Wouldn’t it be nice to have a student success silver bullet — a magical fix that provides an immediate solution to higher ed student success challenges. Imagine being able to cut through the complexity of competing priorities, reach across silo-ed organizations, integrate disparate technology and tasks, and get individuals with all their personalities and politics to collaborate. Because silver bullets as problem-solvers only exist in the Lone Ranger universe, we’ll need to take a different approach.
Dr. Tina Balser, Director of Student Success Initiatives at the University of Missouri in Columbia in her recent EDUCAUSE Review post, explains why a socio-technical approach to student success is what higher education institutions should adopt. In her post “Moving Beyond Culture: A Socio-Technical Approach to Understanding Student Success Technology Adoption,” Dr. Balser writes,
A socio-technical approach to change considers an organization in the context of multiple factors that interact when planning change. A socio-technical approach recognizes two core areas: social (structure and people) and technical (technology and task). This broad approach helps in understanding the relationships between people, tasks, structures, and technology. When change takes place in one area, all areas must be evaluated to understand the impact on each of the components.
Recently, Graham and I had the opportunity to talk with Tina Balser and learn more about the socio-technical approach she advocates. To listen, subscribe through your favorite podcast app or you can listen here.
Dr. Tina Balser, Director of Student Success Initiatives, she has worked at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri for over ten years. Currently, she leads implementation, management, and assessment of student success initiatives and technologies. She works extensively with academic schools and colleges, faculty, and campus student support services to strategically align technologies with campus student success initiatives. Tina holds a BSBA in Business Administration from the University of Central Missouri, a M.Ed. and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri.