Getting that warm fuzzy feeling of "I've been there! Done That!"
I guess this is one of those self-congratulatory blog posts ;-) I'll try not to be too cocky about it :-)
Anyway. Recently a colleague of mine sent me this blog post from the .eduGuru blog. The blog post is interesting to read so you should go ahead and do that. The quick highlights though are these:
1. College wants to do something exclusive for new students
2. College creates online exclusive community
3. College uses Ning to do it.
There have been many instances where I've had ideas for things that would make student's lives easier, but this is one idea that I actually grabbed and ran with it - and the result if the UMass ID community on Ning.
Of course my goals weren't just to welcome new students. My goal was to create a community of practice made up of current students, newly accepted students to the program and of alumni. People can come and be welcomed by a community of practitioners, they can find information about the program (what they need to do to graduate, what classes are available, and so on) and a place where they can ask for info about things that affect their professional lives as well (such as knowing a good source for training on a certain topic).
I have to say that I am not the only person that thought about doing this for an academic environment and then went ahead and did it, but having done it, and seeing other people follow the my footsteps and those of my fellow pioneers in the field makes me feel good to say "been there, done that, thanks for validating the methodology" :-)