Digital Education Collaborations & Campus Brands 2.0 | A Portfolio Assessment

As a 21st century student who consumes the ‘college campus’ brand primarily in a digital space through emerging media platforms such as —LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Fan Pages, blogs, YouTube videos, Skype Conversations and Twitter streams— it’s nostalgic to think back upon a day when tall glass cabinets held countless relics that illustrated a school’s history, progress, and pledge to future advancements. Today instead of looking at microfilm images in the basement of a school’s main library, a newcomer to campus can just as easily click through a Flickr album online and enjoy these scanned in photographs whenever they like. And in-depth research assessing the changing trends in educational collaboration, notes that constantly evolving technology and social networks are undoubtedly the key factors behind the shifts taking place among students, professors, and administration staff internationally.

In order to achieve a stronger, more profound understanding when it came to studying modern day educational collaborations, I needed to approach the analysis at hand several ways. Therefore by combining a holistic review that included a mirco-level scholastic case study, a real time interview between two international students, a video database inventory journal and a collage interpretation related to all of the above, I began to see clearer connections that brought a myriad of unique academic institution cultures separated by continents and oceans together across the vast and open Internet range. Each artistic development within this portfolio bridges typical spaces that can be found at any given University, but goes beyond the concrete elements and instead focuses on highlighting the community narratives which speak to certain qualitative insights that had been previously buried and remained unknown.

Yet despite this expansive review of colleges from around the world, lingering questions remained long after I had completed the finishing touches and revised the last sentence. Where were the campuses that even with the technological advances and media rich content readily available online for learning, were still struggling to help teach their campus populations and engage in an effective dialogue beyond the classroom, and why were they struggling? Reluctantly, these questions must wait for now.

Monologue tangents that impede inspiration, philosophical influence, and historical context aside, during any process proper credit should be awarded to those helpful people, places and things that proved the difference between a quality resource and an eminent resource. With this particular portfolio compilation, everything that sprang forth creatively can indeed be traced back to one awe-inspiring article. In February 2010, higher education resource website CollegeSurfing.com posted the selected winners that would be honored in the inaugural Web 2.0 College Olympics. In keeping with Olympic tradition gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the most innovative campuses that were using a gamut of social media platforms to engage the campus community. With such a convenient sample pool already processed and organized for me, I culled through the recipients and selected LaTrobe University, located in Victoria, Australia for the subject of my first portfolio piece.

Opting to use the case study formula and show how LaTrobe University used online communities and social media vehicles such as iTunes University to develop interesting educational collaborations fit perfectly together. Breaking down an outline in this manner juxtaposes the commerce/finance perspective and social initiatives (i.e. education) against one another and more importantly slates the more ‘humanitarian’ goals against the corporate goals. As campus brands slowly begin to resemble Fortune 500 models, it was important that I not only studied educational collaborations as an initiative that leads to a higher return on relationships amid a university, high school, or elementary campus between parents, teachers, students and staff but its also paramount to consider how educational collaborations lend way to a return on investment as well.

In one particular example, it was interesting to interpret how LaTrobe University placed such a high internal value on their various social media milestones and celebrated what long terms effects this would have on their university (i.e. increased enrollment, better relationships/tax brackets from government, more research grant development, etc). In addition to using certain social networks like Twitter and Facebook, LaTrobe’s iTunes University channel offers an extensive podcast library. In preparing to design the sound piece for this portfolio, I decided that the podcast medium would be the best. My thinking being, that if it worked for LaTrobe so well, perhaps I would be just as fortunate.

Using a combination of free software for download called Audio Hijack and Skype (both were free, very cost effective) I worked with two international students from Hong Kong and Sao Paolo respectively to capture their thoughts and insights about educational collaborations and how digital media affects the way they engage and consume their individual campus programs. In asking Sam about how he consumes a campus brand and what types of collaborations took place in his program, he responded that when certain, traditional standards and protocol between a student and professor, coach or admissions counselor certain formalities fall away as everyone starts using online channels like Twitter DMs, Facebook Fan Page wall posts, LinkedIn messaging, or something else to communicate important, pertinent information around campus.

