Never in my life did I think I would be writing (or caring!) so much about utilizing technology in my professional life. But, as I wrote a few weeks ago, you never know where you’ll end up, and once you’re there you just have to take the opportunity and make the most of the experience. Taking my own advice, I have charged myself with bringing a new aspect of student services to FSU. I call it Advising 2.0.
My concept is simple – meet the students where they are. This is a student services mantra at universities all around, but how many actually follow through? Better yet, how many actually know “where the students are”? This is my first hurdle. Luckily I am enrolled in a course for my MLIS (Master’s in Library and Information Science) on Assessing Information Needs, and one of our projects is to identify the information behaviors of a group. So, like a good little social scientist or cultural anthropologist, I will need to gather some data. What percent of FSU students are online? How often? What sites?
Once I have an idea of a baseline, it will become a matter of targeting specific needs in the student population and getting creative with meeting those needs. My first experiment will be to develop the “Advising First” brand in a small variety of Social Media sites. I’d like to see how utilizing these technologies can affect the value students place on their advising. From there, it will only be a matter of continuing to build our presence and interact with students in a new medium. Obviously, all personal advising will have to stay face to face, but I hope that establishing a presence online will give Advising First an informal and inviting face, encouraging students that advising at FSU is more than scheduling classes.
I am excited about this process and will continue to write about it here. Please feel free to let me know what you think. Do you, or would you, interact with professional development organizations (like advising at your university) through social media? What would make this process worthwhile to you? Should university offices stay out of the business of social media?