Academic Support In A Digital Age

Although you might not advise  or support students in an online degree program, there are increasing efforts for teaching and learning technology.  Learning delivery and design does impact how we support our students. Adoption of technology, either a tool, platform, or space, will also be driven by decisions to change pedagogical methods (Bates, 2015), and this includes the current advising model/culture on campus. Our students want the same flexibility, access, and online support. Often is is just the degree program and curriculum that appears online, then the digital student success side of the program is an afterthought for these technology determinations. We need to have more student success and academic advising programs consider the best technology to provide advising content and service delivery (Steele, 2015) for a more learner-centered approach.

digital DNA

Digital DNA by Adriana Varella and Nilton Malz 

Whether you are leveraging technology to optimize your student support services or your campus is transitioning to either a blended or online learning model, there is both a need and desire to improve technology for academic advisors and student support practices in higher education (Pasquini & Steele, 2015). During your planning, it will be critical for your institution to ask the following questions before selecting technology-mediated environments for advising and learner support: 

  • What technologies is your institution currently utilizing for academic advising or student support?
  • How does your division or unit on campus decide on the most appropriate mode of technology delivery? [Will this be a campus-wide decision?]
  • What factors should be determined when designing technology in advising program and/or student support functional area?
  • What other strategies and structural support might benefit your campus in preparing  staff as they support learners digitally?  (e.g. training, skill development, etc.)

Join me as I discuss this further next Wednesday, September 14th from 12-1 pm EDT for the ACPA Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) Presents Webinar: “Selecting Technology for Advising and Supporting Your Students.” During this online event, I will be sharing a few evidence-based ideas and practical resources to help your advising team address these questions. This webinar will introduce your campus planning group to a few strategies and structures as they select technology for advising and student support. Sign up for this FREE webinar sponsored by ACPA CASHE here: 


Bates, A. W., (2015). Chapter 9: Modes of delivery. In Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age. Open Text BC.

Pasquini, L. A., & Steele, G. (2016). Technology in academic advising: Perceptions and practices in higher education. figshare. Retrieved from

Steele, G. (2015). Using Technology for Intentional Student Evaluation and Program AssessmentNACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources. 

AACE Global U – Social Media Seminars


AACE Global U will be hosting a series of seminars around “Social Media: Trends and Implications for Learning.” I was able to listen to the archived seminar for July, however I hope to participate in a future monthly online seminar:

August 10, 2009, 9:00 PM Eastern USA
September 8, 2009: 3:00 PM Eastern USA
October 13, 2009: 9:00 PM Eastern USA
November 10, 2009: 3:00 PM Eastern USA
December 8, 2009: 9:00 PM Eastern USA

The seminar series, led by George Siemens and David Cormier, is without fee and will include live interactive sessions, in addition to discussions with guest speakers and participants. All sessions are co-sponsored by and will be archived in the Education & Information Technology Library (EdITLib). And you can join in the discussion on AACE Connect.

During these Elluminate sessions, the conversations will be active in the webinar and recorded for those who cannot participate at these specific times.  By using the #SMTI hash tag you can find conversations on Twitter, archives in blogs and resources in Delicious.

Here were a few key discussion pieces I found useful from the first social media seminar: