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Digital Engagement

The Student Affairs Digital Engagement Collaborative forms digital engagement strategies and coordinates digital engagement efforts for both division-wide initiatives and individual departments, including serving as a test group for execution and assessment of individual programs and initiatives.

Updates and Next Steps

September 3, 2021 Update

There are a number of Digital Engagement intitiaves and optimizations onging, including the following:

    Ongoing Intiatives and Optimizations:
  • Collaborating with SGA and EITS on changes to the UGA App including the implementation of push notificiations, better integration of Athena, updates the Bus Route feature, and enhancements to the home screen
  • Planning, approval, and procurement of a digital wayfinding and navigation solution for the Tate Student Center
  • Finishing the migration of our suite of Division websites into a new Content Management System (WordPress)
  • Planning, approval, and procurement of a new hosting environment on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for Division sites and applications
  • Building out a custom virtual tour solution for the Ramsey Student Center
    Digital Engagement Colalborative Updates: The Digital Engagement Collaborative last met in July to check in on group member progress on the following:
  • The Digital Engagement Roadmap - Group members reported making progress in their respective areas.
  • A digital engagement survey for UGA students - Group members reported making progress in their respective areas.
  • We addressed the loss of multiple collaborative members due to colleagues taking new positions outside of UGA or Student Affairs, and the collaborative discussed whether to replace members who have left as well as potential candidates for their replacements.

May 11, 2021 Collaborative Meeting

During the May meeting of the Digital Engagement Collaborative, Wes Summers presented the first draft of the Digital Engagement Roadmap Outline/Table of Contents for the collaborative to review and approve. The collaborative members reviewed and approved the Outline and then each member selected a section of the outlline to begin working on.

    Other topics discussed:
  • Wes Summers met with Annie Carlson Welch, the Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs - Learning and Improvement, who indicated that she would be willing to collaborate on any data related analysis and collection for the Digital Engagement Initiaitve.
  • Wes worked with Annie to add two additional Digital Engagement realated columns to the Student Affairs Departmental Planning spreadsheet that division directors must submit as part of their yearly planning process:
    • Departmental Data collection sources and data points on students
    • Technology platforms and services departments are using for program and service delivery
  • Nancy Byron reached out to the Office of Institutional Research to determine if they have done any student facing data collection regarding digital engagement on campus. The OIR indicated that they have not, but offered to assist with data collection and analysis related to this area in the future.

March 18, 2021 Collaborative Meeting

During the March meeting of the Digital Engagement Collaborative the collaborative discussed the following topics

    Guidebook as potential solution for event management
  • Orientation is already using Guidebook, so students are introduced to it early on in their time at UGA, this early adoption by the students could provide a new channel to continue engagement once they've been onbaorded to campus.
    Participant Tracking for virtual events via a website or web portal
  • International Student Life's International Street Festival was held virutally this year. As part of this virtual event, users who navigated to the ISF pages on the ISL site were presented with a pop-up form asking them to enter their UGA MyID and email to acknowledge that they attended the event. In addition to being able to use the responses to track specific attendance by students, the form automatically populated a Mailchimp List for event based communications as well as an "Opt in" for the ISL monthly enewsletter.
    Student Survey
  • The Collaborative Strategy Group has been working on a Digital Engagement Student Survey that could gauge the current student experience on campus as well as inform our Digital Engagement Roadmap in the future.
    CitiLyfe Smart Campus Platform
  • The Collaborative discussed the Smart Campus demo from our February meeting and how the platform would fit into the UGA ecosystem specific topics of conversation were:
    • How the platform would integrate, augment, or potentially replace functionality from the UGA app.
    • Our limited ability to persue a product like this currently due to financial constraints
    • How the platform is a great example of enhancing the student experience digitally by:
      • integrating mutiple student focused systems into one portal.
      • using business intelligence to determine studenet interests and habits and use that information to intelligently monitor and enhance their engagement opportunities.
      • using IOT technology to provide real time information to students on facility usage, safe campus travel, bus scheduling etc.
    Digital Engagement Strategy/Roadmap
  • The collaborative discussed our next steps, which is to create a Digital Engagement Roadmap. To that end the following items were discussed:
    • Review of the Roadmap Guideline document
      • Collaborative members were asked to provide comments and feedback on the Guideline Document
    • Review of the Following Delivery Timeline:
      • Outline of the roadmap – Finished by May 1st, 2021 - Wes will provide the Outline of the roadmap and Collaborative members will review, edit, and approve
      • Survey/Data Audit – July 1st, 2021 **survey dates subject to change based on summer participation rates for students
        • Survey released – Mid July 2021
        • Survey submission review – Mid August 2021
        • Update road map with survey data – September 1st, 2021
      • First draft of roadmap ready for review – October 1st, 2021
      • Final draft – November 1st, 2021

February 17, 2021 Collaborative Meeting

During the February meeting of the Digital Engagement Collaborative Sabina Saksena, the Founder & CEO of Cytilife, presented a demonstration of Smart Campus, a single-source Student Engagement platform that integrates LMS and registrar data, event management, IOT data, and AI to track and enhance student engagement on campus on peer to peer level.

