Personalizing the New-Student Onboarding Experience

TIE9 Technology in Education

Location: 103B, Wisconsin Center

TUESDAY, 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

Incoming students are the lifeblood of every higher education institution. Yet once the new student has applied and been admitted to our university, we so often nearly drown them with things that they must do, forms they must fill out, and website after website they need to visit before they begin their classes in an upcoming term. At Cedarville University, we tried to address this issue with the creation of a personalized admitted student portal that launched in January 2015 for the fall freshman class. Once a student’s application for admission was processed and the student was admitted to the university, they were invited to join this new portal. This portal was the re-creation of a static list of tasks that we wanted the incoming student to perform. One big problem with the static list was that students would complete the task, but then have no indication that it was completed. They would return to the website and find the same old tasks glaring at them. Mocking them. Come see how we are working to improve the incoming student onboarding and engagement processes. We’ll discuss the problems we were trying to solve, how tasks and announcements are released, the creation of a private Facebook group where students could meet (and how we limited access to it), and how parts of the task list is integrated with other campus systems to provide automatic completion notifications. We’ll even include some pretty graphs and charts for the statistics we collected along the way (and shared with counselors for follow up!), touch on the related communications plan, and give a peek at where we plan to go in the next iteration.

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Mark Mazelin
Director of Web Development, Cedarville University

Mark Mazelin serves as the director of web development at Cedarville University. As part of the enrollment management and marketing division, his department oversees the design, development, and programming efforts for the university’s web sites and mobile application. Beginning as a programmer and seeing the web grow from its infancy, Mazelin now works closely with marketing to help ensure the continued development and branding of the website and mobile app, guiding their future direction, and developing plans for new technologies. As a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, he enjoys dabbling in the latest gadgets, and seeking ways to improve processes.

Joshua Erlandson
Web Designer/Developer, Cedarville University

Joshua Erlandson serves as the web designer/developer at Cedarville University. His main responsibilities include designing user interfaces for the university's web applications and managing the video content and implementation for both live and video on demand streaming. His background is in video production and computer animation which gives him an interesting perspective on web design and user experience. His love for coding and expanding his knowledge have lead him to his current position in web development.