On the other hand, Elisa shared that she used a university’s active (or lack thereof) social media presence as a way to a gauge and rank a school’s overall quality. In the above portfolio element, I was only able to listen and experience educational collaborations taking place at LaTrobe University from a peripheral vantage point. However, by discovering a way to produce a short podcast program, in the future I’ll be able to create more pieces like this interview with Elisa and Sam. Perhaps over the next six months, I can strive to create my own podcast series that represents a set of conversations about education, collaborations, and digital communities with a point of contact at each school recognized in the Web 2.0 College Olympics.

Let’s take a moment and review a couple of interesting, and even somewhat shocking facts about YouTube before we get ready to discuss the next installation within the portfolio. According to reports from industry sources like Mashable and YouTube’s homepage as of February 2011, “YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month, who rack up an estimated 92 billion page views each month; On average there are more than 400 tweets per minute containing a YouTube link, and Facebook over 150 years worth of YouTube videos are watched every single day.” One must also consider that when it comes to Internet bandwidth, in a 24 hour period YouTube will use a percentage, the same percentage that in 2000 was sufficient to operate the entire Internet. So we’ve discussed the hard numbers and facts, but how does that relate to educational collaborations and analyzing how current students consume a campus brand. Well when YouTube is the #2 search engine platform behind Google, it’s clearly evident that online videos play a pivotal role when it comes to collaborating and debating within the academic context.

The revised collections of 12 videos that I selected all represent unique stories and illustrate a narrative about how two, three, or 44 people came together through networks, connections, and colleagues to help make the world’s learning environment better for students. Business leaders are lending a hand to help principals, superintendents, and deans back new programs and progressive additions to out dated curriculums; other volunteers continue to donate their time so that future generations will enter the work force with an adequate skill set that will help them personally and professionally. Students are also using the online sharing video sphere to showcase their campus’s diversity, student demographics, and extra curricular programs. Again, each video selected for this highlights an aspect of learning that incorporates some type of digital educational collaboration.

To bring everything full circle, the last component in this portfolio series is a custom designed image that features the word ‘Learn’ spelled out where each letter represents a certain theme to accompany the phrase, “Learn through Leadership, Excursions, Application, Risk, Now.” The Internet and Adobe Photoshop were the two primary materials used to make this piece. In working with collages in the past, I was challenged to translate an analog process and duplicate it using only digital tools such as screenshots, editing buttons with Photoshop and of course numerous creative common photos from digital archives like Flickr and Bing.

Not deterred nor intimated that I was going to need a mouse instead of scissors, glue and paper, I started the process by making canvas molds so that each letter ‘background’ piece would be consistent. I did not want each ‘letter’ piece to be the exact same font so I then selected a different style for each character. Cutting out pieces from pulled images online was actually much easier than I anticipated and through the course of designing the pieces I became obsessed with the lasso tool so that my shapes were not reduced to sharp edged rectangles and plain circles.

When any artist comments on their work, viewers sometimes feel like they’re learning about some special secret that took place backstage, or behind closed doors. Take a look at the black and white backdrops behind each letter. Each piece is a photo from different campuses represented in the Web 2.0 College Olympics article. Thankfully, these images put the final touch on this expression supporting my thoughts about digital educational collaborations and the new ways students are consuming campus brands.

Today’s instructors, study abroad coordinators, students and governing school officials stand at the beginning of a new and vastly different landscape than history’s ever seen before now. In order to solve global concerns like HIV/AIDs, Global Warming, and World Hunger future leaders must not only be proficient when it comes to technology but more importantly, they must know how to use certain online tools at their disposal which will make learning, collaborating and preparing for a future in the work force all the more easier and exciting. Accordingly, shifting patterns in student life, emerging online community platforms, and expanding networks that bring global virtual resources together despite geographic limitations will also affect campus brands around the world. In preparing students for their forthcoming professional aspirations, mentors, professors and colleagues must also prepare them to serve as world citizens; the two roles are not mutually exclusive. Digital educational collaborations must lay a strong, knowledgeable foundation.

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Learn through Video Lessons / Revised Collection

‘1947: Making A Book’
When users posted this video, they were actually giving student an extra bonus because this video clip shows two important lessons: The first lesson is more related to the history of how a medium (i.e. the book) was made, & the 2nd lesson is how you can share any lesson virally using free tools like YouTube.

