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WWT Ideation Gives Voice to UA Freshmen

WWT's comprehensive ideation services offered a unique experience to a group of first year college students at the University of Arizona.

WWT's comprehensive ideation services offered a unique experience to a group of first year college students at the University of Arizona. A Student Journey Mapping workshop allowed the former freshmen to express their thoughts on moments throughout their first year of college that elated, confused or frustrated them. The findings will be used alongside other campus groups to find trends and opportunities for creating great experiences for students.

Posted by The University of Arizona on August 22, 2018:

What does a day in the life of a UA first-year look like? And how is technology supporting their academic goals?

These are the important questions a group of technologists, staff, and faculty were recently asking former freshmen as part of a three-day Student Journey Mapping workshop.

Led by University Information Technology Services, and facilitated by vendor WWT, the journey mapping workshop captured the voice of the student to understand their experience, behaviors, and feelings during their first year at the University of Arizona.

The UA is fortunate to have a better than average freshman retention rate, with 80% of students making it past their freshman year, while the nationwide average retention rate for first year students is 71%.

Regardless, the first year of college can be eye opening for students for a variety of reasons. The journey mapping workshop allowed students to share important insights as they traversed their first year journey, revealing areas of trepidation, confusion, elation, and frustration.

“There were a lot of things I didn’t know as a freshman,” said Amy Barrientos, a pre-business sophomore. She continued, “But making my voice heard and speaking for students who are in similar situations as me is going to help them in the future.”

The idea for the workshop originated from Darcy Van Patten, Executive Director, Student and Academic Technologies for UITS. According to Van Patten, “As technology continues to evolve, the way students use and consume technology is changing, too. Direct input from students will help us fine tune our strategies and ensure we are on the right path to provide the tools and services for them to be successful.”

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