In this session we will explore the tools and methods that William & Mary uses to tackle this challenge, from guidelines for starting a social media account, to the best ways to keep track of existing accounts, to how to create and sustain a social media users group (SMUG), and how you can bring all of these ideas back to your campus so you can start to wrangle your own herd of social media squirrels.
Web projects are getting more complex. With a few open source tools, you can wrangle this complexity. Github will make it easy to organize your web projects into modular repositories. Bower can manage your modules and third party dependencies. Grunt ties it all together, compiling and optimizing, with one command.
In many organizations, especially decentralized ones as you often find in higher education, content owners and editors often operate independently, disconnected from best practices, organizational standards and style, or peers who face similar challenges in creating and managing content. In some cases, content is only a small and intermittent part of these individuals' jobs. To make our content strategy come to life, we need to make it accessible and relatable to the people we rely upon to execute it. And that means making those people accessible and relatable to each other. By organizing internal content communities within our organizations, we can better communicate the value of content strategy, and provide much-needed support to content owners and editors. Attendees will learn: - The value of organizing an internal content community - Strategies for launching and facilitating a content community - Best practices for making the community successful for both its members and the organization
Managing the Unmanageable (MCS10)
Techies and Writers Unite! Ohio State's New Content Aggregator Serves Coders, Marketers, Users (AIM10)
Ohio State's manifesto: Simplify the university’s bureaucratic structure and put users first! At a complex place, writers post web content; social media managers tweet; web geeks ponder digital strategy. Enter Media Magnet, a uniform content aggregation system and a joint venture between Interactive and Editorial. See how we’ve applied this system on osu.edu and beyond.
Improv the Situation (MPD11)
No, that's not a typo. Improv, or improvisation, has made the leap from the stage and TV to the workplace. Actually, it's always been there -- rarely is anything in our life rehearsed. Larry has been a member of Ten Piece Bucket, an improvisational comedy troupe in Florence, South Carolina, for five years, and has been active in theater for more than twenty. His presentation will lay out the basic guidelines of improvisation and show you how to apply them to your workplace. Beginning at "yes, and," he'll also ponder whether the rules of improv can be directly applied to the workplace, or if some tweaking is needed. Be prepared to participate, there may be some demonstrations!
Refried Bean Counters: A Tasty Mashup of Accounting, Management, and Data for the Big Web Project (AIM11)
Bland old canned planning tools giving you indigestion? We'll show you how Cornell SHA used the ingredients we had on-hand, along with some old fashioned double-entry accounting and project management recipes, to whip up a tasty rendition of that old staple: the Big Web Project. Sure, it ain't Le Cordon Bleu, but it satisfies. We'll talk about how we applied the well-worn principles of double-entry accounting to managing the Big Web Project. We'll show how dashboards, queryable mashups, and data extractions from existing tools and vendor deliverables helped us plan, keep on track, check progress, spot inconsistencies, and minimize missed content often discovered too late in the project. We'll explain how we used these to fit into and support the existing workflows of the Information Architect, Content Strategist, and Web Programmer. There's no panacea here, but like any good side dish it doesn't leave you hungry. This is not a tech talk, but we'll mention technologies like WordPress, Drupal, Google Analytics, AngularJS, RDF, OWL and Stardog. OK maybe it's a little bit of a tech talk. Like a little bit of grated cheese on top.
No one wants to remember another password. So why do your faculty, staff and students have to keep a list of passwords, IDs, and usernames for your campus email, classroom, and registration services? You may not have tens of thousands of dollars to put down on a service portal to gather everything; the Web Team at Valdosta State definitely didn’t in 2012 when they launched MyVSU. By creating partnerships across divisions with design, IT, communications and others, they developed a dynamic portal, maintained by the entire campus. Developing your own service portal in-house not only saves your institution expensive setup and service fees, but also allows the talented people you have on campus to flex their creative muscles and deliver exactly what your constituents need. By providing a single sign-on, customizable portal for all of your campus services, you can serve your students, faculty, and staff, while gaining a captive audience for targeted institutional communications. Imagine: A student failing Math 1101 receives an email alert with information about math tutoring, or any of the other thirty services offered! The portal also allows advisers to directly connect to their students via a messaging component, and more. The VSU Web Team will discuss the challenges and opportunities that arose during the implementation of the portal, as well as share the developments and evolution of the portal. Attendees will be able to ask questions about the portal, the design process, and the data warehouse project in order to help streamline web services on their campuses.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single-person communications team must be in want of efficiency tips and commiseration. And coffee. Lots of coffee. In an era of declining budgets and expanding duties, many of us alone manage significant portions of the communications efforts at our campuses. While there is value to the flexibility of being responsible for everything yourself, it can be highly stressful and may lead to inefficient multitasking, losing track of tasks, or even worse, burnout. When I get stressed out, I often turn to Jane Austen and her brilliant stories and characters. I’ve found that her classic stories provide valuable life advice that is applicable to those bearing the burden of being a one (wo)man team. Pulling from my experience as the campus-wide media relations and social media expert for a mid-sized public university, I share suggestions for how to work smart, how to get support from others and how to...gasp...say “no” on occasion. Regency attire heartily encouraged.
For the past year and half, this simple innocent question has challenged friendships, hijacked whiteboards, and sparked heated happy-hour debates within our office. We were even able to tickle the fancy of Chris Hardwick during last year’s HighEdWeb keynote address. So why has this question become such an obsession to us? Because it’s not just about tacos. It’s about organization. Balance. As professionals in higher education, we work in systemic chaos every day -- from political posturing and institutional wrangling, to technology workarounds and daily droning maintenance. At Illinois State University, a recent redesign of our central news hub proved that this chaos could be tempered, dare we say controlled. It meant tackling the tricky balance of institutional marketing with distributed content creation. I will cover some of the tactics used to organize people, departments, and egos (both large and small) and how it lead to not only political victories, but new competitive ways to market the university.