Virtual Recruitment: Conference Outside the Box


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Conference presentation from the Texas Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (TxGAP) 2012 Professional Development Conference.

Dana Mordecai
Recruitment Coordinator
University of North Texas

Technology is part of our world, but sometimes we don’t know how to use what’s right in front of us with all the new products, updated versions and various gadgets out there. Learn how a virtual conference was created as a way to reach conference attendees at satellite locations. In addition, a virtual graduate recruitment fair, the first of its kind, was developed using technology that students are used to using every day. Learn how to find technology options using a bit of creativity and ingenuity, thinking outside the box.

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  • This is the 7th year for the Lone Star event and has been held at all the major universities in Texas. Supported by the Association of Texas Graduate Schools (all graduate deans in Texas) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Based on declining attendance and travel budgets slashed, the ATGS committee recommended we include a virtual component to provide an opportunity for students to attend the event without having to travel across the state. Developing the agenda was the challenging piece to incorporate it into the live conference held on the UNT campus and hold it concurrently.
  • The attendance rate was 76% for our live conference and
  • Decision to have students attend a satellite campus was designed to have them with another knowledegable person who could answer questions about graduate school. This created an information session type format with extensive information being presented.Presentations included other campus recruiters offering insight on choosing programs, application timelines, financial support and answered Q&A from each satellite campus.Students were then led to a computer lab to participate in the virtual grad fair.
  • Virtual Recruitment: Conference Outside the Box

    1. 1. Conference Outside the Box:Using Blackboard to Create aVirtual Graduate Recruitment Fair Presented by: Dana Mordecai
    2. 2.  Established in 2006 in response to “Closing the Gaps” Initiative Encourages diversity in Texas graduate programs  Underrepresented minorities  Women  First-generation college students Collective effort by all colleges and universities in Texas
    3. 3. What did we want to accomplish? Workshops  Funding graduate school  Choosing the right graduate school  Undergraduate research  GRE testing strategies Networking with other students, faculty, and university representatives Decreased attendance over time
    4. 4. Virtual Component New initiative to create a virtual component  First time for institutions to consider this format  Numerous options considered  No prior experience with  GoToMeeting virtual events  Voxwire  No technical knowledge  Cisco Webex on staff  Blackboard/Wimba
    5. 5. Attendance • 122 students from 7 institutions • 26 recruiters from 19 institutions • 40 students • 14 students • 7 students • 33 students
    6. 6. CLEAR’s Support Video conferencing Virtual Grad Fair/Wimba
    7. 7. Getting Started How would everyone use the technology?  On-Site Coordinators  Recruiters  Students Decisions about hardware Troubleshooting during creation of virtual classrooms
    8. 8. Preparation Creation of “Wimba for Dummies” guides Prepared for each user group and recognizing how each of them will use the technology
    9. 9. On-Site Coordinators
    10. 10. Student Participants
    11. 11. Recruiters
    12. 12. Preparation Creation of “Wimba for Dummies” guides Calls to recruiters to get them on board with the virtual fair Creation of web interface for students
    13. 13. Preparation Creation of “Wimba for Dummies” guides Calls to recruiters to get them on board with the virtual fair Creation of website interface Creation of classrooms, presenter accounts and passwords Get tech support on board
    14. 14. Execution  Set-up at least 1 hour before the event  Two classrooms in BLB  Technical support  ABN  Randy Evans - Grad School IT Specialist  Chris Johnson – ABN Support  Michelle Farley – Instructional Consultant  Technical difficulties  SNACKS!
    15. 15. Lessons Learned – Recruiter Survey Ease of software  “Very easy”  “Excellent and easy to navigate” Instructions provided  “Thorough”  “Excellent step-by-step/trouble-shooting” Efficient way to talk to students Other Comments  “Would love to have seen more students participate”  “For this being the first time, I really enjoyed it”  “Great idea. I wish more students would have participated  “Allow students to see University PowerPoint in advance”
    16. 16. The Future of Virtual Recruitment Program specific presentations General interest presentations  Diversity at UNT  Research at UNT  Funding at UNT International presentations Mitigates issues of access, reduces time out of office, and increases assessment of applicants Marketing issues for online recruitment presentations
    17. 17. Questions