Well, maybe I’m biased (being the how members use industryprogram), but I used onlineemail m to email metrics Webstrong, too,strongestchannels,of would I’ve think and findhav Our are site Of these three email standards. say our two; weratet who given our resources. aI webinar follow our chats channel I Yes, Our unsubscribe the closely or newsletter is Personally speaking, I’d likeOurbetter understandpersonis our runs ourI’ve attendedcommunication,our Iemails a Two things: a)Access to inf a) Access to informati b) Access to other me I’ve listened to the am personalhave a wikibut is bothand orI’ve used once, but otherforAAC&Ureas for some an avid reader of blogs,work that question professionally. ask few us We interests,This onlydifficult twice for work moment I subscribe v for a once personally. well would the a that, I’m Moreover, how I’ve used discussion boards yes, Ioccasional podcast both at AAC&U personally andat the (it was to thanotherpro Needless to say, as technology advances, wo things: a)Access to information regarding current educational trends (you know what I mean) – and those on the horizo Access to information regarding current educational trends (you know what I mean) – and those on the horizon. Access to other members – which is even more important because these are the people going through this on their c well would the AAC&U product translate into, say, a wiki? (Of course, we do have podcasts, which I think are a good match as technology advances, we will too. But it would be pointless to implement a technology that didn’t have a purpose. – and those on the horizon. b)Access to other members – which is even more important because these are the people goin those on the horizon. ng through this on their campuses, who can give each other (and us) advice, guidance, and feedback regarding this inform h I think are a good match for AAC&U.) We could easily start a blog, and the idea has been discussed at length. At the mo idn’t have a purpose. these are the people going through this on their campuses, who can give each other (and us) advice, guidance, and feedb back regarding this information. ssed at length. At the moment, though, we don’t feel that a blog would be the best vehicle for any particular message, an vice, guidance, and feedback regarding this information. y particular message, and we aren’t going to use the technology just because it’s there. AAC&U Member and Staff Questionnaire Member Questions 1.) What do you feel is the most important benefit you receive from participating in AAC&U meetings or other events? 2.) What do you feel AAC&U could do to better serve you? 3.) Describe your satisfaction with the effectiveness of the following communications channels used by AAC&U: a. Emails b. Website c. Brochures or other print items 4.) Do you personally use the technologies below? Does your campus? a. webinars b. videoconferencing c. online chats d. online discussion boards e. podcasting f. blogs g. wikis 5.) How do you think AAC&U could make use of these technologies to better serve you? Institution/type Respondent/title (1) most important benefit Western Nevada College Carol Lucey, President Intellectual stimulation, professional dev. around issues related to undergrad ed., genearlly at annual meeting Cottey College Mary Kitterman, VP for ability to stay current regarding critical issues in higher education with Acad. Affrs, Dean of emph on lib. edu., diversity, globl. iss's Faculty College of San Mateo Jean Mach, English larger perspective on imp. issues in edu--the forum that AAC&U Prof. provides for these conversations University of Nebraska-Lincoln Rita Kean, Dean of Opportunity to interact with administrators and faculty from other Undergraduate Studies universities and the fact that AAC&U seem to be ahead of other edu. institutions in terms of identifying issues. Minneapolis Community and Technical Linnea Stenson, Dean networking and information College of Academic Affairs Staff Questions 1. What do you feel is the most important benefit AAC&U gives its members? 2. What do you feel AAC&U could do to better serve members? 3. Describe how effective you think the following communications channels used by AAC&U are in serving members: a. Emails b. Website c. Monthly e-newsletters 4. Do you personally use any of the technologies below? Have you done so for previous jobs or activities outside of AAC&U? If you have, please briefly describe how yo a. webinars b. videoconferencing c. online chats d. online discussion boards e. podcasting f. blogs g. wikis 5. How could AAC&U make use of these technologies to better serve members? What opportunities and/or challenges would you foresee in using these technologies? Institution/type Respondent/title (1) most important benefit AAC&U Ursula Gross, I believe members benefit from AAC&U in two ways. Our resources Marketing/Public – books, periodicals, Web site, and meetings – are some of the best Relations Associate in the field. Faculty and administrators can look to AAC&U