Plansbook spring 2015 uaQEP
l e a r n i n g i n act io n
university of alabama
Table of Contents Executive Summary
Objectives, Strategies & Tactics
SOCial media analytics
executive summary The University of Alabama (UA) defines experiential learning as, “a process whereby a) learners participate in opportunities that enable them to reflect on and apply what they learn in the classroom; and b) instructors purposefully engage students by allowing them to make discoveries and experiment with knowledge either in class or outside class.” The purpose of the survey was explained as a way “to identify and characterize current experiential learning opportunities that are currently offered at The University of Alabama, whether in class or out.” The main services specifically chosen to be provided for QEP were digital and technical services, creative services and insights. Among these services, there were specific tasks that were completed in each area throughout the campaign implementation ending on March 2. For the QEP awareness campaign during spring semester implementation, media relations assistance and weekly meetings were all part of the technical assistance service. The Facebook, Twitter and Instagram creation and management were handled by the digital team. The creation of the “Learning in Action” logo and design of campaign promotional items were included in the responsibilities of creative services. Additionally, the insights team was left with completing the evaluation. The campaign began implementation Feb. 2, 2015 during the spring semester, continuing through March 2, 2015 when the on-site visitors came to audit UA for its accreditation renewal. UA was up to renew its accreditation this year, the occurrence happens every ten years. Capstone Agency was given a total budget of $6,000 to use in compliance to its services to create a successful awareness campaign. The costs are defined in the budget section of this plan.
The Problem The Learning in Action campaign involved a collaboration of work from students, Capstone Agency and the UA QEP team. According to the QEP report, there is a lack of awareness about experiential learning at The University of Alabama and the opportunities it offers. The goal of the Learning in Action campaign is to raise awareness to faculty and students about experiential learning opportunities (ELOs). Forms of experiential learning relevant to UA’s QEP are cooperative education, internships, undergraduate research, study abroad and service learning. The university chose the QEP topic of experiential learning through an institutional process that included faculty, staff, students, administrators and employers. According to the report, QEP actions were designed to improve the existing ELOs and make new ones. The university expects to improve students’ abilities to: · Critically analyze and evaluate the relationship between academic knowledge and real-world contexts; · Use academic knowledge in real-world contexts; and · Identify and derive solutions to real-world problems in ways that demonstrate awareness of the complexities of the situation.
The report also defined the six certified best practices in order to ensure students are getting what they need out of any ELO they participate in. The six certified best practices are listed below. 1. Be well designed on-campus experiences in real-world contexts that engage the student in applying academic knowledge and skills to the resolution of complex real-world problems; 2. Provide students with ELO-related orientation and training; 3. Provide students with assessment , and feedback about their performance in the real world context; 4. Require students to demonstrate real –world problem solving achievement through a work product; 5. Provide structured opportunities for students to reflect regularly on connections between the certified best practices ELO and their academic studies; and 6. Incorporate procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of the ELO as a whole.
Past and Current Campaigns On April 20, 2013 the QEP Development Committee began the GREAT IDEA campaign. Based on the feedback from the campaign including results from the survey of graduating seniors, the rovost determined that providing more on- and off-campus ELOs in every major was the best choice to serve as the theme for the university’s QEP. The results from the GREAT IDEA campaign are currently being used in the Learning in Action campaign which launched on UA’s campus in the spring of 2015. The Learning in Action campaign is an awareness campaign designed to reach faculty and students on UA’s campus about ELOs to change a neutral or negative attitude about the QEP to positive. This is an extension of the GREAT IDEA campaign. Before the GREAT IDEA campaign and the Learning in Action campaign, there were no other campaigns on UA’s campus regarding this particular topic.
The QEP Implementation Planning Committee created a UA faculty/staff survey on experiential learning, the UA Graduating Senior Survey (GSS), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and focus group data from employers of UA graduates.
Faculty/Staff Survey The faculty/staff survey was sent out electronically to all faculty and staff in Student Affairs who had direct responsibility for student success programs. The survey defined QEP and UA’s topic, experiential learning. The committee received 328 responses from faculty and staff, which equaled to about 16.6 percent of the population.
What we earned was that not only do most faculty not offer experiential learning opportunities, or ELOs, but 90 percent of faculty have not been trained to offer ELOs. The ELOs that did exist did not consistently incorporate all six best practices. Even though 90 percent of faculty have not been trained to offer ELOs, 70.4 percent of the population are interested in offering experiential learning and the majority were also interested in attending development workshops on ELOs.