    Core functionality of the platform included:
  • AI driven event and engagement curation based on student behavior, class shedule, and interest
  • Real-time bus tracking and notification based on a student's class schedule
  • IOT based real-time tracking of facility usage like the rec center or dining halls so that students can use the platform to determine the best times to use these areas
  • A location based "Safe Campus" feature where students can broadcast their location and status on the campus map and locate other students nearby in the event of an emergency

January 14, 2021 Technology Working Group Meeting

    The Technology Working Group met to discuss the following topics:
  • KPI updates from Wes
  • Brainstorm what user-level (student-level) data is important for robust digital engagement
  • Identify gaps in “knowing” what data is collected and strategize how to find out that information
  • Begin brainstorming tech. solution/system potential for additional student-level data capturing

January 13, 2021 Strategy Working Group Meeting

The Strategy Working Group met to discuss the following topics:

  • Work on adding questions to the student survey
  • Plan the build and distribution of the student survey
      The survey should answer:
    • What are students involved in, what are their interests?
    • What does the student's technology experience look like currently? How are they using technology to navigate campus and their lives?
    • What are the gaps between what their experience currently is and what it could be – how do we enhance their experience?

December 2, 2020 Technology Working Group Meeting

The Techology Working Group met to discuss the groups audit of existing institutional technologies and data sources that could potentialy be brought to bear in facilitating the Digital Engagement Initiative. Discussion topics were as follows

  • The working group walked through each submission in the inventory and we were able to ask clarifying questions and, in some instances, help tease out additional student-level information that could be contained in their respective data sources.
  • Several of the submissions show promise as being leveraged when the collaborative produces its ‘best practices’ deliverables.
  • One main takeaway was that technology solutions and data sources are very scattered, but several large platforms (i.e. Involvement Network, GAIL, etc.) are making strides to connect some of the parsed out data sources to paint a more complete (and individualized) picture of our students. However, these will take time and require a culture shift in certain departments.

Technology Working Group Next Steps:

  • The working group will meet again on Thursday, January 14 at 10am (calendar invite, including Zoom link forthcoming).
  • Working group members will continue to add technology systems/solutions to the inventory between now and our next meeting.
  • Working group members are asked to revisit their submissions and to dive deeper into the student-level information that could be pulled from those data sources (where applicable). Please keep in mind that we are talking beyond Banner information. (i.e. interests, preferences, engagement with certain events, hobbies, etc.)
  • Lastly, as a bit of brainstorming homework , please start thinking through (and writing down) what student-level information would be ideal to have to make digital engagement strategies more effective.

November 18, 2020 Strategy Working Group Meeting

The Strategy Working Group revisited the Digital Engagement Collaborative’s goals and defined some action items for the working group. Those action items include:

  • An internal survey of KPIs
  • Benchmarking against other institutions
  • Making Student input FIRST via focus groups
  • Developing best practices with case study examples
  • Get the word out - Reaching beyond the DE Collaborative

November 13, 2020 Technology Working Group Meeting

The Technology Working Group revisited the Digital Engagement Collaborative’s goals and discussed the assigned goals for the working group. To begin, the group tackled our first goal of “auditing existing technologies and data sources” by discussing what information would need to be captured as we inventoried various technology systems/solutions and data sources across campus. A product from this meeting was a finalized technology/data source inventory document that was shared with all members to use in collecting their thoughts and information. Each member will contribute to the inventory tracker document by December 2nd. At our next working group meeting on December 2nd, members will review the synthesized inventory and begin identifying overlaps and gaps in tech/data.

October 21, 2020 Collaborative Meeting

  • Discussed our case study exercise submissions and highlighted a few submitted case studies to analyze the key aspects of a good Digital Engagement Initiative.
  • Presented a framework to guide the next steps for the Collaborative which includes:
    • A draft vision statement
    • Core questions that the Collaborative will need to answer to succeed in implementing our vision.
    • Two deliverables for the Collaborative to work towards:
      • A Digital Engagement Road Map.
      • Making each collaborative member a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in digital engagement at The University of Georgia.
  • The Collaborative will be split into two working groups:
    • Technology - Lead by Justin Jeffery (International Student Life)
    • Strategy - Lead by Nancy Byron (Office of Online Learning)
  • The Collaborative will move to a rotation schedule with Working Groups/entire Collaborative meetings taking place every other month respectively.
  • Action items for next meeting:
    • Members will provide feedback on the Collaborative's Vision and Deliverables.
    • Members will organize into respective working groups by preference.
    • Working group leads will make contact with their group members and schedule their initial working group meetings and establish an agenda for first steps.

View the Meeting PowerPoint [pdf]


Wes Summers
Wes Summers

Office of the VP (Chair)

Emmie Bennett
Emmie G. Bennett

Disability Resource Center

Brent Betz
Brent Betz

University Housing

Taylor Cain
Taylor Cain

Engagement, Leadership, and Service

Larry Cloud
Larry Cloud

Undergraduate Admissions

William Draper
William Draper

Office of the VP

Greg Harmelink
Greg Harmelink

Development & Alumni Relations

Jessica Keever
Jessica Keever

University Housing

Chris Kopacz
Chris Kopacz

Student Conduct

Jamie Lewis
Jamie Lewis

University Marketing and Communications

Nikki Mottley
Nikki Mottley

University Health Center

Don Reagin
Don Reagin

Office of the Dean of Students

Kara Rex
Kara Rex

Greek Life

Lisa Williamson
Lisa Williamson

Recreational Sports