Welcome! It is so nice to see you all here. Thank you very much for electing to attend this session. I hope that you’ll find it helpful and enjoyable.
Please contact me! I’d love to hear from you about this session, a continued conversation, your own experiences.
As varied in models (centralized, decentralized, partnerships between faculty and professional advisors, etc.) as there are colleges, universities, and numbers of professional in the field, Advising remains integral to student success. Advising models and the Advisors themselves are the Centers, Units, Professionals where not only admission, financial aid, and graduation requirements are explained, but also where student development is best defined and supported. The spotlight is on us and the work that we do.
This is an important definition that carries a lot – or should carry a lot – of weight/importance on what we, as Advisors, strive to do everyday with every student interaction. And while I think we can agree that there are indeed a set of student learning outcomes – as Representative of our institutions, we have some desired Outcomes as well.
Advising has moved to the forefront of the work of Student Development and Success. Perhaps you are feeling the pressure on your home campuses to achieve some of these outcomes? For better - Advisors are recognized as leaders and are required to become innovators to both promote the need for, and provide the support for, Student Development. As our profession continues to gain recognition at a National level through research, publication, and organizations liked our beloved NACADA, we are being asked to:1. create new approaches and venues that move students through the stages of student development; 2. to increase persistence; 2. and – especially lately in the push for institutional efficiency - to ensure the achievement of a quantifiable educational measure – and at my institution, that really translates into a degree. Yet, we cannot lose sight that a student body is made up of student individuals, and they are moving along at an individual pace.
While a typical day can easily feel like this…
While we are taking a look at the need for and the importance of our work, let’s also take a moment to recognize that for many of us, the resources for our work are stretched thin.
Our individual availability lessens as our student populations grow in our brick and mortar hallways, as well as our virtual hallways. (Don’t you just love it when the immediate answer is “do it online”? We need tech, we need to be better about implementing technology, but is not the complete answer to providing meaningful advising contacts/points of interaction with our students.)
And as Advisors, we do not live in an ideal world where the funding is abundant and the fit between student values, goals and attitudes are well matched to those of our institutions, thereby naturally increasing the likelihood of persistence. As Advisors, we work with the material we have before us.
So we call each other, we research, we gather together, grateful for the opportunity to turn to each other and ask: What do you do? We come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and serve at vastly different locations so our shared experiences are priceless. I am well aware of the talent and knowledge gathered in just this room – let alone this entire conference.
Despite the differences, the root of our mission remains the same: Helping our students as they move - sometimes forward, sometimes digressing or sliding a little backwards – through the seven stages of student development. Ultimately becoming autonomous, with positive, interdependent interactions, confident in themselves and in their educational journey.
For us, attempting to achieve this in some timely way is critical, because every day, there are new students, with all of their own set of concerns packed tight arriving to take the exact spot along the student development line of progression that another student just vacated!
So as Advisors we need ways to stay ahead of the demand, and one way to achieve that is to carefully guide students into taking on more of the responsibility for their own success. We specifically need to do this in ways that will meet students at their existing levels of knowledge and experience, and shift them towards the institution’s higher expectations for thinking and achieving. This meeting of the “what is” to “what is desired” can be a very a positive transformative experience – which is what we strive for. Our motivation, and that is a key is that every encounter with a student, moves them to a better place (knowledge, a plan of action, other). And we need these experiences to turn into/transform into useable tools that students port with them through their academic careers and perhaps beyond. Outcomes Directed Thinking is one of those “tools”
Just for a moment, I’d like to consider what we mean by “Transformative” – so that we are all thinking along similar lines for our time together. So here is a basic, standard definition: Transformative; 1) to change in form, appearance, or structure; 2) To change in condition, nature, or character; convert. Ok…that works – we are in the business of changing or growing students.
But I really like adding this definition from the Urban Dictionary – once I screened out the definitions I could not use…If you have accessed the Urban Dictionary, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, well, give it a shot but prepare for some surprises!
“Awesome” works, for truly it doesn’t get much better than to see our students move from insecure > Competent; Distressed > managing Emotions; Needing frequent Assistance > Developing Autonomy; Vague Self-Image > Establishing Identity; Immature relationships > Respectful Relationships; Unfocused > Developed Purpose; External Values > Integrity/personalized/humanized values. We can take some credit for being rock stars if we can assist in this process.
