Friday, November 27, 2009

A Team Approach To Student Support In Twitter > Together Everyone Achieves More

Holly Rae Bemis-Schurtz ; Laura Grant ;  Phillip Johnson / New Mexico State University  / Division of Student Success

Benefits Of A Team Approach

•Sustainable when a member leaves or goes on vacation
•Provides a checks & balances system for decision making
•Offers diversity in voice
•Distributes the work load
•Leverages institutional knowledge within the network
•Models an approach for other institutional personae

What We've Learned

•An institutional Twitter channel for student support can be high stakes.
•A single perspective is not enough. Twitter experience alone is not enough. A student's perspective alone or even a staff member perspective alone is not enough.
•People will be interested - be prepared to share your work with the community. Opportunities to get sincere feedback may be rare.
•An institutional support framework is already in place; a team's goal is not to reinvent that, but rather to to open up another access point to that framework.
•Engagement takes different forms; some are more challenging to facilitate than others.

What We Think We Know ... About Our Work

•Experience of team members has been important for us. Consider not only the depth of Twitter adoption and engagement of potential team members, but also their approaches to customer service.
•To a point that it makes sense, define the roles of your team members. We chose Student Contributers, Staff Contributers and Staff Responders. Keep participation optional.
•Invite critique - seek it out if you must - in order to balance your perspective.
•Foster a network of support - create opportunities (some ideas below) to engage your community.
•A team approach to student support is a moving target - by definition you can't prepare for the unexpected. So know that there are things you don't know and you can't know; be aware.

Artifacts From The Team

•Why is NMSU on Twitter? This blog post on our internal blogging community was an initial effort to establish outcomes and parameters for our use of Twitter for student support.
•@nmsu Follower Survey We spent a lot of time figuring out how we could get feedback from our followers. Here's a link to the survey which we have linked to @nmsu's Twitter landing page.
•@nmsu Twitter Landing Page As our ideas about what we were doing evolved, this page was developed to communicate to potential followers who we were and what we were doing.
•NMSU Twitter Camp Wiki Twitter Camps are offered in both public and workshop settings to those who may be interested in learning about how to use Twitter as a professional and personal learning tool. Our planning notes are kind of interesting too, you can see what kind of discussions went into this effort.
•Think Tank Planning Doc We used Think Tank events as a way of developing a conversation with administration and leadership about the @nmsu presence, seeking out folks who may not have the time or inclination to be present themselves on Twitter.
•Tech Day 09 Twitter Scavenger Hunt An example of how we experimented with the use of a hashtag to encourage students to identify and share important campus resources.


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!!! Thanks To / HollyRae Bemis-Schurtz / New Mexico State University / For The HeadsUp !!!

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