‘Tate Tracks’ 
This video clip, although related to a B2B marketing lesson teaches viewers how to think beyond the restrictions of an iPod, or other portable music device. Learning about art, culture, music, and society constantly overlap so naturally it makes sense to blend sound and image media lessons at museum environment like the Tate.

‘The Halcyon Gallery Presents: Bob Dylan’s Drawn Blank Series’  
When the Halcyon Gallery made this video, Curators went a step beyond giving the viewer a lesson from the side historical notecard; Professor Maurice Cockrill, Head of The Royal Academy School actually conducts a mini art history lesson & demonstrates certain brush strokes Dylan used.

‘LipDub’ from Vellore Institute of Technology
This particular Indian university’s ‘LipDub’ is actually part of a larger university movement that has solicited over fifty responses from campuses around the world. A remix is one thing but when a group of students tour their university and lip synch while adding in some Bollywood dance moves .. you can’t deny that their efforts took collaboration.

‘A Nightmare on Selwyn’ from Queens University of Charlotte
Collaborative Consumption on a campus often means sharing resources amongst students, teachers, faculty, and staff. During the Swine Flu epidemic QUOC designed this quirky video to engage students but at the same time offer them valuable information about symptons, signs, and solutions from a campus nurse who could offer assistance.

‘LTU Strategic Plan Interview with Paul Johnson’ from LaTrobe University
In researching LaTrobe, when it comes to campus community they do a great job in bringing both administrative leaders & senior faculty in touch with the student population so that an active dialogue can take place and then be streamed into an online space and shared with the rest of the world.

‘NYU Professor Jeffery Carr Addresses Social Media & Customer Retention’
Enterprise Magazine conducted a interview from the New York University campus and spoke to leading industry expert and professor Jeffery Carr about how social media initiatives must be administered at the proper frequency with powerful content if a brand ever wishes to see a return on relationships and more importantly a return on investment.

‘Kickin’ It Scholastic Journalism Week’
Raising social awareness is a commonplace today but as history proves in this video, times were not always so proactive when it came to respecting individual’s beliefs. This video also ties in nicely to a message about how younger student interested in journalism should consider the evolving role of a media representative and what does it mean today?

‘Junior Achievement Teaches Lessons Beyond the Classroom’
The Junior Achievement Worldwide Volunteer Program exemplifies a successful non profit model which teaches each individual (both those in a class and those volunteering to teach class) how important serving one’s community is and other valuable lessons related to professional development, jobs, personal finance, team work, practice, integrity and citizenship.

‘No Right Brain Left Behind Initiative’
During Social Media Week 2011, founder Viktor Venson expressed a concern to his industry and used the power of networking, to not only raise awareness about a terrific cause he recently founded, but at the same time brought up a significant concern about how creative lessons are fading from the curriculum plans in classrooms across the US.

‘The Seed Foundation: An Institute for the Future’
This Washington D.C. charter school acts on an idea that every academic institution should embrace; the guiding philosophy behind the program at SEED teaches each person that they are accountable for their decisions, can achieve any level of success if they’re determined, and can always work hard at whatever endeavor they pursue.

‘The Future of Education’
The specific focus of this video’s lesson is to teach viewers about the slated extremes that different students endure when it comes to a comparing variety of factors including tuition rates, long term cost benefits, and student loans. Financial lessons like this also help raise awareness about which schools need more federal aid.

Digital Consumption, Campus Brands & Education 2.0

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction” – Picasso

INTRODUCTION:
Leather bound yearbooks, rugged ‘Letterman’ jackets, gold embossed rings, and other such nostalgic trinkets mournfully speak to a past moment when young co-eds arrived to a University, eagerly ready to consume every element – both minor and major – within an entire campus culture.  For four long years, these future thought leaders gave their academic achievements, activities, and community service the old college try in real time without a rampant Facebook addiction, subconsciously moving them to share their latest college follies online to friends and the free world.

