Mapping the Online Student Experience: Strategies for Managing the Online Student Lifecycle from Lead Generation to Graduation

Concurrent Session 7
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This workshop shares best practices and tools for developing a comprehensive support plan for fully online students.  Facilitators will share strategies for supporting prospective and current online students.  Participants will receive tips for managing online student success from lead generation to graduation.


Leonia Houston is an Instructional Designer for the University of Memphis, experienced online instructor and eLearning specialist with over eight (8) years experience working in higher education. She received a Bachelor of Accounting ('07) and Master of Science in Instructional Design ('08) from Mississippi State University. She has been involved in technology professional development and service to faculty and preservice educators at the University of Memphis since 2009, and has served on several campus advisory committees centered around faculty development, student success and technology innovations. She is member of several organizations dedicated to research on the implementation of technology in education and has presented at a number of local, regional and national conferences around the country.

Extended Abstract

The Academic Innovation Support Services division launched a full suite of fully online programs at the University of Memphis called UofM Global. One of the goals in the launch of UofM Global was to establish innovative approaches for servicing online students from the point of lead generation until graduation. These goals for innovative approaches required us to analyze and review our current strategies for servicing fully online students and make adjustments that were unique to the kind of student that meets the online student demographic at our institution. In this workshop, we will share our efforts to map and support fully online students. We will identify strategies we used to attain, retain and prepare our fully online students for successful matriculation. We will share the rationale for creating the UofM Global Concierge role, a virtual assistant made available to prospective and current student. This role is currently responsible for managing leads captured from our ongoing marketing campaign and our student focused marketing website. Those leads are then subject to an intensive and full-service recruiting strategy we have coined as AIM (Assess, Inform and Match). The “Assess” stage is information gathering: prospective students are given access to our readiness assessment suite (Smart Start) while the concierge reviews major selection, evaluates unofficial transcripts, and researches CPL options.  “Inform” allows the concierge and student to come back together to share their discoveries and decide on the best academic path. This brings them to the “Match” stage, which pairs the new student with their academic advisor; the concierge supplies both parties with a summary of the discussion to date, allowing the matched pair to move seamlessly into course selection. As the student continues to matriculate through their online program, they will receive advice and tools specific to their student profile and program of study.