As someone who works in higher education, I am constantly looking at cycles. My primary scope of work is Temple University’s undergraduate enrollment cycle, where I work closely with members of my team to recruit and retain new students. While the waterfall method still exists in certain projects, I have observed that the majority of the work that we do follows an agile model.
For starters, we work on projects as they come up. If we get a university partner request or have a time-sensitive news article come up, we pull up to discuss it and think of innovative ways to promote the content. We look at it from different angles. Whether it be print, social media, web, email, etc., we think about how the content can be scaled from from platform to another. We also include our stakeholders from day one when we kick off the project, and keep them updated throughout the entire process. They offer key insights to ensure the work is getting done correctly.
My team has also started using robust user testing and student feedback tools to ensure the content we are creating is resonating with the audience. We regularly review these pieces of student feedback to see how our work aligns with what students want to see. This year, we kicked off a TikTok advertising campaign, which is something that we didn’t have the bandwidth to do in the past. We primarily use Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook for our advertising posts and have started sourcing organic content from students for a more authentic feel so what we’re promoting. In the past, advertising was not this flexible, and we would re-use content from year over year based on wherever we were at in the current advertising cycle. Now, we bring in content at any point in the year that we feel it is necessary to swap out content, as opposed to following the strict model we used in the past.
Creating videos and ads for Temple’s TikTok account has been an agile-based process.
Overall, I am lucky to work on such an innovative team for a university that offers agile learning options for students as well. From online classes to hands-on learning to internships, there are many paths for our students to take. We have also implemented more flexible learning programs for nontraditional students, and Temple understands that not all students have the same wants and needs. We try to offer something for everyone—and I’m glad that my team has also adapted with the times.
- Should higher ed be more agile or waterfall based?
- Are there any downsides to being fully agile at this point in time? Why or why not?
- How has COVID-19 shaped online learning?