Indeed as the academic process shifts from a time when the prospective student actually took a tour on foot and visited the buildings around a campus they were applying to, today it’s just as easy for one to save gas money and look up a virtual tour via Google Maps or perhaps browse through a tasteful set of photos thread into a properly tagged Flickr album posted by the student government president.  Without a doubt, today’s modern students, faculty, and a school’s staff members are all coming to the table and consuming the ‘campus’ brand in an entirely different way never before thought possible.  Even more interestingly though is how each of these parties are collaborating with one another to develop and build up an identity behind the campus brand they turn right around and imbibe. 

In the following case study we will analyze how La Trobe University, a multi-campus 4 year college, based in Victoria, Australia integrates social media collaboration between students, staff and faculty into their campus brand.  We’ll also look at the many ways an individual can consume the ‘La Trobe University’ campus identity in the digital space.

ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND: 
LaTrobe University; Victoria, Australia; 30,000+ students from over 90 countries; 3rd University to open in Victoria, Australia.

Named after Charles Joseph La Trobe … the first Superintendent of the Port Phillip District from 1839 to 1850 and first Lieutenant-Governor of the new colony of Victoria from 1851 to 1854. LaTrobe’s University founder was also responsible for supervising the establishment of self-government, the public library, art gallery, a university, and the development of the gold fields in Victoria.

On their ‘Coat of Arms’ … Australia is represented by the Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle, one of the world’s largest eagles. Victoria is represented by the sprigs of heath, Queen Victoria’s floral emblem. The open book refers to the University’s commitment to learning. The scallop shells are part of the La Trobe family bearings and have been included to acknowledge the La Trobe name.

CASES OF COLLABORATION:

#1 | Facebook.com/LaTrobe
When a marketing campaign comes together and unites ‘All current students, future students, alumni, staff and fans’ to support and share their individual story about how they relate to the ‘LaTrobe University’ brand, its immediately clear that the individuals coming together in a community sense at LaTrobe are all contributing their own content which feeds back into the pulse of the campus brand.  Various representatives, staff and student delegates use the university’s Facebook Fan Page to communicate important news announcement and other daily updates or fast facts  like the following, “Did you know that La Trobe has more women in senior academic roles than the average Australian Uni? A great place to start but a long way to go – check out http://bit.ly/mMYKC3 to see how La Trobe is addressing the gender gap.”  More importantly these collaborations, story telling, and discussions about LaTrobe as a culture resonate across the website and inspire those not yet participating to perhaps join in with the community’s energy.

On Campus… Extra curricular student organizations use Facebook.com/LaTrobe to cross promote meeting announcements, function details, and welcome messages to new members making those involved in the larger LaTrobe community feel even more connected to small niche sub groups.  A perfect example was displayed earlier this week, The Asian Student Association posted details about their next club function on the LaTrobe Facebook Wall … “I thought it would be useful for international and local Asian students at La Trobe to join the Asian students association if they haven’t done so. It is a very useful group and you guys could find friends, hang out and etc. I suggest you guys to join if you haven’t already done so :)”

#2 | La Trobe University on iTunes U
When it comes to tapping the podcast market and building brand awareness around a campus brand, it’s hard to imagine anyone who might do it better than the folks at LaTrobe. Collaborating to build the campus brand doesn’t just mean getting the on site community involved, an organization should and can take it to the next level. Just look at these incredible stats since LaTrobe began this operation in October 2009.  The podcast series is a perfect way to display the collaborative spirit that exists on campus, just listen in to the interview between Student Producer Matt Smith and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of International John Rosenberg

On Campus … With the continuing development of their content and channel, LaTrobe is rolling out new feature stories to include interviews student leaders, helpful points of contact that an incoming 1st year might not meet or know what their position is, and a class review series which gives others considering course feedback on how their peers felt about the class.  The free lectures that professors post are also helpful when it comes to catching up on that Biology class you missed instead of wasting paper and scrambling notes from your study buddy.

Other interesting statistics about LaTrobe’s iTunes U channel…
– 450+ podcasts are available from La Trobe and 5 have ranked in the ’Top 100’ on iTunes U
– Notable interviews include former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser, Nobel Prize winner in medicine Professor Harald zur Hausen, & human rights and refugee advocate Julian Burnside,
– In December 2010 more than 1 million podcasts produced from LaTrobe University had been downloaded from around the world.

