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Naahp (AUDIO) technology in letters

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"Letters the Easy Way (Technically Speaking)"
June 19, 2010 NAAHP meeting

Download the presentation with a recorded audio track! (In Powerpoint 2007, play this presentation in full-screen mode from the beginning). Advance the slides manually to completely listen to the presentation.

Opinions are solely those of the participants, and all information should be considered "draft".

Copyright 2010. Emil Chuck/George Mason University Health Professions Advising. All rights reserved.

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Naahp (AUDIO) technology in letters

  1. 1. LORs: Use of Technology session<br />Networking questions while we wait (5 minutes)<br /><ul><li>How many evaluation letters do you compose?
  2. 2. How many evaluation letters (others writing letters) do you manage?
  3. 3. By attending this session, what are the specific issues you would like to see covered?</li></li></ul><li>Use of Technology in Letter Writing and Transmission<br />Emil T. Chuck, Ph.D.<br />Health Professions Advisor<br />Term Assistant Professor of Biology<br />NAAHP 2010 meeting<br />Friday, June 18 (10:30 am-11:30 am)<br />Session will be recorded.<br />
  4. 4. http://www.slideshare.net/etchuck<br />This presentation is available on Slideshare at the address below:<br />
  5. 5. Letters of Recommendation<br />Letter basics for new advisors<br />Single advisor letter-writers/institution*<br />High-Volume Committee Letter Management*<br />Use of Technology<br />Online Application Services and Delivery I*<br />Online Application Services and Delivery II*<br />Experienced Advisors Letter-Writing Workshop*<br />Holistic Letters of Evaluation*<br />* Partly addressed here<br />
  6. 6. LORs: Use of Technology session<br />Networking questions while we wait (5 minutes)<br /><ul><li>How many evaluation letters do you compose?
  7. 7. How many evaluation letters (others writing letters) do you manage?
  8. 8. By attending this session, what are the specific issues you would like to see covered?</li></li></ul><li>Technology issues<br />Visual identity and authenticity<br />Electronic stationery<br />“Signatures”<br />Handling electronic sources and data<br />Student/Advisee Pre-applications<br />Solicited evaluators and committee evaluators<br />Document formatting and creation<br />Creating PDF documents<br />“PDF optimizer”<br />
  9. 9. Hardware I use/need<br />Functioning computer with (wireless) internet.<br /><ul><li>Backup drive.
  10. 10. Good inkjet scanner/printer.
  11. 11. Have a backup scanner just in case.
  12. 12. Filing cabinet.</li></ul>If you can get it, TWO monitors (Randy Pausch).<br /><ul><li>I use my laptop with my work computer.</li></li></ul><li>This is my desk (when I first got it).<br />
  13. 13. Technical standards for letters<br />Legible: 300 dpi or finer<br />Size: less than 2 MB, depends on app services<br />Colors<br /><ul><li>Some schools print to black/white.
  14. 14. Some schools review “in silico”.</li></ul>Picture or graphics resolution<br />
  15. 15. Visual identity: creating letterhead<br />Superseding rule (when everything fails)<br />Invest in a very good scanner (or two) and Adobe Acrobat.<br />Resolution: 300 dpi or greater.<br />(Note: WordPerfect has automatic PDF generator.)<br />
  16. 16. Visual identity: creating letterhead<br /><ul><li>Does your school have a visual identity policy?
  17. 17. http://logo.gmu.edu
  18. 18. Templates and policies for
  19. 19. Letterhead (customizable)
  20. 20. Powerpoints
  21. 21. Logos for posters
  22. 22. Business cards
  23. 23. Websites</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: creating letterhead<br /><ul><li>Logos and seals (permissions?)
  24. 24. Font used (size, name, relative arrangement)
  25. 25. Textboxes
  26. 26. Official colors and combinations
  27. 27. What you can/not modify
  28. 28. Resolution of graphic logos</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: authenticity<br /><ul><li>Use (dark) official colors for your contact info.
  29. 29. Create a template document
  30. 30. Copy/paste logo and address into “Header/Footer”
  31. 31. “CONFIDENTIAL” stamp (if FERPA-compliant).
  32. 32. Updatable timestamps (date of letter)
  33. 33. Watermark logos in H/F mode.
  34. 34. More advanced (or higher volume)
  35. 35. Create “forms” to switch pronouns, degrees, etc.
  36. 36. Mailmerge (much more time)</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: signatures<br />Create a graphic “photo” of your signature.<br /><ul><li>Sign your name on clean white paper.
  37. 37. Black ink?
  38. 38. Colored inks?
  39. 39. Scan as JPEG. Crop to desired size. Save where convenient.
  40. 40. Resolution 300 dpi or better.
  41. 41. Other programs exist if you have a tablet.</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: signatures<br />Develop a unique signature for letters (graphic file JPEG).<br /><ul><li>Include your NAAHP or other association ID#.
  42. 42. Use a seal or stamp.
  43. 43. Put in an “expiration date” (milk carton).
  44. 44. Change every year or couple of years.</li></ul>Develop a unique letter format.<br /><ul><li>Footnote your website for “institutional information”.
  45. 45. List all known compiled letters/sources.
  46. 46. Include committee feedback.</li></li></ul><li>Visual identity: FERPA confidential<br />If applicant waives FERPA, then …<br /><ul><li>Mention student applicant information
  47. 47. Grades, GPA, major, graduation
  48. 48. Institutional identification number
  49. 49. Applicant identification number (not SSN)
  50. 50. Add student photograph? (Discuss.)
  51. 51. Helps committee interviewers verify identity.</li></ul>If not, you should NOT disclose the above info!<br />
  52. 52. How do references submit letters?<br />Informal poll:<br /><ul><li>Electronically through veCollect to you
  53. 53. Electronically as email attachment to you
  54. 54. Electronically through application service portals
  55. 55. Electronically through Interfolio (not to you)
  56. 56. Electronically through school’s portals
  57. 57. As a text email
  58. 58. By campus mail/postal mail</li></ul>Do you require “institutional” or business email addresses?<br />
  59. 59. Reference: signatures<br />Create a “policy document” for acceptable references.<br /><ul><li>Faculty referee’s should include their institutional ID#.
  60. 60. Require external references to include all contact info.
  61. 61. Be prepared for MORE secure documents (PDF digital signatures).
  62. 62. Require a supplemental evaluation.
  63. 63. State a deadline.</li></ul>Require a hard-copy when electronic letter is not compliant.<br /><ul><li>Committee letter should state “signatures are on file.”</li></ul>Distribute these “policies” (still working on this).<br /><ul><li>Need statement from admissions committees of consequences of NOT conforming to letterhead/signature expectations.</li></li></ul><li>Incorporating Pre-applicant Information<br />
  64. 64. Pre-applicant information<br /><ul><li>Application for committee (pre-application)
  65. 65. Solicited references
  66. 66. Committee interview feedback
  67. 67. Two separate 30-60 min interviews
  68. 68. Criteria based on evaluation rubric</li></li></ul><li>Pre-application (EY 2011)<br />
  69. 69. Pre-application survey<br /><ul><li>Applicant background and family history
  70. 70. Motivation for the profession
  71. 71. Self-evaluation
  72. 72. Pre-health program assessment
  73. 73. Information for committee interviewers
  74. 74. Email survey (SurveyMonkey) to applicants
  75. 75. Can monitor when applicants fill out/complete survey
  76. 76. Can enforce a cutoff deadline time.
  77. 77. Can supply a veCollect authorization code at end.</li></li></ul><li>Demographics (EY2011)<br />Female 100 (58.1%), Male 72 (41.9%)<br />
  78. 78. Pre-application: website assessment<br />
  79. 79. Preapp: Rubric self-assessment<br />EY2011 Applicants (n=147)<br />Most confident:personal, emotional resilience and intelligence<br />Least confident: academic foundation; mentoring/advising relationships.<br />
  80. 80. Collecting evaluator feedback<br />Solicited evaluators<br /><ul><li>Students declare in veCollect accounts.
  81. 81. Students send veCollect link to references.
  82. 82. Dr. Chuck sends supplemental evaluation (SurveyMonkey) email link to references.
  83. 83. Sign with “phone number” and typing in complete name.</li></ul>Committee evaluators<br /><ul><li>Training meetings.
  84. 84. iTunesU podcast
  85. 85. Dr. Chuck assigns evaluators to students.
  86. 86. Dr. Chuck sends feedback form (SurveyMonkey) weblink to interviewers.
  87. 87. All interviews are completed by April 1.</li></li></ul><li>Collecting evaluator feedback<br />
  88. 88. Collecting committee feedback<br />
  89. 89. Argument for (my) committee letters<br />Solicited evaluators (145)<br />Committee evaluators (160)<br />(My) Committee evals are more discerning about applicant’s competencies.<br />
  90. 90. Ability to compare applicant pools<br />Committee evals: 18 DO<br />Committee evals: 45 dent<br />Competency differences by degree pursued (example)<br />
  91. 91. Interviewer comments<br />Describe your impressions about the applicant's preparation, noting the candidate's strengths and weaknesses based on the interview and pre-application. (Your comments will likely be quoted in the applicant's committee letter and will play a role in the final evaluation.)<br />Tag crowd word-cloud of 164 comments.<br />
  92. 92. veCollect and veClient (my views)<br />
  93. 93. CAS Letter Clients<br />Accepts PDF (comm letters)<br /><ul><li>AMCAS (2MB)
  94. 94. AADSAS (2MB)
  95. 95. [AACOMAS, through veCollect]
  96. 96. [AACPMAS, some through veCollect]</li></ul>Text-only or must mail<br /><ul><li>CASPA
  97. 97. CSDCAS
  98. 98. ETS PPI
  99. 99. PharmCAS
  100. 100. PTCAS
  101. 101. OptomCAS
  102. 102. OTCAS
  103. 103. SOPHAS
  104. 104. VMCAS</li></li></ul><li>Creating PDF documents<br />
  105. 105. Free PDF printer program<br />Creating PDF documents from Microsoft programs for free. Print “JPEG” photos as PDF’s.<br />Use Adobe Acrobat to create PDF documents and append/conjoin PDF documents.<br />
  106. 106. Creating PDF’s with smartphones<br />http://www.docscannerapp.com/ (still developing)<br />Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6uUPW91yaM<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O8UfpRHt_I<br />
  107. 107. What you can (but won’t) do<br /><ul><li>“Attach” files within PDF documents.
  108. 108. http://www.planetpdf.com/enterprise/article.asp?ContentID=Attach_a_file_to_your_PDF_document
  109. 109. Provide a digital signature for authentication.
  110. 110. http://www.planetpdf.com/enterprise/article.asp?ContentID=DigitalSignatureswithPDF
  111. 111. Can receiving schools read digital signatures?(Probably not.)
  112. 112. Read http://www.pdfforlawyers.com/</li></li></ul><li>PDF Optimizer (in Acrobat)<br /><ul><li>No freeware found (yet) that compresses files. Lots of shareware.
  113. 113. Adobe Acrobat (6.0 and higher) has options to optimize PDF file size.</li></li></ul><li>Technology issues<br />Visual identity and authenticity<br />Electronic stationery<br />“Signatures”<br />Handling electronic sources and data<br />Student/Advisee Pre-applications<br />Solicited evaluators and committee evaluators<br />Document formatting and creation<br />Creating PDF documents<br />“PDF optimizer”<br />
  114. 114. http://www.slideshare.net/etchuck<br />This presentation is available on Slideshare at the address below:<br />

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