for best- practices in curriculum reform, current thought on student learning, and new research on general education and liberal education. AAC&U casts a wide net in its work, but it’s only appropriate given the undertakings of colleges and universities today. Faculty and administrators are working to include increasingly integrated types of learning and education into four years of school, and AAC&U provides resources on many of these applications. The second benefit AAC&U gives its members is more pro-active in nature. Collecting, synthesizing, and publishing leading ideas and best practices is undoubtedly valuable, but we also communicate with our members that these resources exist, how to use them, and how to engage with like-minded people. In short, AAC&U presents networking and career opportunities, allowing people to get involved in a few different ways. AAC&U Ross Miller, Senior AAC&U helps to build a campus's identity as a part of a movement Director of Assessment for liberal education as the underpinning of all undergraduate for Learning programs on a campus. As part of that identity, they are able to find other campuses and colleagues with whom to work on issues held in common and to share and compare programs, ideas, and resources. While not all individuals on a campus may know about AAC&U membership, there can be an influential core of AAC&U participating administrators and faculty who influence the rest of campus with ideas developed in connection with AAC&U publications and meetings, etc. AAC&U Suzanne Hyers, Senior Two things: a)Access to information regarding current educational Director, Internal trends (you know what I mean) – and those on the horizon. b)Access Planning and Director, to other members – which is even more important because these are Annual Meeting and the people going through this on their campuses, who can give each Marketing other (and us) advice, guidance, and feedback regarding this information. AAC&U Laura Donnely, I think it’s the publications, as well as the ability to network and share Associate Editor/Staff ideas with other like-minded individuals through our network meetings Writer and conferences. AAC&U Noreen O'Connor, Meetings and publications Associate Director of Web Communications AAC&U Nancy O'Neil, Director Vision and strategies for strengthening undergraduate education. of Programs, Office of Education and Institutional Renewal (2) better serve you (3) Emails (3)Website Be more attuned to needs of comm. colleges OK Very Effective make conferences less expensive helpful & timely very helpful costs are a barrier to broader participation excellent excellent Serves us well. Are an AAU/NASALGIC institution good hard sometimes to locate dates of a and AAC&U provides opp. to meet colleagues from meeting a range of institutional types more connections to community colleges love them okay, I usually end up there via email If you have, please briefly describe how you used them. you foresee in using these technologies? (2) better serve members (3) Emails (3)Website Personally speaking, I’d like to better understand Well, maybe I’m biased (being the person who runs our Our Web site is our strongest channel how members use our resources. I closely follow email program), but I think our emails are very effective. of communication, and we have the our email metrics, sales numbers, and Web hits, but We are pretty up-to-date on current standards insofar best Web site in our particular field. that only tells me that our resources are being read. as basic readability. We send both html and text-only Of course, we don’t spend millions on What I’d like to know is what happens after a book versions (our software detects what form the recipient our site, so there is room for is read or an email is opened. Was it helpful? Was prefers), and none of the email’s core message is improvement, but I think it serves our it boring? What was the most useful part? If I embedded in an image (so people can still get the point purposes well. The only knew what was working best for our members, I of the email even if they don’t download the images). disadvantage to it is potential think I could better serve them. It’s an easy jump to We have an immediate unsubscribe feature, and information overload – aacu.org is say that for all of AAC&U. people can update their information simply as well. We huge! limit the number of emails we send to one per week (with the exception of our high season, when two can be sent out in one week). Our email metrics are strong, too, given industry standards. Our unsubscribe rate is well, well below 1%, and our click through rate averages above 10% (industry average varies depending on source, but nearly all cite a figure under 10%). If we had the capacity to research the impact of our modestly effective. I say that because Ursula told me pretty effective IF ACCESSED. I various meetings and institutes, we could better that only 10 - 15% of emails are even opened. would guess that half of the people