Many points made by Dr Dawson would be familiar to student affairs professionals. For instance, a key part of her talk centered around Chickering & Gamson's Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (1987), which is a key article discussed by those that study higher education.
A point she mentioned that is worth highlighting here is that NSSE data tends to be more differentiated within a school then between schools. For me this reinforces the need for student affairs professionals, or anyone in higher education really, to collect and analyze data at their school to determine which programs are having more of an impact.
To conclude her presentation, Dr Dawson shared examples of what several schools across Canada are doing to improve student engagement, but she made a point of highlighting UBC and some of the strong work happening there. The three programs/initiatives she highlighted are:
- UBCevents - one common calendar for students to find information
- Commuter students hostel
- Terry Talks - which uses a similar approach to TED Talks