#3 | YouTube.com/LaTrobeMarketing
As part of a collaborative celebration, honoring LaTrobe University’s Extra Curricular activity revival, over 100 students, faculty and staff performed an adlibbed dance and song to ‘Learnalilgivinanlovin’ by ARIA award winning artist, Goyte.   The performance also featured extravagantly dressed participants from India, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Sweden and Australia.

The infamous campus ‘LipDub’ (LaTrobe was the 1st University to participate in Australia) was produced together with student theatre director Bob Pavlich, the Student Guild, and in association with screen production company, Suitcase Murphy.  Since starting in Germany in 2008, the ‘universitylipdub.com‘ movement has attracted more than fifty responses from universities worldwide.  Who wouldn’t want to come together and build up their campus brand for the sake of garnering a quick flash of YouTube Fame?  To date LaTrobe is the leading Australian representative on the founding site.

On Campus … After participating in the LaTrobe LipDub, students can then go online to connect with other universities who also submitted their videos to the main website and carry a relationship initially launched online to more offline discussions through comments, cross sharing other places students could connect online (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).

#4 | Twitter.com/LaTrobe
When one thinks about a university campus, there’s obviously a vast amount of information to share and discuss when it comes to the campus brand. Every day, using 140 characters or less, 2,385 students, teachers, and staff members connect across the LaTrobe University system via Twitter. The site not only shares an ‘RSS’ of straight news about LaTrobe between these parties, but members aren’t afraid to have a little fun while making their collaborations personal. There’s a significant trend between sharing links, photos, videos, and more through Twitter to one another as well.

On Campus … When graduation commencement time rolls around, students can give special well wishes and share memories from their time a University and what they learned like this alum did recently, “@gsyoung @latrobe Thanks for a fantastic Graduation ceremony today at Alb/Wod. http://t.co/0IWHtgg .. 1:56 AM Apr 15th via Twitter for iPhone’

CONSUMPTION SCENARIOS:

#1 | The ‘Web 2.0 College Olympics‘ sponsored by CollegeSurfing.com
LaTrobe Unviersity’s campus keeps a fine ear to the ground when it comes to tracking their social media presence and online reputation.  In an exciting development during 2010, news hit the community that LaTrobe had just earned a silver medal in the Web 2.0 College ‘Olympics’ run by Collegesurfing. com.  The global contest in which La Trobe came 15th – was the only university outside the US to reach the top fifty.  For those aware and consuming educational news, this was a report to watch and a place where LaTrobe earned major props when it came to their campus brand.

#2 EDUCAUSE
When considering the many ways a person could pick up references and tidbits that lead them to swallowing a tiny piece of the ‘LaTrobe University’ campus brand, a myriad of social network platforms come to mind.  However, one unturned stone in particular that leaves a trail back to the campus identity stems from a former faculty member who served as an Educational Designer for the University.  As a contributing writer for the blog, EDUCAUSE (a nonprofit geared toward advancing higher education through IT) Catherine Howell was able to post stories, ideas, thoughts, musings and observations for the free running online world to consume about her role at LaTrobe and her history there.  Her efforts served as a leaping point for one to further investigate LaTrobe University and the campus brand it represents.

#3 | A LinkedIn Presence
Although this platform has been around since 2003, it’s not necessairly the first place one might turn to consume a brand online. However the rate at which this is changing is staggering, and surprise, surprise, LaTrobe University is already ahead of the curve.  Want to ask a professor about the specifics of a degree program and what they teach?  Just connect with Law Professor Craig Scoggie, .  Want to get in touch with John Rosenberg, Deputy Vice- Chancellor for Development and International who oversees the internationalization planning/implementing strategy for the campus?  Send him a LinkedIn invite.  LaTrobe University also encourages former alumni (all 135,000) to join the official LinkedIn Group so that even graduates can still consume their campus brand beyond the stage.

#4 | LaTrobe University in Analog Media gone Digital…
Conveniently, for those who still use ProQuest to pull from Newspapers, Magazines, and other ‘outgoing’ media, LaTrobe University is also holding a strong presence within in these platforms as well. Anyone so inclined to do a quick Google search will come across a variety of articles featured in places like The Hindustan TimesPreston-Leader.whereilive.com.au, or Aglasem.com to name a few.  While this campus brand is certainly enjoying people consuming their identity across new, interactive, and engaging platforms, they also see no reason to disregard the old all together.