reshape and improve them. Come to think of it, that who I ask about the Web site are is something that I should investigate - a better way already familiar with it, the rest I guide to assess what happens to people who attend our through menus to the information that meetings. they need. We could better enable a flow of information A good method of disseminating information A good method – but could include between and among our members, instead of more information. information going from AAC&U to them. I’m honestly not sure…I’ve only been at AAC&U for Blasts seem effective, but we should probably monitor same as above three months, and I don’t even know everything we the results more—or, if someone is, they should let the do for members yet! staff know the results Be more friendly to faculty and make peace with the these are over used now good but it may have too much “old” AAUP content and text heavy content Focus as much on the practical strategies and “how- I think electronic is the way to go, without losing the personal touch or face-to-face interaction that we have with me to” as on the vision; help members translate through other channels (until we can bottle Dennis and send him over the internet). I think it would be a good idea t promising practices found on other campuses; help conversation about all of our communications mechanisms vis-à-vis our new strategic plan (e.g., if we are going to with the eternal issue of promotion and tenure (as it inclusive excellence, should we have an IE feature in our newsletter every month? On our front page? etc.) is currently configured) serving as a roadblock to educational reform; have a better sense of our own impact (measured richly) to feed back via marketing to members. (3) Brochures or other (4) webinars (4) video (4) online (4) online discussion (4) (4) blogs print items conferencing chats boards podcasting OK very occasionally frequently for in- no ocassionally not yet never state meetings well done self & campus: yes self & campus: self & self: no, campus: yes self: no, self: no, yes campus: yes campus: yes campus: yes especially excellent no no no no no no helpful yes yes yes yes yes "?" love them personally, no; college: yes personally, no; personally, personally, no; college: neither neither college: yes no; college: yes yes (3) E-newletters (4) webinars (4) video (4) online (4) online discussion (4) (4) blogs conferencing chats boards podcasting Of these three channels, I I’ve attended a webinar or two; I No Yes, I’ve used I’ve used discussion I’ve listened to yes, I am would say our newsletter is find them about as helpful as online chats boards for some the occasional an avid the least effective, mainly conference calls, which is to say, socially, for a personal interests, but podcast both reader of because we didn’t create it not very. help- only once or twice for for work and blogs, both with maximum effectiveness desk/custome work (it was to ask personally. personally in mind. Our newsletter was r service other users opinion of and conceived for our core feature, and in a product’s feature). profession membership, and has only a previous ally. I been expanded to our broad job. I do not subscribe membership recently. use online via RSS to Although it provides very chats at many useful information, it is only AAC&U. email one of many means of marketing communication. blogs to stay current. unsure. My guess would be I helped with some webinars in a none at I have used reading only, not only through reading somewhat better than email collaboration between AAC&U AAC&U, only the contributing download, not only but not highly effective. and the TLT group one or two prior technology upload They can, however, be a to this but find it boon to the campuses frustrating for featured, providing support more than two for individuals and program people that are strengthened politically by the publicity. Good for the quick pieces of Haven’t done. Haven’t done. Haven’t done. Haven’t done. Yes, I do for Not a big information (although we get the AM and fan. They a bit wordy with regard to our subscribe to a seem a bit own stuff). The features are few myself. narcissistic a good source of “what’s (but I do happening” out there. read a few political ones, except when they start talking about themselve s too much.) well, since I write these, I no no I’ve again, I regularly no, although I not at hope they are effective! But I participated in participate in these, but would like to. I AAC&U, think we also need to study them before, not at work. I post on haven’t but in how people use these—do but not for message boards investigated previous they read the feature only? work (they related to what’s out jobs I was The announcements only? were about hobbies/lifestyle there yet, but I extensively Nothing? All of it? We really articles at know there is involved in have no idea right now. And Washingtonp a great deal of posting to we don’t ask for feedback, ost.com that I choice. blogs, since, in the