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Advising Technology: The Needs Assessment & Implementation Process


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Technology can provide new ways to connect, collaborate and share resources for academic advising. Successful implementation of technology in advising is often the results of a needs assessment and planning process. During the review and planning process, advising units will be able to identify areas for where digital resources are most suitable, accessible, and meaningful for their students.

There are many online tools and resources to support academic advisors; however a critical part of technology implementation is the assessment and planning process. It is important to review the departmental objectives and learning outcomes to ensure it aligns the advising unit's learning strategy to meet departmental needs and training focus (Brandon, 2006). Attendees will learn how to effectively conduct a needs assessment and implement technology into their advising practice.

Participants will brainstorm ideas around program initiation, collaborative partnerships & teams, project planning, and models for implementing technology in advising to meet the needs of their students, staff and faculty at their home institution.

Published in: Education, Technology
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Advising Technology: The Needs Assessment & Implementation Process

  1. 1. George Steele, Ohio Learning Network Laura Pasquini, University of North Texas Technology & Advising Series Needs Assessment & Implementation of  Advising Technology
  2. 2. Introduction Laura Pasquini Academic Advisor II College of Business University of North Texas George Steele Director of Educational Access The Ohio Learning Network
  3. 3. Agenda N eeds Assessment in Advising Tech   Micro Level Macro Level Implementation & Action Planning Question & Answer
  4. 4. Staying On Target <ul><ul><li>Assess technology in advising practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevance of a needs assessment  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Steps for planning: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>goal setting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>resource allocation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>creation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>editing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>piloting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>evaluation  </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>updating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilize project planning techniques & methods  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop practical learning outcomes  </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Goals of Technology Where do you want to start? What sort of  Advising Technology? Assessment  &  Retention CMS & CRMs Digital Training 2.0
  6. 6. Micro Level:   Assessing use and needs of technology for advisors and students for an advising unit or  department Macro Level: Assessing use and need of technology for academic advising from an institutional level perspective Assessment Assessing Technology for Advising
  7. 7. Micro Level
  8. 8. Needs Assessment & Planning <ul><li>Step  1: </li></ul><ul><li>Determine Advising Technology Goals </li></ul>
  9. 9. Learning Outcomes & Objectives Technology in Advising Initiative Advising Outcomes Retention  & Assessment Web-based  vs. Portal Communicate & Collaborate Staff  Training/ Development
  10. 10. Simple Performance Analysis <ul><li>The 5 C’s to consider: </li></ul><ul><li>-Change </li></ul><ul><li>-Culture </li></ul><ul><li>-Capability </li></ul><ul><li>-Content </li></ul><ul><li>-Cost </li></ul>
  11. 11. Needs Assessment & Planning <ul><li>Step 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Determining Resources </li></ul>
  12. 12. Project Planning <ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope of the Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria for Success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roles & Responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliverables </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Think Like a Business <ul><ul><li>Problem/Opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Success Criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obstacles </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Needs Assessment & Planning <ul><li>Step 3:  </li></ul><ul><li>Create & Edit </li></ul>
  15. 15. c/o  Sheryl Herle, Beyond Bums In Seats Typical Learning Development Cycle
  16. 16. E-Learning Development Cycle c/o  Sheryl Herle, Beyond Bums In Seats
  17. 17. Needs Assessment & Planning <ul><li>Step 4:  </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot the Technology </li></ul>
  18. 18. Needs Assessment & Planning <ul><li>Step 5: </li></ul><ul><li>Review & Evaluation </li></ul>
  19. 19. Measuring Success <ul><li>Measure… </li></ul><ul><li>Reaction: Did they like it? </li></ul><ul><li>Usability: Did they use it? How? Easy? </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior:  Is there a changed behavior? Difference in service provision? Student reaction? </li></ul><ul><li>Results:  Is there an overall advising benefit? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Needs Assessment & Planning <ul><li>Step 6: </li></ul><ul><li>Updates  </li></ul><ul><li>& Development </li></ul>
  21. 21. Macro Level