Users Be Aware and Integrate Social Media Positively with your Brand: 
Village efforts of all kinds make up a brand identity that cause it to spread widely amongst the public masses.  Consumption occurs across a plethora of different media vehicles.  A truly progressive institution makes their campus brand known for consistency and thoughtful intelligence, regardless of where one learns about them and endures a first impression.

By incorporating numerous emerging media platforms into their core communications model and continuing to post thoughtful/relevant content, LaTrobe is actively taking steps and already achieving milestones with their enrollment.  In a recent article from Upstart.net.au, discussing how LaTrobe plans to act competively with recruiting incoming University student, Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson remarked, “We have done set ourselves a growth target for student expansion to increase undergraduate numbers by 30% for 2015 and we’re well on the way for that. This year for instance across our regional campuses first-year enrolments was 30-40% above what it has been in previous years. And enrolment was 25% higher in Melbourne.” Because recruiting efforts are heavily toted via LaTrobe’s different social media channels, branded messages about the University’s well rounded environment not only come across in posts, but in videos, pictures, podcasts, and more.

Of course with much good comes much caution.  In considering how a University system begins to develop a social media communications model, governing leaders must also remember to constantly monitor safety/privacy practices.  Support strong IT support systems that can field any large scale virus attacks and above all things consider the representing voice of the organization when it takes the stage publicly on Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc.  If an organization fails to administer an authentic, ethical and professional manner – the negative consequences will long out due any good that might come from engaging in these online communities.

L.E.A.R.N. through Video / 1st Version

(L1)
LaTrobe’s LipDub submission is actually a more cultural montage of the Australian University scene but at certain times you can see things spring up that are universally intrinsic to the academic institution such as social prostests, homo and hetero relationships, gender identity, etc. Also by emphazing costimes we see a imaginative collboeation from the school’s theatre department.

L2

In researching LaTrobe, when it comes to campus community they do an incredible job in bringing both administrative leaders and senior faculty in touch with the student population so that an active dialogue can take place and then be streamed into an online space and shared with the rest of the world.

L3

Of course green technology development is a key topic when it comes to progressive social movements that only bring together communities, but they more importantly bring together world leaders so that ideas can be exchanged to understand where the problems are originating from. Bonus, at one point the technology was on an iPhone.

E1

In a medical and political sense it is incredible to see how an international study program teaches two social classes how to collaborate with one another and solve problems. The NYU Global Brigades Initiative sets a bar for how social good can be shared through video., travel, and in education.

E2

The building’s where this university is hosted was designed by Louie XIV, in the 1960s a English musician turned it into an academy for Fashion, Interior Design, and Art. Today a interested student can learn more about studying abroad by watching this video. The formula used to share this media is collaborative consumption.

E3

Really enjoyed how this particular video combined text, with photographs, with architechture, with music, with art and travel to portray a narrative through a social media about a summer education initative. One can extract specific cultural elements within the video that show culture consumption. Plus the song is super snappy.

A1

Collaborative Consumption on a campus often means sharing resources amongst students, teachers, faculty, and staff. During the swine flu epidemic QUOC designed this quirly video to engage students but at the same time offer them valuable information aboutt symptons, signs, and solutions from a campus nurse who could offer assisance.

A2

San Diego State University is a progressive institution that pulled several different resoureces together so that they could collaborate on how to devlop the nation’s first student vetran housing. The result.. traumatized service men and women have a established and safe community on this campus which also provides easy access to psychological, academic, emotional and personal resources.

A3

The interesting part about this video is that it combines two different digital media to convey a message about collaborative consumption that is taking place at Marquette. Another thing that is special is that the viewer can expand their own network and connect with the tiwtter handles displayed during the clip.

(R1)
When it comes to the college sports arena, one sees a sort of climax surrounding collaborative consumption. Faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, coaches, players are all under one roof to collectively cheer on the fighting school spirit. Or in this case earn the record for largest thriller dance off. Inspring.