past when we read) monitoring did, no one ever responded them, and by writing a letter or a updating comment. our own publication blogs They are great no no -online -online discussion - -blogs—I chats—yes, boards—yes, podcasting—y don’t have outside community and PTA es!!! A TON! a blog but AAC&U for forums I read dissertation some support interaction that we have with members I read blogs, though I’ve never written one. I use chat technology outside of AAC&U. We use a discussion board for a project right now, I think it would be a good idea to have a and nobody is really using it (which is what everybody says happens). I’ve listened to podcasts of NPR and Democracy Now. I’ve joined gic plan (e.g., if we are going to promote in web-based seminars through work, and find them a bit over-rated. (Kind of like powerpoint – everyone went crazy over powerpoint, On our front page? etc.) and most people use it as glorified overheads.) (4) wikis (5) make use of technology no podcasting for people who can't make meetings self: no, put more of the keynote speakers on videoconference, etc. Make it as campus: yes inexpensive as possible. no B/c days are full, print publications are helpful because can be read at home and involve less time in front of computer yes podcasting presentations by noted speaers would be very helpful. Webinars are okay as is videoconferencing. some, both nothing I can think of at the moment personally and college-wide (4) wikis (5) make use of technology We have a wiki This is a difficult question at the moment for a few reasons. Our at AAC&U that members are not as tech savvy as some other groups may be. And I’ve used once, even those members that are knowledgeable are not demanding (or but other than even nicely asking) us to distribute our resources in these ways. So, that, I’m not a there is no demand for us to repackage our product in these big wiki user technologies at the moment. Moreover, how well would the AAC&U (unless you product translate into, say, a wiki? (Of course, we do have podcasts, count wikipedia, which I think are a good match for AAC&U.) We could easily start a which has blog, and the idea has been discussed at length. At the moment, become so though, we don’t feel that a blog would be the best vehicle for any structured that I particular message, and we aren’t going to use the technology just don’t know if it because it’s there. Needless to say, as technology advances, we will is a true wiki too. But it would be pointless to implement a technology that didn’t anymore). have a purpose. reading several, I think the trick is to fine an authentic need that the technology my first writing supports. For example, if air fares increase because of fuel prices, was for the we may learn to have more videoconferences, on-line chats, etc. to AAC&U support collegial work at a distance. Early in the technology boom, Thanksgiving some uses were sort of forced into classrooms and failed through lunch lack of training, software, or support. We need to build better "office imaginations" in these technologies so that when we are trying to solve a problem, some of these options will occur to us as we consider possible solutions. Currently, there are few items on this list that pop up quickly when I am in problem solving mode. Phone conferencing is, of course, quite easy, cheap, and familiar and, to some extent, overlaps some of the functions of many of these listed technologies. It is old technology but still quite effective. This is very new I would need to get more familiar with all before I encourage AAC&U to me. Must in any direction. But I do see myself as representing many of our start doing with members (about the same age, same newness to technology, etc.). I AAC&U’s. should be able to answer this much better in a few months. only the AAC&U I think a blog on our homepage that would be updated on a two or Intranet wiki! three-times weekly basis by the VPs about their travels and conversations with our members could be really interesting and a big draw. But that would take a significant time commitment from Carol, Caryn, Debra, Alma, et.al., as well as their assistants and staffers. And once you start a blog like that, you can’t let it just languish. You’ve got to keep it up. Still, I think it could provide a great service. -wikis—YES, RSS feeds are now in the works; a better shopping cart is also being constantly developed board for a project right now, I think they should not be clunky! That’s my biggest problem with web d Democracy Now. I’ve joined seminars. And of course, people who are goofy presenters in person went crazy over powerpoint, will be goofy presenters online, too. :) Who is facilitating matters greatly, as always. I think we should make more use of video clips in our work. I’m hoping the AAC&U TV thing leads to that. I realize we’ll have to take into consideration folks with low-speed internet, but that shouldn’t preclude us from using it at all.
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