Graduating Senior Survey (GSS) The University of Alabama administers the Graduating Senior Survey (GSS) at the end of every semester. Survey participants are UA seniors who are graduating the semester during which the survey is given. In the 2012-2013 school year 29.1% of the graduating senior class took the survey. What we learned was that only a third of all students participated in an ELO and of that group less than 40% of undergraduate students rated their experiential learning as excellent in terms of its contribution. These findings backed the committee’s support for the QEP.
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) The university administered the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to all undergraduate students at UA. The NSSE, like the GSS, provided data that backed the committee’s support for the QEP. Less than half of seniors believe that their courses optimality prepared them with job-related knowledge and skills. As the years went n the number of seniors who believed that their courses prepared them for real-word problem solving continued to decline, in the 2012 survey only 20% of seniors believed that their courses prepared them for real-word problem solving.
campaign summary Our campaign began on February 2, 2015 and continued until March 2, 2015. The campaign was primarily done through creative, social media and media relations. The creative team created a new logo for the campaign that encompassed every college on campus with a symbol. The digital team launched three social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They continuously sent out updates about the campaign. The media relations team wrote and sent press releases that detailed our campaign. During the campaign an email from University Provost Benson was sent to the entire university. The email laid out the different aspects of the campaign for the entire university. The team also worked with Cathy Butler, the editor of the UA Dialog, a newsletter published for UA faculty and staff.
The SACSCOC On-site Committee visits The University of Alabama every ten years. March 3, 2015 was the date of the visit for this year. During the visit, Capstone Agency presented with the UA QEP leadership team to the SACSCOC On-site Committee about the plan for ELOs and the Learning in Action campaign. The presentation consisted of a three minute presentation from the student account executives of the Learning in Action campaign about the benefits of experiential learning, such as working on the campaign with the QEP director Beverly Roskos and associate director of Institutional Effectiveness Heather Pleasants. On the next page is the list of all present at the QEP presentation on March 3, 2015.
UA QUEP LEADERSHIP TEAM (Rose 203) 10:15 A.M. Joe Benson, Interim Provost Bev Roskos, QEP Director Heather Pleasants, Associate Director of Institutional Effectiveness Ginger Bishop, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, SACSCOC Liaison Mildred Jackson, Associate Dean for Research & Instruction, University Libraries Beth Todd, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering Michael Picone, Professor of French and Linguistics, Modern Languages and Classics, College of Arts & Sciences Jim Siders, Associate Professor, Chair, Special Education, College of Education Katherine Risk, Student, College of Communication & Information Sciences Sadie Schwarm, Student, College of Communication & Information Sciences Amee Dominguez, Student, College of Communications & Information Sciences Teri Henley, Instructor, Advertising & Public Relations, College of Communication & Information Sciences Carroll Tingle, Assistant Professor, Chair, Human Development & Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences Jacqueline Morgan, Associate Dean, Director, University Honors Program Marilyn Staffo, Director, Faculty Resource Center Adam Sterritt, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs Travis Railsback, Executive Director of the Career Center Craig Armstrong, Instructor, Management, College of Commerce & Business Administration Norma Cuellar, Professor, Nursing, The Capstone College of Nursing John Giggie, Associate Professor, History, College of Arts & Sciences Jane Newman, Associate Professor, Gifted & Talented, College of Education Marcus Ashford, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering Lucy Curzon, Associate Professor, Art & Art History, College of Arts & Sciences
The presentation focused around the QEP plan addressing the certified best practices, research and ideas for the betterment of the university to emphasis and utilize ELOs. The plan was passed just a few short days after the presentation. The plan is just in the beginning phases, but will be adapted over the course of the next five years. Capstone Agency will continue its efforts to raise awareness about ELOs and the Learning in Action campaign for the next five years now that the plan is passed.
objectives, strategies & tactics Objective: To promote awareness of experiential learning to 9,000 students at UA by March 2, 2015.
Strategy 1 Target students by using messaging about the importance of highlighting experiential learning through tabling events. Message: #ExperientialLearning is important to highlight during your job search.
Tactic 1 Set up tables in Reese Phifer, Bidgood and the Ferguson Center with the QEP campaign team handing out push cards. The message on the cards highlights the importance of putting experiential learning on your résumé, and where the information should be placed. Tactic 2 Set up a tables and pass out strategically written push cards that highlight how to talk about experiential learning in a job interview at the Business, Communication and Engineering career fairs held February 17, 18 and 19 at the Bryant Conference Center. Tactic 3 Set up table at the Ferguson Center on February 25 and hand out promotional items such as pens, t-shirts, and business card holders to reiterate the importance of highlighting the importance of experiential learning.
