Sloan-C: Will It Blend? Technology Use in Student Support Services

The presentation focused on academic advising’s use of technology in blended support.  I’ve added notes on personal JMU practices that are doing this in some way, shape, or form, but definitely these tools have alternate uses and potentials.

  • Google Voice as a means to text with students
  • Examples of use include scheduling advising appointments,
  • Provide easy integration into Outlook email

Tech tools you can invest in

  • Desktop Capturing – Camtasia Relay
    • institutional cost
    • students can download client
    • Jing is free alternative
    • quick voiceover / web demo
    • JMU has Camtasia Relay for faculty, but we should explore this for students
  • Student Lounge – Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Moodle
    • virtually simulate hallway conversation space
    • JMU has 90% of traditional, in-person undergraduates — how might we recreate this for the distance graduate programs?
  • Virtual Desktops – XenDesktop
    • helps work around cost and installation issues for expensive softwares like Photoshop
    • JMU has done some of this through the Business school due to use of Remote Desktop access to specific software loaded on Showker computers
  • Web Conferencing – GoToMeeting
  • Instant messaging for advising
    • yea, idea was “stolen” from library virtual reference support – w00t!
    • emails as formal/easy to delete
    • best practices:
      • be approachable – introduce yourself
      • communicate if you are juggling multiple chats – fosters understanding and patience
      • check back often
      • don’t just give the answers, show them
      • confirm question resolution
    • using Zoho
      • can be friended through any system but you have 1 login
      • people are assigned to one dedicated person each day (office of 5)
      • have to provide name
      • provide direct option for friending on Yahoo, Google, MSN, Yahoo messaging systems
    • JMU Libraries’ use of Libraryh3lp seems easier (no friending necessary) but involves open source setup time; LibAnswers could also be a good solution for this group given FAQ auto-creation, possible reuse of Jing video guides
  • Twitter and TweetDeck
    • 10 commandments for academics
    • more about allowing students to get to know you
    • JMU has no broad initiative, but the Libraries have dabbled a bit – currently, this is mostly individual efforts.  There are some interesting projects from Nursing and Health Sciences faculty with using Twitter to create communal conversations about news updates on course topics.
  • Boundaries
    • student identity/privacy/FERPA
      • most of the research is happening RIGHT NOW, but is a limited pool
    • student behavior online
    • responsibility and effects
  • UWM has dedicated Twitter person to track and tweet
  • efforts have all homegrown/free product adoption but future reviews of other collaborations with library platforms for similar services (LibAnswers, etc) could be a future step

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