The Global #AdvTech Discussion at #nacadaINTL … And Then Some #acadv

At the beginning of June, I was fortunate to participate in the first International NACADA Conference in the Netherlands. The conversations (#nacadaINTL – archived tweets!) and sharing of ideas on how to advise and support students is universal. A number of countries and institutions were represented, and surprising enough, many of us face similar institutional challenges for effective student development.

I was happy to return to Maastricht, where I studied as a student, to present social media research, moderate a technology in advising panel, and facilitate a workshop on communication strategies for advising students.

Q: What do @ 4 am when you cant sleep? A: Go on a Maastricht walkabout to see what you remember from grad school circa 2004.

I shared recent collaborative research on guiding social media from @tjoosten & @lindseyharness, and how our institutions rarely think about learning when it comes to policy. It was good to discuss challenges and ideas on how other campuses manage social media practices, and my faculty advisor will be happy to learn that I gave me some direction for my dissertation work. 🙂

Poster Session: Guiding #socialmedia at Our Institutions on by @tjoosten @lindseyharness & moi at #nacadaINTL #acadv #highered

In thinking about actual engagement, I discussed communication plans and ideas for reaching and teaching our students. I do not think that social media is the only solution; however this workshop discussed comprehensive communication planning.

Much of what we fail to do is think holistically about this at our institutions, and I am certain that advising units can lead the way and be a strong example on campus.

This workshop discussed ideas, examples, and practical strategies – here is the digital handout and the presentation:

Finally, I would like to thank the #AdvTech Panel (left to right), Richard Sober (from Teesside University,UK), Joel Shelton (from Zayed University, UAE), Nicolai Manie (University of Maastricht,  NL), Catherine Mann (University of Melbourne-AUS), George Steele (The Ohio University, USA), and Jennifer Joslin (University of Oregon, USA) for joining in the vast conversation about technology in advising. Interested in meeting the the panel? There’s an open, Google doc for that HERE.

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Although the assigned panel topic was technology in learning, much of the discussion dealt with managing institutional objectives, supporting learning outcomes, considering effective communication strategies, and workflow solutions to make advising practices shared and developmental. The first question posed to the group  was to set the tone and give the participants an understanding of how varied and fluid “technology” is for our advising experiences.

Question:

Answers:

Immersive, necessary, potentially useful, collaborative, student-centered, electric, difficult, powerful, accessibility & connected. {What is YOUR word?}

Much of the panel discussion and general conversations at the conference around technology really involved our shared experiences for our student needs. It was not really the WHAT or HOW, but rather the reasons WHY technology is utilized at each of our institutions.

Different practices and trends for technology in advising have emerged; however an agreement on costs, advising models, student demand, and resource issues were common topics. More advising units around the globe seem to be moving towards holistic needs that require system-wide, institutional technologies to track student success, encourage mobile learning, and identify administrative solutions to make advising workflow easier. Are all institutions doing this? No. Not many at all.

I look forward to continued discussions beyond #nacadaINTL as we dig into what lies ahead for advising and technology on a global scale, specifically:

  • How can we best determine technology needs and use for advising practice?
  • What technology in advising resources will be used or should be used if they were available?
  • How is your institution attempting to respond to these questions and challenges in higher education?

Let’s keep the conversation going #advtech …

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