(R2)
This pariicular Indian university’s ‘LipDub’ is actually part of a larger university movement that has solicited over fifty responses from campuses around the world. A remix is one thing but when a group of students tour their university and lip synch while adding in some Bollywood dance moves .. you can’t deny that took collaboration.

(R3)
Pop culture references, a Mascot Battle, and a YouTube Channel dedicated to the shenanigans that ensued between the faculty, staff, and students when trying to decided on who should be the next Roanoke College figure heard. The voting system is a collaborative effort… not unlike American Idol or Dancing with the Stars.

(N1)
The citizen journalist role in collaborative consumption takes on a new form when they are able to translate the human interest story from real life and then stream it instantly on to the Internet, blog, twttier account, or Facebook Fan Page rom their iPhone or smart phone device like here.

 (N2)
Although this clip appears fixiated on conveying a modern and easy to access information by rolling figures out along with pretty accompanying infographics, there is still a story of collaborative consumption here. Someone team of people had to come together and make this presentation look consistent and cohesive.

(N3)
In my opinion a true collaborative consumption piece that took place right here in town not all that long ago. February 2011 was a strange month indeed and this video does a impeccable job capturing the cross section of individuals who were affected by the 2011 Blizzard on the UT-Dallas campus.

CONSUMING THE CAMPUS BRAND 2.0

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction” – Picasso

INTRODUCTION:
Leather bound yearbooks, rugged ‘Letterman’ jackets, gold embossed rings, and other such nostalgic trinkets mournfully speak to a past moment when young co-eds arrived to a University setting ready to consume every element within an entire campus culture.  For four long years, these future thought leaders gave their academic achievements, activities, and community service the old college try in real time without the saturating Facebook mentality, subconsciously moving them to share their latest college follies online to friends and the free world.

Indeed as the academic process shifts from a time when the prospective student actually took a tour on foot and visited the buildings around a campus they were applying to, today it’s just as easy for one to save gas money and look up a virtual tour via Google Maps or perhaps browse through a tasteful set of photos thread into a properly tagged Flickr album posted by the student government president.  Without a doubt, today’s modern students, faculty, and a school’s staff members are all coming to the table and consuming the ‘campus’ brand in an entirely different way never before thought possible.  Even more interestingly though is how each of these parties are collaborating with one another to develop and build up an identity behind the campus brand they turn right around and imbibe. 

In the following case study we will analyze how La Trobe University, a multi-campus 4 year college, based in Victoria, Australia integrates social media collaboration between students, staff and faculty into their campus brand.  We’ll also look at the many ways an individual can consume the ‘La Trobe University’ campus identity in the digital space.

ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND:
LaTrobe University; Victoria, Australia; 30,000+ students from over 90 countries; 3rd University to open in Victoria, Australia.

Named after Charles Joseph La Trobe … the first Superintendent of the Port Phillip District from 1839 to 1850 and first Lieutenant-Governor of the new colony of Victoria from 1851 to 1854. LaTrobe’s University founder was also responsible for supervising the establishment of self-government, the public library, art gallery, a university, and the development of the gold fields in Victoria.

On their ‘Coat of Arms’ … Australia is represented by the Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle, one of the world’s largest eagles. Victoria is represented by the sprigs of heath, Queen Victoria’s floral emblem. The open book refers to the University’s commitment to learning. The scallop shells are part of the La Trobe family bearings and have been included to acknowledge the La Trobe name.

CASES OF COLLABORATION:

#1 | Facebook.com/LaTrobe
When a marketing campaign comes together and unites ‘All current students, future students, alumni, staff and fans’ to support and share their individual story about how they relate to the ‘LaTrobe University’ brand, its immediately clear that the individuals coming together in a community sense at LaTrobe are all contributing their own content which feeds back into the pulse of the campus brand.  More importantly these collaborations, story telling, and discussions about LaTrobe as a culture resonate across the website and inspire those not yet participating to perhaps join in with the community’s energy.