Thinking of Advising then as a Transformative Learning Experience for our Students If individual lenses filter experience, and experience itself affects perspective or lenses, then our role as facilitators of Learning Experiences is extremely important. As Advisors, we know that for a learning experience to be transformative, it must meet and work in the “active context” of each students life. Going back then, to what I said earlier, our motivation is meet students at their existing levels of knowledge and experience, and shift them towards the institution’s higher expectations for thinking and achieving, moving students through their stages of student development, helping them identify and achieve their goals which, hopefully, line up with the institutions goals/objectives.
So I’d like to offer an approach that I have found helpful; a method of establishing a real starting point of student knowledge and experience and method for moving from “what is” for the student, to what is desired for bot the student and the institution. The approach is Outcomes Directed Thinking – and it becomes a useful tool, that meets students where they are and facilitates the creation of achievable outcomes and self-designed strategies to get there. It can be used in any environment, whether a hallway, classroom, or your office. When used as proposed here, it also provides a record, that can be accessed for review as needed.
Outcomes Directed Thinking has its roots in the 1980s. Psychologists, researchers, looked for ways to link setting goals and the achievement of goals, and the relationship between goal setting and satisfaction and success. But it started shifting into looking behind the goals, it became quest for a higher common ground, that would motivate (again – key word) commitment and stack the odds in favor of success.
The language began to evolve from simply conflict management to a language of finding higher ground and mutual benefit. In health care, the language is slowly evolving from polarizing language of health care for everyone and the who, when, and how, to the mutually beneficial outcome of achieving good health. With this language, health care becomes the means to the end is the means to the end not the end itself. It becomes the motivation (key word) that helps create the strategy.
The benefit of Outcomes Directed Thinking as an Advising tool, a transformative educational experience, is that it becomes an effective means of both experiential learning and cognitive processing. Once incorporated it can be used anywhere, your classroom, your office, even a hallway. Through the process students will identify motivations, become vested, broaden their perspectives of barriers and resources, promote communication with the key support people in their lives. In short – focus is sharpened which changes perspective and becomes a transformative experience in their lives. As Advisors, we become the facilitators of the learning experience.
Outcomes Directed Thinking is not a replacement for Appreciative Advising or for Goal Setting. Appreciative Advising creates a safe place for Student Development. Through open-ended, positively worded questions, students are welcomed to an Advising Setting and efforts are made to reduce the anxiety that blocks communication. Goal setting, however, is a more directive activity. To create Specific Measureable, Achieveable, Realistic and Timely Goals, efforts are targeted, energy is channeled.
Outcomes Directed Thinking works in conjunction, or partnership, with both of these approaches. In a sense, it forces reflection and contemplation before action, in a defined way that is designed to broaden perspective, so that your students do not jump into the decision making stage or into action while they are still in the problem solving stage, or even the problem identification stage.
This pause is really important. Without a foundation, goals alone are a risky venture. Attending our institutions, are a time, money, and emotionally expensive endeavor. Goals need to be set, but the “what” and the “how” are often the exact places where the details and the barriers come up. Thoughts and energy move from a positive focus to an overwhelming and negative experience. The goals themselves become the reference point for “satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction” . For students already feeling vulnerable, at the early stages of student development, especially in an environment that is completely out of their existing level of experience - it can be enough to stop their educational journey. That’s a lose – lose situation for the student and the institution.Therefore, as Advisors we set the stage and build relationships through Appreciative Advising, and we help student formalize their destinations through goal setting. Through Outcomes Directed Thinking we bridge the two approaches , and facilitate that goal creation and the strategies to achievement by guiding our students growth and ownership of their educational experience, identifying their motivations, establishing their desired goals, and matching challenges with resources and solutions – all before committing to action.
So…how does this work ( and I will be showing you some student examples in moment) – Outcomes Directed thinking helps students remain in a positive frame through a process of flipping from a statement of a problem – that which is – to a newly framed outcomes focused question - what is desired instead. It can also be used to flip from “What I want – to “What will it take to achieve ________ - Insert goal here.
Outcomes directed thinking really starts working at a very practical and what I like to call a barrier busting level when moving up and down and Outcomes Space Map. It can leverage a student from stuck to progress, from non-committal to vested.For if, to borrow from Einstien, no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it, then it simply makes sense to look at a problem or challenge from a new, even physically new, perspective. Through movement, even if on paper, students see new things – maybe small, maybe huge – but they SEE them.
When barriers to desired outcome arise, a new, powerful question can be used to direct students to identify and move through several motivations that would support the achievement of the Outcome. The student asking, “What will achieving this outcome do for me?” is a question that provides insight on the situation for the student. At times it can lead to a higher level motivation.
So let’s try this:In this example of admission to a Rad Science Program, the answers listed to “What will this do for me” there are self-satisfaction reasons as well as reasons that would benefit others. Do you see some correlation between moving up the outcomes map and another possible hierarchy? And if we can move up the Outcomes map, then I see how this would benefit a student in the next phase: Moving Down the Outcomes Space Map.
The question of “What will this do for me”, then is not what would appear to be a selfish question at all. It provides the foundation or support for becoming vested in strategies that would break through barriers. Moving up the Outcomes Space Map gets to the reasons – for that student – of the importance of the outcome. And it is self defined, which is a crucial aspect for this to be a transformative learning experience, because earlier we covered that for learning to be transformative…
…it must come from the context’s of each student’s life. It must be relevant – for a man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”. – Mark Twain.
Moving down the Outcomes to the identification of the barriers as well as resources and creation of student defined solutions is easier because the commitment reasions have already been established – by the student.
Once the Outcome is stated in a meaningful and motivationally supported way, then a new series of reflective moments, or procedural pauses, are used to pin-point barriers. “Flipping is once again used from the identification of a barrier to what is desired instead.
Once the motivations have been established:It is easier to identify distractions and barriers;Which means we can flip from what is desired instead of the barrier;Which means the student can start to create a strategy from where they are;Which means they can begin to pull-in resources (institutional or other) , and get buy-in for each aspect;FOR THE MOTIVATIONAL SUPPORTED DESIRED OUTCOME.
Focus is now on the smaller steps to keep a student from becoming stuck and overwhelmed by details, keeping them from that previously stated place where the goal itself becomes a point of dissatisfaction., into a place of creativity, designing solutions and alternatives, identifying all types of resources – including buy-in and support from others .
I’m going to shift now from the theory to practice. I use Outcomes Directed Thinking in just about every meeting I have with students. What I am about to show you are examples of the initial introduction of the approach, to more advanced work, to a final piece which I really liked as an example of students taking the materials and transforming it into a tool that works for them. The “transformation”. But first, here is a sample of some basic Outcomes Directed Thinking on how I introduced the subject matter in a class that I teach for students thinking about careers in Nursing. Because I recognize, as stated earlier, that even attending school, setting a goal or vision, is a risky endeavor.
Because I recognize, as stated earlier, that even attending school, setting a goal or vision, is a risky endeavor, for many students, I want to minimize that feeling. Here I am working through the Outcomes Space Map, identifying potential barriers, and setting some strategies and identifying simple resources.
Here is a first example then of the Fictional Student exercise; a way of introducing subject matter, that places the emphasis outside of the personal – sort-of – and you’ll see what I mean in a minute, and encourages interaction and some fun into the environment. Meet Ed. He’s quite the interesting character. He’s very busy with family responsibilities. His religious obligations take up a significant amount of time – or at least enough time the someone felt it was important to note. He has kids, he has horses, financial obligations, and apparently someone identified an odor issue which may come from working with his horses.
I think that the students spent so much fun, quality time on Edd that they ran out of time to work on the barriers! Still…they did come up with a Target Outcome, and they listed some intriguing motivations for it. There is a definite dichotomy that opens the door for some conversation about realistic expectations. To do well in everything and to be emotionally healthy might be working in direct opposition to each other, with the likelihood of derailment from plans or strategies. The students would have a better idea of what they meant to communicate…Perhaps they simply meant do well enough in prerequisites for admission to a program. From this work, so far it is unknown, but a great conversation starter. Remember that this was a first attempt at working with Outcomes Directed Thinking in defining goals, barriers, and barrier-busters or strategies.
Meet “Rose”. Rose lives in a rural area, has a long commute in, and has a variety of stressors. It interests me how the students used the word “very” as they summarized “Rose’s” life. She also has a “yin and yang” symbol on what appears to be her belt. Just as an FYI – the group of students that created Rose were from Indonesia, the Middle East and born in the U.S. It was pretty wonderful to watch them work through language and find common ground to create this very interesting “student”.
Rose has a Target Outcome that needs some definition. I’m not sure what she means yet by “incredible’, and maybe she doesn’t know yet either. But that is something to explore so that her motivation(s) can just a bit clearer and tied to the Targeted Outcome. Can you see another point for a possible conversation in an appreciative advising setting? “Rose’s” situation appears to be somewhat of a conundrum. Note the comments about simultaneous support and lack of support at home. This could be something that is about pretty typical, daily human interaction. There are good days and there are bad days for everyone. However would make me want to gather some more information, guide her in communicating what is occurring in her life. “Can you describe that for me?” “What does that mean for you?” It might also trigger an alert : Is this student alluding to something difficult or something much harder, something that possibly compromises her well being, her safety? I would hope not but I know that we have all seen it. That’s a whole other session at NACADA!
Meet Sid. I think that we have all met Sid. So many books he has to roll them through campus. Employed, and working extra hard for the grades needed for his programs. Because efforts are going on at 100% in every endeavor, he’s a little strung out on caffeine, and related products – hence the eyes. When you think about it – we may not only have met Sid, we may have been Sid at some stage of our lives (maybe still are).
But Sid is most definitely a young student…still working through defining his desired outcomes. This is a perfectly fine place to be – for awhile . As an Advisor, this is a perfect visual of what we do. When we are having a conversation with students, and we learn that the amount of diversity of effort is very similar to attempting to herd cats: Lots of energy expended – little result. In this scenario, all sorts of discussions would be encouraged including the “whys”. A university setting is not the only way to achieve the stated targeted outcome, or the only way to meet the underlying motivations.
These fictional people are both students in a capped program. They represent a couple, with children and one on the way, facing significant challenges.
Here they have defined their target outcome which deals with creating space in their lives for family time – or parent child time. They have established their motivations and have just also started identifying the obstacles or barriers to this stated outcome. They are even honing in on a little of the “whys’ behind the barrier – like Tom’s issue with studying efficiently. We also see some starts at addressing those barriers with solutions and use of simple resources. And let me modify how I said that, because if you have not been shown to use the resources around you, you may not automatically think of the library as a resource. It might be too big and intimidating, or feels too foreign to usual study locations. But because the outcomes and motivations have been defined, implementing a strategy – like the library – makes sense and is worth the effort.
Now we move to some more advanced work in progress – as applied to the real student (not the fictional characters). At this stage the students have been practicing a bit with their fictional characters. I bring those characters back into the classroom throughout our time together. So again, this is a work in progress here…more thought and structure are needed. But some of the insights are powerful. Here is someone who has moved up the scale when it comes to defining what is and is not important: 1) “The place I work and live is just as important to me as the job itself” – is a huge realization. Also, “I am ready for a career and whatever it takes to get there” speaks to commitment to a vision and a plan. The student is vested in the outcomes, and because he/she has identified and personalized the motivation for achieving the outcome, he/she is now committed to identifying and working through the challenges. In the process, this student is also identifying the buy-in required from others which should help the start of some important conversations.
This is an example of work that could be taken a step or two further…but there is one major thing that as an Advisor would trigger an alert for me and provide the opening for further discussion. I don’t know how well you can see this…Can you read it? Any thoughts on what that might be? There are several things but one in particular captured my attention. ? XXXXXXXXXXXXX Yes – key words – “lack of motivation”. This exercise has created an opportunity for discussion – a chance to bring your appreciative advising skills front and center, to help this student clarify what they meant, what might be missing, and even perhaps, a better educational and career fit.
These quotes from students recently applying this approach sum up some of the reasons why the upfront work is helpful – Read quotes.
Now I LOVED this! I loved this because this is transformation in serious action – extreme transformation. After working for a couple of weeks with the formats and documents that I made available, I asked students to take it to the next level – to create a format that worked to describe and implement an outcomes directed thinking approach for them. They worked in small groups, and this is what one group came up with as a student designed, student vested approach to outcomes directed thinking. They incorporated all the major elements: the situation, the obstacles, the motivation, accountability, solutions, resources, in a flow chart to arrive at resolution. In my format, I would have called it The Target Outcome. In their, ever so practical and clear manner, they called it resolution. Gotta love it!
As Advisors, we are part detective, part counselor, even part law enforcement. We are certainly facilitators for learning. We can partner with our students and support their development, and then… we hopefully get the chance to watch grow.
I think that we are also artists and teachers. 1) I think we all see the “angle in the marble” when we work with students (they even become our students); 2) But we teach for that all important moment when the student recognizes himself as the angel and carves their own masterpiece.
I believe that Outcomes Directed Thinking is an approach that works. It is based on research and success in other fields. It has proven effective for me, and for my students, in the world of Student Development. That, by the way, is one of the aspects that I love about the field that we are in. We observe effectiveness in other arenas, and incorporate those we think will work into our own field. In a way, we are Masters of the Best in Best Practices. - That’s pretty cool! In that regard, Advisors are also like exceptional chefs. Yes there are the fundamentals, but sometimes you just have to try something different; take a calculated chance. Therefore I also recognize that it is just one possible approach. There are many that you and I have tried, embraced, valued, and maybe you’ll discover new methods here at NACADA –including this one. But Outcomes Directed Thinking is an effective tool/technique that I have seen and practiced and has been successful. I thank you for the opportunity to share this with you. And I would like to leave you with some very important words of wisdom, from someone that think was also a master of his trade, of making us question what we saw or believed. Even if you aren’t loving this approach, I trust that you’ll find something that works brilliantly for you, because when all else fails, Student Development Professionals, Academic Advisers, are also masters of the ability to……..
Thank you…it has been really great to be here with you.. Possibly allow time for questions…. Please submit your evaluations possibly exchange your business cards with others. I welcome any additional comments or questions. Please feel free to email me. Here’s my contact information again. Safe travels home!
Region 8 presentation
Outcomes Directed Thinking in Student Development
Olga Salinas, M.P.A. Academic Advisor Student Success and Academic Advising College of Health Science & School of Nursing Boise State University firstname.lastname@example.orgI’d love to hear from you regarding this session andyour own experiences!
Academic Advising – NACADA “Academic advising, based in the teaching and learning mission of higher education, is a series of intentional interactions with a curriculum, a pedagogy, and a set of student learning outcomes. Academic advising synthesizes and contextualizes students’ educational experiences within the frameworks of their aspirations, abilities and lives to extend learning beyond campus boundaries and timeframes” (NACADA Clearinghouse for Advising Resources).
Advising for Student Development and Success Answers to: • Create New Approaches and Venues • Increase Persistence • Ensure a Quantifiable Educational Achievement
Advising = Transformative Learning ExperienceIt must meet and work in the “activecontexts of student’s lives”.(Learning Reconsidered 2: Implementing a Campus-WideFocus on the Student Experience, 2006)
Outcomes Directed Thinking•Meets students at their level ofexperience•Facilitates self-designed outcomes•Means to modify perspective•Fosters creative solutions•Provides a tool for communication
Outcomes Directed Thinking – Has a Successful History (1980s – Research on high performing athletes, managers, teams.) Locke, Latham, Cashman and more…
Outcomes Language Evolving• Business: Reframe the question cost andprofit by increasing the level of vestedinterest between vendors and clients for amutual outcome.•Healthcare: Move away from polarizingstatements such as “health care foreveryone” to higher level motivation of“ensuring good health for everyone”.
Outcomes Directed Thinking in Advising: Experiential and Cognitive •Identify motivation. •Ownership of plans, solutions, tasks. •Broadens perspective of resources. •Method of promoting communication with key support people.
Partner to Appreciative Advising and Goal Setting Appreciative Advising – Sets the foundation for a positive experience. Goal Setting – Clarifies destination (S.M.A.R.T. Goal)
A Procedural Pause… “Never bring the problem solvingstage into the decision making stage.Otherwise you surrender yourself to the problem rather than the solution.” – Robert Schuller
Important …Why? Goal setting alone is risky.Locke & Latham, 2002
A Practical Application Problem/Existing Situation Desired OutcomeWorking on Prereqs Admission toFor Rad Sci Rad Sci Program for fall 2012
Up and Down an Outcomes Space Map Stuck > Progress Non-Commital > Vested“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it .” Einstein
Outcomes Space Map or Motivational MapWhat will this“do for me?” This IS the question!
Outcome Space Map – Motivational Leverage It would be exciting, rewarding, allowing for personal and professional growth. I could be a role model for someone else. It would make me successful/feel successful. Improved finances for myself and my family. Entrance to career.Established Outcome: Admission to the Rad Sci Program in fall 2012 application cycle.
Defines the motivation behind the outcome. •Self-Defined – Therefore has opportunity to be a transformative experience. •Vested in outcome.
“A Man cannot be satisfiedwithout his own approval.” - Mark Twain
Moving Down the Map: From Obstacles to Solutions “Design is directed toward human beings. To design is to solve human problems by identifying them and executing the best solution.” Ivan Chermayeff
Moving the Map: ReflectiveMoments and Destroying the Barriers. “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” Swami Sivananda
Motivations established?• Easier to identify distractions andbarriers.• Once again “flip” to what is desiredinstead of the barrier.•Create the strategy.•Identify resources/buy-in needed foreach strategy.
Focus is now on the smaller steps that move astudent from overwhelmed by diluted unspecified, time - costly efforts, to progress through specific, doable strategies…supported by the motivation. From What is to What is Desired
Down the Outcomes MapEstablished Outcome: Admission to the Rad Sci Program inFall 2012. Barrier: Feels like I’m always out of time. Want Instead/Barrier Buster: Focused time for study – especially Math 254 this semester. Resources: Academic Makeover, homework for tough subjects done at school – use math Skills lab; discussion with family regarding household chores and delegation of same.
Introducing Outcomes Directed Thinking to Students
Barriers and “Busters”Motivation: Become a recognized “Rock Star Advisor”Motivation: A learning environment that allows sharing, and growing.Motivation: Introduce a method that will be of benefit.Motivation: Introduce material.What is: A new class with new and personally difficult subject matter.Target Outcome? A comfortable learning environment and to buildsome camaraderie among the students in NURS 108 Sp 12.Barrier: Student anxiety/distress in a new class setting as well aslearning new, personalized material. Barrier Buster: De-personalize the first attempts – Fictional Student Exercise. Barrier-Buster: Encourage creativity and fun through art and group effort. Resources: Flip charts, markers, classroom.
Examples of Student Work:Outcomes Directed Thinking Active and Transformative
Cross-Culturally Beneficial• Meets students in their own, individual active context.• Creates a safe place of exploration and modification.• Clarifies purpose/motivation.• Implementable solutions created.• Energy and resources targeted.
Beneficial for Advisors• Tool to guide students along student development.• Supports student ownership towards goals.• When link with a plan, can reduce need for frequent interactions.• Others can assist when physical plan is present.
Let’s Learn Together•Create your Student•Include Name, occupations,challenges, dreams, affiliations,•Identify Motivations for being atyour institution.•Identify one or two key barriers.•Want instead?
Student Quotes from Experiencing This Approach With a detailed plan of action based on things that I have control over, I will no longer waste time and stress over those things I cannot change. – Joseph B. Sometimes when under a lot of stress it is difficult to isolate one problem from many, and next to impossible to distinguish the steps for resolving problems. When it is all mapped out it becomes less difficult to identify the resources and solutions. – Sarah S.
Advisors• Facilitators of learning •Partners in Student Development Watch them take flight…
I saw the angel in the marble andcarved until I set him free. Michelangelo
Outcomes Directed Thinking Part of your Student Development tool kit?
Thank You! Olga Salinas, M.P.A. Advisor email@example.com Student Success and Academic AdvisingCollege of Health Science & School of Nursing Boise State University firstname.lastname@example.org
References:Groves, Richard. 2009. Outcomes Based Thinking and the Healthcare Debate.Mission Measurement, LLC.Edwin A. Locke & Gary P. Latham. 2002. Building a Practically Useful Theory ofGoal Setting and Task Motivation. American Psychologist Journal.Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. 2008. TheRole of Academic Advising. CAS Standards Contextual Statement.Vicki Clawson and Bob Bostrom. 2003. Outcome Directed Thinking: Questionsthat Turn Things Around.