Creating the Competitive Edge: Making Student Learning Experiences Valuable for the Job Market

TIE2 Technology in Education

Location: 103B, Wisconsin Center

MONDAY, 9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

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.

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Conny Liegl
Lead Designer, California Polytechnic State University

Conny Liegl has been working in higher education for more than a decade. She is the lead designer for web, graphic, and user experience at Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Conny builds intuitive interfaces to make people happier, more productive, and less frustrated. She translates between developers and users, to help teams transform user-focused ideas into engaging and powerful tools. She specializes in user-centered design and has a background in web usability and accessibility, social media marketing strategies, as well as e-learning technologies and theories. Conny holds an M.A. in Information Science from Saarland University, Germany.