  22. 23. Unique Nature of Academic Advising <ul><ul><li>&quot;Academic Advising is the only structured activity on the campus in which all students have the opportunity for one-to-one interaction with a concerned representative of the institution&quot; (Habley, 1994). </li></ul></ul>Habley, W.R. (1994). Key Concepts in Academic Advising. In Summer Institute on Academic Advising Session Guide (p.10).  Available from the National Academic Advising Association, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.
  23. 24. University System of Ohio CENTSS users 2 Year 4 year Total USO 23 14 37 Round I 2007-08 16 6 22 - 60% Round II 2010 21 8 29 - 78%
  24. 26. Audit generations: Defining a portal Generation 1 This component is missing from the website. Generation 2 Only basic information is available. It is presented from the institutional point of view – often a copy of what is included is in the institution’s print material. Transactions cannot be done over the web.   Generation 3 Paths appear for different types of students so that information relevant to a particular group (such as prospective students, current students, and transfer students) can be more easily found. The point of view is still that of the institution. Students can fill out forms and click on email addresses to send messages and conduct some limited searches. They cannot save information or views.
  25. 27. Generation 4 The text is directed at the student and written in web style. Students can conduct transactions over the web through portal technology. They may have multiple sign-ons and passwords (different ones for the library, student accounts, and career services) or a single one. Within the portal environment, information is personalized and customized to the individual. Students can conduct more advanced searches and save their information at various stages in the interactive forms. Generation 5 The services (inside and outside the portal) are customized to the individual and anticipate his/her needs through step-by-step guides or the use of artificial intelligence. The services are delivered just-in-time based on the student’s preferences. When appropriate the services are integrated to provide more holistic support and live interaction. Audit generations: Defining a portal
  26. 28. Schedule an Appointment with my Advisor Generations Distractors Generation 1 Cannot find information or services on the web. Generation 2 View hours my counselor is available, along with instructions for scheduling an appointment via the phone or for dropping by the office. Generation 3 Link to and fill out an online form to request an appointment during designated office hours. Receive an e-mail with time and date of appointment.
  27. 29. Schedule an Appointment with my Advisor Generation 4 Link to my counselor’s calendar from MyAccount. Select and reserve a slot. Generation 5 Log in to MyAccount and submit reason for requesting an appointment with a counselor. Based on reason and information stored in my profile, receive selection of times matching my availability and the amount of time recommended for this type of appointment. (Smart calendar varies length of the appointments based on reasons.) Select an appointment slot convenient to me, and set time for advance reminder message. Find link to customized materials and advice for preparing for appointment via e-mail or posted in MyAccount.
  28. 30. Advantages Gained Locally <ul><ul><li>Develop common language regarding Web site and portal development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify low-hanging fruit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify areas of cooperation intra- and inter-institutional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create road map for implementation </li></ul></ul>
  29. 31. Kuhn, Gordon, and Webber's model Informational Explanatory Developmental Mentoring Counseling Purpose Informational Clarification Clarification Insights Growth Pinpoint problem Content Information Procedures Procedures Opinions and values Values Devise resolutions Focus The information The institution The institution The student The person Modification of student's behavior Length of Contact 5-15 minutes 15-30 minutes 30-60 minutes Varies, many contacts are made Determined by severity of problem
  30. 32. Advising Services CENTSS Generation 2-3 Web site Portal Front Line Advising Service Advising Appointments CENTSS Generation 4-5 Quick desk Appointments
  31. 33. Examples from Academic Services Suite
  32. 34. Advantages at the State Level Level Description Examples Statewide Implementation and Coordinated Purchases Tools and services adopted by USO institutions through a hub/centralized service model Course Applicability System eTutoring Local Institutional Implementation with Coordinated Institutional Purchases Tools and services adopted by selected USO institutions, with coordination provided centrally through IUC Customer Relationship Management Systems Independent Institutional Purchases Tools and services adopted independently by each USO institution Student Information Systems
  33. 35. The Starting Line <ul><ul><li>What is the advising issue? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can technology solve it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What resources are on campus? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who will be part of your team? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you conduct a needs assessment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When will you start this project? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where will you go for help/support? </li></ul></ul>
  34. 36. Navigating Change
  35. 37. Remember... <ul><li>“ There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” </li></ul><ul><li>~Winston Churchill </li></ul>
  36. 38. Questions?
  37. 39. Contact Information George: [email_address] Laura: [email_address]