Strategy 2 Target faculty and students by using print and electronic media to highlight the importance of experiential learning. Message: Experiential learning is prominent on the UA campus. Tactic 1 Write a press release to pitch to the Crimson White about the QEP Learning in Action career fair event. This is to make students aware of the booth, so they can visit it at the fairs and be awakened to the benefits of experiential learning when it comes to applying for jobs and fine tuning their résumé. The angle would encourage students to find the booth at the fairs and to highlight how students benefit by adding their real world experience on their résumé. Tactic 2 Contact Cathy Butler about getting placement in the faculty newsletter, The Dialog, on highlighting the importance of experiential learning. Tactic 3 Pitch a feature story to the Crimson White with the angle of “Experiential Learning Students Launch Campaign” highlighting experiential learning. Tactic 4 Reach all faculty at UA by sending direct mail with positive and creative messaging highlighting the importance of experiential learning and listing faculty workshop dates. There will be a Learning in Action logo on a magnet attached to the push card.
Strategy 3 Engage students through social media platforms with creative messaging highlighting the importance of experiential learning. Tactic 1 Facebook and Twitter will be used as tools to make students aware of the event at the career fairs. They will serve as precursors to getting students to come to the career fair and visit the Learning in Action table, they would also remain active during the event. Statuses, tweets and pictures will be posted through the duration of the fairs, showing students “learning in action” how to use their experiential learning experience to their advantage. The hashtag #BeyondTheBookUA will be used along with #UACareerFair so the trends can be tracked and easily found for the campaign.
Tactic 2 Instagram will for serve a slightly different approach than Facebook and Twitter, which include spreading informative messages and other messaging. Instagram will take a more personal approach. Based off the Humans of New York (HONY) concept, the Instagram will highlight a student or faculty member’s personal story on experiential learning. The only posts that go on Instagram are profile pictures or portraits of one person giving a brief and powerful recap of their experiential learning experience. #BeyondTheBooksUA will be the hashtag used to follow the powerful and impactful stories that students and faculty have gained through experiential learning.
The target publics for this awareness campaign are the students and faculty of The University of Alabama. Each of these groups are associated with experiential learning in some way or another, and although they have different means of association they are tied by a common thread; academia. Undergraduate students attending UA are one of the main groups that this campaign targeted. Overall, students have a low awareness of the QEP and a medium to low awareness of experiential learning. All undergraduate students from all eight colleges at the university were targeted in the plan. The goal was to reach as many students as possible and to show the benefit of the different types of experiential learning that all the colleges at UA offer. This campaign was designed to place equal emphasis on students in the College of Commerce and Business Administration, College of Communication and Information Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Human and Environmental Sciences, College of Social Work and the College of Education.
Another one of the main groups the awareness plan targeted was faculty at UA. Faculty at UA have a high awareness of the QEP and a medium to high awareness of experiential learning. Even though as a group faculty have a high awareness of both these items, they are targeted because they tend to have a more negative attitude toward the QEP. Reaccreditation and the rules that follow it seem like mundane tasks not many faculty look forward to. The goal of targeting faculty is to excite them about the QEP and sharing the experiential learning opportunities offered their students. All faculty were targeted in this awareness campaign because it was as important to have the faculty involved in spreading the importance of experiential learning as it was to have students aware that they are participating in experiential learning.
Here are some of the media coverage the QEP Learning in Action campaign got during the duration of the campaign.
Dr. Joe Benson sent out an email to all students and faculty at the university about experiential learning.
The campaign was featured in the UA Dialog which is the faculty and staff newsletter.
Social media Facebook
Total Likes: 145 Top post reach: 926 Total posts: 15 Post with most engagement: post clicks 101, likes, comments & shares 30
Total Posts: 9 Total Followers: 35 Following: 47 Top Liked Photos: (# of likes 18)
Twitter 92 Followers as of 4/6/2015 37 Total Tweets Following 94 accounts 93 Followers Total Impressions: 10,943 Total Visits: 734 Total Mentions: 16
28 Day Summary as of 4/7/2015
The total budget for the campaign was set at $6,000 and $800 of that amount was owed to Capstone Agency for their services; specifically, the proposal, logo, visual identity and communication plan. The remaining $5,200 was recommended to be spent toward advertising and promotional materials though the duration of the campaign.
