Large, research-extensive university serving more than 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
University advising teams are critical to a student’s ability to follow the appropriate course of study and graduate as planned. The pain point: if you don’t advise a student properly, it could cost that student another year in college, a significant, very costly mistake for the students. This university’s dedicated academic advising teams were not achieving the student retention targets and were challenged to improve the student advising experience to address the issue. The long-tenured college advising teams, had recently merged into a single, university-wide organization and were poised to significantly increase the number of advisors.
Faced with hundreds of program changes each term, the advisors relied heavily on their tribal knowledge and learning about nearly all critical updates through email. Keeping up with the changes and finding correct information when they needed it was particularly challenging. Rather than over-engineer a solution, we simply decided to capture knowledge in one place (not email), and start a new habit that would be simple and as effortless as possible to adopt. They built a short template such that each time anyone saw an email update, they would repurpose the information into the template and post it in the free wiki that was already available on campus. For those who normally sent out the updates in an email, they also redirected their behavior toward the wiki. This one simple, but far-reaching new habit became part of how the advisors did their jobs, and they did this with the resources they had in place.
While we had no official metrics or measures, we could see the usage patterns. By redirecting the source of knowledge to the wiki, the advisors had 18 times more article views then new article creations in just six weeks. We had solid indicators that the new habits were being adopted and that it was the behaviors, not the tools, bells and whistles, that were critical to knowledge sharing. They practiced the Klever way: put knowledge you receive into a place where everyone can access it. Search that location first, every single time, rather than interrupt a colleague, use it and improve it, or create a new article.
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