Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 11, 2010

Video series designed to help staff better understand students and their issues

The Division of Student Affairs hopes to involve more staff members in professional development efforts — as well as use technology to maximize its resources — with a series of video programs that began recently.

View the videos at the Student Affairs Professional Development Web page.

So far, an introductory session and two videos — dealing with student wellness and learning to know students better —have been posted online. Jackie Simpson, director of the Spectrum Center and chair of the Student Affairs Professional Development Committee, says the goal is to add new installments throughout the year.

“It’s information related to how we think it would allow all 1,300 (Student Affairs) staff people do their jobs better and more efficiently,” she says.

The videos, produced by the Housing Information Technology Office and ResCompTV, are designed to engage Student Affairs staff, but also can benefit any staff or faculty member who deals with students.

“We try to find things that are helpful for all staff,” Simpson says.

The videos, which range from 5 to 8 minutes in length, will replace many of the development workshops the division has conducted in the past. Although some topics still will be covered in workshops or an annual daylong conference conducted in June, the committee hopes more staff members will find time to view the videos than were turning out for the voluntary workshops.

Staff members are encouraged to visit the Student Affairs Web site for professional development, where the videos are embedded. Or, a department may choose to show them at staff meetings, where topics can be discussed at more length. Support materials and questions to help guide discussions are being prepared to accompany the videos.

The committee also is interested in hearing from staff members who have watched the videos and have suggestions for improving their effectiveness. A survey will be available on the Professional Development Web site in May, after staff has had a chance to view the first semester of videos.