Western Idaho College

Report
Western Idaho College
Student Life Web Changes:
Creating an Effective Online
Platform for Student Affairs
Marie Ebling, Barry Hubbard, Amy Jones, and John Moore
1
To Begin…
Please use the attached Word document
(script) as the PowerPoint presentation is
reviewed
 Slide numbers found in the script
correspond with the slide numbers found
in the PowerPoint

2
Overview
Philosophy & Purpose
 Rationale & Supporting Literature
 Web Critique & Suggestions
 Future Movement
 Conclusion

3
Philosophy & Purpose
The Division of Student Affairs works to
 support and carry out the college’s
mission by providing a range of
experiences and support services designed
to encourage and facilitate personal
development and life long learning.
 create an inclusive campus environment
that is supportive and stimulating, both
on-ground and online.
4
Philosophy & Purpose
The current demands and trends of our
culture have compelled the institution to
create new ways of supplying information
and services.
 Technology has become and will
increasingly continue to play a key role in
conveying Western Idaho’s values,
policies, and community liveliness and
standards.
 The demand and expectation exists to
develop and maintain a dynamic, accurate
website for the Division of Student Affairs.

5
Philosophy & Purpose
The website should
 offer students, faculty, and staff services
and information in a dynamic, efficient,
and convenient manner.
 offer community members and visitors a
chance to review the services, programs,
and activities the institution provides.
 create a window into the quality of
learning, professional standards, and
environmental press Western Idaho
College strives to promote.
6
Philosophy & Purpose
Website values and guidelines, as outlined by Barratt (2001b)
 Inclusive
 Representative
 Active
 Informative
 Interactive
 Current
 Community Building
 Developmental
 Learning Focused
 Clear
 Accountability Measures
 Accessible to all
7
Rationale & Supporting Literature
The following research, standards for the
profession, and theories were use to
develop the suggested philosophy
 Council for the Advancement of Standards
in Higher Education (CAS)
 Freshman Survey Data (CIRP)
 Person-Environment Theory (Strange and
Banning)
 Additional Literature
8
Rationale & Supporting Literature
CAS Standards
 The mission statement of every
department within Student Affairs must be
consistent with the mission and goals of
the institution
 Web site and the design of the web site
must also be in congruence with the
institution’s mission
9
Rationale & Supporting Literature
CIRP Data
 Increase of students obtaining information
from web during college selection process
 Increase in computer and Internet use to
facilitate communication
 Increase in general information gathering
(research or homework)
10
Rationale & Supporting Literature
Person-Environment Theory
 Human aggregate consideration (desire to see
others like self through photographs and services’
and clubs’/organizations’ listings)
 Organizational structure consideration
(impression of student ability to influence and/or
create change)
 Physical aggregate consideration (appeal of
campus environment and image relationship on
site)
 Constructed meaning consideration (images
conveyed become viewers’ reality)
11
Rationale & Supporting Literature
Much work needs to be done in the area of
online student affairs
 However, several additional disciplines
can contribute to an understanding of the
development of Student Affairs websites




computer mediated communication and
distance learning research
general practices for web-delivered services
student development theories
12
Rationale & Supporting Literature

Barratt (2001a) decribes calling IT an
“accidental success”




lack of planning, lack of resources, lack of
knowledge, and lack of coordination
Student Affairs personnel are rarely at the
table
agendas and perspectives are not heard
Fear of losing “human contact”
(Wagner, 2001)

discipline that strongly encourages and values
high levels of interaction
13
Rationale & Supporting Literature



Distance learning and online research
Supports the possibility to create communities
and connections through an exclusively electronic
forum
Computer mediated communication (CMC)
benefits




introversion of personality
negative physical perception of appearance or disability
Minority status
Serve as avenue for communication between
administration and students
14
Rationale & Supporting Literature

Experiences and recommendations as
stated by Smith (2001)






Need for assessment
Use of many resources
Utilizing other institutions’ approaches
Long-term advancement plans/strategies
Listening to student need
Developing second tier priorities
15
Rationale & Supporting Literature

Roles and evaluation criteria defined by
Barratt (2001b)


List of Values (stated earlier)
roles include being




part of the campus ecology
student development tool
learning tool
Evaluation criteria include




navigation and design
technical details
aesthetic appropriateness
content
16
Rationale & Supporting Literature

