Today I contributed to a webinar about student handbooks in higher education for Paperclip Communications. In thinking about my own student experience and searching for other suggested practices, the key question I asked was…“Where can I find YOUR student handbook?” Can you answer that question?
Often times college and university policies, procedures, responsibilities, and codes of conduct are buried on the institutional website, masked in “legalize,” and typically struggle to be shared with the target population – the students. I shared a few suggested practices for usability, access, web design, and using social (media) sharing for student codes of conduct. If you missed out, don’t worry – there’s an open & shared Google Doc for that: http://bit.ly/studenthandbooks
I think our institutions need to consider compliance, codes of conduct, and informed legal practices – but more importantly, they need to put these student rights and responsibilities into action. Making our student handbooks social and engaging helps to educate our students, communicate to others at our institution (faculty, staff, etc), and it sets the tone for developing community standards on campus. I recommended involving students in the process of the student handbook development and getting their insight into sharing this information to understand what their needs are, where thy find information, and questions/challenges they have about your student handbook.
Here’s just one example of how UNT Housing & 720 is being proactive with the UNT student handbook information:
How do YOU share information, policy, and guidelines at your institution? Do you have a Facebook Page? Blog? Twitter Account? Please share HOW you share about student rights & responsibilities.