Technology in Student Affairs

Infographic for course on technology in student affairs

Graduate programs in college student affairs/higher education need a course that focuses on technology. My graduate program thoroughly covers student development theories, foundations, practical experience, helping skills, campus ecology, interventions, assessment, and more. We have not extensively discussed serving online students or technology skills that student affairs professionals need to be successful now and in the future.

The above info-graphic is my proposal for a five-week course on technology in student affairs. The course syllabus was prepared for a master’s level course (although the content is relevant for all graduate students and current professionals). This semester’s technology and/or social media assignment for our campus ecology class challenged my cohort to move outside of their comfort zone and try something new. Student affairs professionals need to constantly improve skills and comfort level with technology to effectively serve students.

One challenge for designing a course on technology is choosing the topics. Technology in higher education is a very broad topic and can cover many different skills or tools. It was difficult to choose the five topics and decide relevant readings for each week. I used personal communication (including emails and Twitter) as well as blog posts and journal articles to determine the course content.

Technology in higher education, a history: graduate programs, IT history, student affairs historical connection with technology

Technology and today’s student: student technology use, digital identity development, student development theory

Student affairs and communications/marketing: professional online presence, social media platforms, blogs, websites

Technology fluency: technophobia and a review of tools such as hardware, software, learning management systems, content management systems, student information systems, recruitment platforms, payment processing systems, online learning, assessment tools, etc.

Technology in administration: ethics, legal issues, confidentiality, and future of profession.

Although there are two New Directions for Student Services texts on technology and student affairs, I did not assign a book to accompany this course. I am not sure how a traditional book option would support a course on technology in student affairs. The tools and resources change rapidly, therefore it needs to be an electronic resource , or maybe a traditional book and companion blog.

To continue the process of life-long learning in relation to technology: Follow and read blog posts from the six leaders on the info-graphic; they are individuals that graduate students and administrators can learn from while trying to increase their comfort and skills with technology and social media.

I hope that a course similar to this proposal will be offered to future graduate students at UGA. What would you change or add to this course on technology in student affairs? Post in the comments or connect with me on Twitter and let’s continue the conversation!

References for this post:
EAC595C: Technology in student affairs (Leslie Dare)
ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology
Do we need a technology in student affairs book (Eric Stoller)
Student affairs graduate programs and technology (Eric Stoller)
Student affairs technology: To boldly go (Eric Stoller)
A course on technology in student affairs (Joe Sabado)
Leslie Dare Google Site

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