Parsons and Hernandez (2003) guidelines
for creating web pages

Confusing, poorly constructed, out of date, or
difficult to navigate sites may create a
negative impression of the physical
department


prohibit initial and/or future access of service (s)
‘brand identity’ of the university




use of pictures
keeping the website up to date
use of language
new online programming possibilities
17
Rationale & Supporting Literature

Student development theory implications




Uncommitted and no type students (Astin,
1997)
Myers-Briggs Introverts (Strange and Banning,
2000)
Perceivers (Zunker, 2001)
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (Evans, Forney, &
Guido-DiBrito, 1998)

residence life example
 hierarchy level breakdown
 benefits of web-based services for area
18
Critique & Suggestions
Based on the review of literature and the
statement of philosophy, the following
critique and evaluation are offered
 Two resources used to perform evaluation


Barratt (2001)


navigation and design, technical details, aesthetic
appropriateness, and content
Parsons and Hernandez (2003)

use of pictures, keeping the website up to date, use
of language, and new online programming
possibilities
19
Critique & Suggestions
Navigation and Design – Category 1
Points
(4)
Material should be found within three clicks from the home page and take no more
than 30 seconds to load, even on a slow modem.
(3)
(2)
(1)
(0)
x
All pages should list a most recent update date, and have been updated within the
past 12 months.
x
There should be an appropriate and consistent tool bar/navigation set on pages.
x
It should be very easy to find the Student Affairs pages from the school home page.
*Main link - not a pull down menu item.
x
Material should be organized or indexed by function (department).
x
Material should be organized or indexed by population being served - Information
for students, faculty and staff.
Sum of points in each column
x
4
3
4
1
0
20
Navigation and Design Points
12/24
Critique and Suggestions
Technical Details – Category 2
Points
(4)
(3)
(2)
(1)
(0)
There should be a search function for the pages or site.
x
There should be a feedback section for pages or site.
x
There should be page counters on all pages.
x
Pages should meet accessibility standards.
x
Pages should reside on a fast server.
x
Pages should load quickly at 28.8 baud.
x
All links should be active.
x
Sum of points in each column
Technical Details Points
0
6
2
8/28
0
0
21
Critique and Suggestions
Aesthetic Appropriateness – Category 3
Points
(4)
There should be a consistent 'look and feel' within the site.
x
There should be school and division identification
throughout the site.
x
(3)
The pages should be appropriately attractive.
Sum of points in each column
Aesthetic Appropriateness Points
(2)
(1)
(0)
0
0
x
8
0
2
10/12
22
Critique and Suggestions
Content – Category 4
Points
(4)
(3)
(2)
Information should be provided for all types of current,
prospective and alumni students, faculty and staff.
Care should be taken to not overemphasize any student subpopulation.
Academic material should be well integrated into the student
affairs pages.
(0)
x
x
Student affairs functional areas should be covered broadly.
Student affairs functional areas should be covered in depth.
(1)
x
x
x
23
Critique and Suggestions
(Category 4, continued)
Material must be current and accurate.
x
Department or division home page should list contact
names, numbers and E-mail addresses for important
people, as well as hours of operation.
Department or Division Mission is available.
Sum of points in each column
x
x
4
0
Content Points
Total Evaluation Score
6
0
0
10/32
40/100
24
Critique & Suggestions

Further critique






Information update
Dead links
Missing/not applicable information
Inclusive representation
Word consideration
Full contact information
25
Critique & Suggestions

Parsons and Hernandez (2003) evaluation

Include more touchstones for visitors


Improve ability to meet the goals set forth in
the college mission statement


pictures of students, campus, staff, and events
need for links and services to be provided by the web
site
Additional resources



links
campus “tour”
navigation
26
Future Strategies






Privacy features
Personalized greetings when revisited
Having personal contact names when
transmitting and requesting information (avoid
using general titles or names)
Site stats (tracking usage and paths)
Programming and activity opportunities facilitated
online (involvement)
Expectation of standard technology proficiencies
for student affairs professionals

training/staff development and integration into
professional program curriculum
27
Conclusion
Much work needed
 Establish a permanent technology
committee with oversight, decision, and
implementation making abilities



Student affairs professionals, IT specialists,
faculty, students, alumni
Goal of providing cutting edge
technological services
28
Committee Members

Submitted By




Marie Ebling
Barry Hubbard
Amy Jones
John Moore

University of South Florida Team
29

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