How do you really get to know your target audience? For me it’s listening, dissecting, and engaging. And that’s what I did while working at OnlinePlus, the continuing education department at Colorado State University. There’s a ton of data out there about online students: demographics, age, gender, etc. But for me, this job was about understanding the emotional aspect of what it’s like to be an online student. Unfortunately, getting an advanced degree online can add even more stress to a person’s life (being a full-time working parent, making mortgage payments, taking care of elder parents, ect). To alleviate this, I created online webinars that connected prospective masters degree students to CSU faculty, current students, and alumni. Overall, the webinars increased emotional touches in the sales funnel, applications, and course enrollments.
I trained CSU engineering faculty how to use Canvas, the software used for online education at CSU. My favorite part of the training process was identifying each faculty’s technological skills then building a training session to help them learn Canvas for teaching online.