Total Budget: $6,000 Cost of Capstone Agency Services: $800 Cost of promotional items: $1,588.80 Cost of Items • Printing for push cards for the tabling events pre-career fairs 350 push cards from Crimson Copies; cost $48.80 • Printing costs for the direct mail to be distributed to the faculty 2,000 cards from Crimson Copies; amount to be determined • Cost of ordering the promotional items 2,000 magnets to attach to the direct mail; cost $1,000 • Cost of promotional items (pens, shirts and business card holders) 500 pens; cost $250 350 business card holders; cost $294 40 shirts; cost $444.80
Total Cost 48.80 + 250 + 294 + 1,000 + 444.80
(with the exception of the cost of the cards for the direct mail printing)
timeline February 2:
Launched social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Tabling event held at Reese Phifer
Reached out to the faculty newsletter, The Dialog, about placement for a feature story on experiential learning
Tabling event held at the Ferguson Center
Press release announcing the career fair event is distributed to the Crimson White (if event precedes)
Communication Career Fair event
General Interest and Business Career Fair event
Technical and Engineering Career Fair event
Pitched the feature story to the Crimson White
Distributed direct mail to faculty with promotional item attached
Tabling event held in the Ferguson Center
March End campaign implementation
On-site committee presentation
EVALUATION What could we have done differently? • Ordering promotional items is a long and tedious process which we had to go through various channels, so in the future it is important to understand this process ahead of time. • Be prepared for changes in your timeline and communication plan because some such events, such as the career fair tabling event may fall through and we had to adapt accordingly. Also, having a specific timeline is crucial. • Managing time was sometimes a struggle because of the short amount of time we had before the campaigns implementation after we received the final approved logo. The more time you have the better the campaign will ultimately be.
What worked well? • We were able to get out information via push cards at a tabling event in Reese Phifer. The content was a great way to get students interested in ELOs and how they can put them on their résumé. • The social media for our campaign helped us raise awareness around campus to students especially. Our Instagram helped us share students’ stories and Facebook and Twitter ended up being a great way to share information. • Through our weekly meetings, we formed a great relationship with our client. This aided in any success the Learning in Action campaign achieved.
conclusion Although this particular implementation of the Learning in Action campaign only lasted a month, the campaign is ongoing and will continue over the duration of the next five years. Learning in Action was a success in that it jumpstarted awareness around campus to students and faculty about experiential learning opportunities. Launching social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram played a crucial role in our efforts in spreading awareness. This can only strengthen in the future as the team left will build off the foundation. Another way that Learning in Action raised awareness was through various promotional items that featured the campaign logo. With our budget we were able to order business card holders, T-shirts, lawn signs and magnets. The items not used in this campaign will be used for the fall of 2015.
We want to thank all of the hard-working members of our student team . . .
Mille Eiborg Olaussen, creative
Katrina Swarthout, insights
Sarah Parker, assistant account executive
Alicia Meyer, digital
Ana Vega, assistant account executive
Carly Ausman, digital
Sarah Augustinsky, creative
thank you This campaign would not have had the success it did without... Capstone Agency The UA QEP Leadership Team Joe Benson, Interim Provost Beverly Roskos, QEP Director Heather Pleasants, Associate Director of Institutional Effectiveness Ginger Bishop, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, SACSCOC Liaison Mildred Jackson, Associate Dean for Research and instruction, University Libraries Beth Todd, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering Michael Picone, Professor of French and Linguistics, Modern Languages and Classics, College of Arts and Sciences Jim Siders, Associate Professor, Chair, Special Education, College of Education Katherine Risk, Student, College of Communication and Information Sciences Teri Henley, Instructor, Advertising and Public Relations, College of Communication and Information Sciences Carroll Tingle, Assistant Professor, Chair, Human Development and Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences Jacqueline Morgan, Associate Dean, Director, University Honors Program Marilyn Staffo, Director, Faculty Resource Center Adam Sterritt, Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs Travis Railsback, Executive Director of the Career Center Craig Armstrong, Instructor, Management, College of Commerce and Business Administration Norma Cuellar, Professor, History, College of Arts and Sciences Jane Newman, Associate Professor, Gifted and Talented, College of Education Marcus Ashford, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering Lucy Curzon, Associate Professor, Art and Art History, College of Arts and Sciences Crimson Copies Staff University Printing Anita Hamlett, Director of Academic and Professional Advancement UA Career Center Vivian Abbott, Institutional Effectiveness Office Associate
Learning In Action