Monday, August 20, 2007

Recruiting and Retaining Students Using Web 2.0 Apps - Some Examples

CNET News has published an interesting slideshow showing how different Colleges are using Web 2.0 applications to entice and engage students. Here's a brief summary of some of the examples:

At Dartmouth:

- Undergraduate students are required to use wikis and blogs in a film studies and
comparative literature course.
- A neurology-neuropathology class at Dartmouth Medical School used wikis to
research and create case studies.

- To learn library research and analytical writing skills, Dartmouth freshmen are using
wikis to create encyclopedic entries on topics like "African American Music and Voice"
for their required expository writing class.

At Texas A and M:

- iTunes University is being used as a public relations tool to reach perspective students.
- Professors are making short 3-minute videos describing their background, interests
and classes they teach.

At Seton Hall:

- Potential freshman are sent a log-in and password along with acceptance materials -
this is done before students have formally accepted an invitation to attend. The linked
site includes information on campus life, summer reading assignments, orientation
information and the ability to contact potential roommates and others in their major.
- Prior to the invitation to attend students get a web-based Seton Hall email account.

Yes - these are all big name schools but take a look - iTunes University is free! In addition, the Dartmouth links are especially interesting because they are using the blooging and wiki features/functionality of the Blackboard learning management system (LMS). If you are not an academic, LMS's are essentially online classroom portals providing discussion forums, assessment, lecture content, etc. At first look Blackboard version 7 includes limited blog and wiki functionality - it does provide RSS feed functionality for blogs. Like many of the academics that read this blog, our campus has upgraded over the summer to version 7 - we'll be giving it a good look this fall.

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