#2 | La Trobe University on iTunes U
When it comes to tapping the podcast market and building brand awareness around a campus brand, it’s hard to imagine anyone who might do it better than the folks at LaTrobe. Collaborating to build the campus brand doesn’t just mean getting the on site community involved, an organization should and can take it to the next level. Just look at these incredible stats since LaTrobe began this operation in October 2009:
– 450+ podcasts are available from La Trobe and 5 have ranked in the ’Top 100’ on iTunes U
– Notable interviews include former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser, Nobel Prize winner in medicine Professor Harald zur Hausen, & human rights and refugee advocate Julian Burnside,
– In December 2010 more than 1 million podcasts produced from LaTrobe University had been downloaded from around the world.
-The podcast series is a perfect way to display the collaborative spirit that exists on campus, just listen in to the interview between Student Producer Matt Smith and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of International John Rosenberg

#3 | YouTube.com/LaTrobeMarketing
Who wouldn’t want to come together and build up their campus brand for the sake of garnering a quick flash of YouTube Fame?  As part of a collaborative celebration, honoring LaTrobe University’s Extra Curricular activity revival, over 100 students, faculty and staff performed an adlibbed dance and song to ‘Learnalilgivinanlovin’ by ARIA award winning artist, Goyte.  Now that’s bringing together some star power.  The performance also featured extravagantly dressed participants from India, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Sweden and Australia.  The infamous campus ‘LipDub’ (LaTrobe was the 1st University to participate in Australia) was produced together with student theatre director Bob Pavlich, the Student Guild, and in association with screen production company, Suitcase Murphy.  Since starting in Germany in 2008, the ‘universitylipdub.com‘ movement has attracted more than fifty responses from universities worldwide.

#4Twitter.com/LaTrobe
When one thinks about a university campus, there’s obviously a vast amount of information to share and discuss when it comes to the campus brand. Every day, using 140 characters or less, 2,385 students, teachers, and staff members connect across the LaTrobe University system via Twitter. The site not only shares an ‘RSS’ of straight news about LaTrobe between these parties, but members aren’t afraid to have a little fun while making their collaborations personal. There’s a significant trend between sharing links, photos, videos, and more through Twitter to one another as well.

CONSUMPTION SCENARIOS:

#1 | The ‘Web 2.0 College Olympics‘ sponsored by CollegeSurfing.com
LaTrobe Unviersity’s campus keeps a fine ear to the ground when it comes to tracking their social media presence and online reputation.  In an exciting development during 2010, news hit the community that LaTrobe had just earned a silver medal in the Web 2.0 College ‘Olympics’ run by Collegesurfing. com.  The global contest in which La Trobe came 15th – was the only university outside the US to reach the top fifty.  For those aware and consuming educational news, this was a report to watch and a place where LaTrobe earned major props when it came to their campus brand.

#2 | EDUCAUSE
When considering the many ways a person could pick up references and tidbits that lead them to swallowing a tiny piece of the ‘LaTrobe University’ campus brand, a myriad of social network platforms come to mind.  However, one unturned stone in particular that leaves a trail back to the campus identity stems from a former faculty member who served as an Educational Designer for the University.  As a contributing writer for the blog, EDUCAUSE (a nonprofit geared toward advancing higher education through IT) Catherine Howell was able to post stories, ideas, thoughts, musings and observations for the free running online world to consume about her role at LaTrobe and her history there.  Her efforts served as a leaping point for one to further investigate LaTrobe University and the campus brand it represents.

#3 | A LinkedIn Presence
Although this platform has been around since 2003, it’s not necessairly the first place one might turn to consume a brand online. However the rate at which this is changing is staggering, and surprise, surprise, LaTrobe University is already ahead of the curve.  Want to ask a professor about the specifics of a degree program and what they teach?  Just connect with Law Professor Craig Scoggie, .  Want to get in touch with John Rosenberg, Deputy Vice- Chancellor for Development and International who oversees the internationalization planning/implementing strategy for the campus?  Send him a LinkedIn invite.  LaTrobe University also encourages former alumni (all 135,000) to join the official LinkedIn Group so that even graduates can still consume their campus brand beyond the stage.

#4 | LaTrobe University in Analog Media gone Digital…
Conveniently, for those who still use ProQuest to pull from Newspapers, Magazines, and other ‘outgoing’ media, LaTrobe University is also holding a strong presence within in these platforms as well. Anyone so inclined to do a quick Google search will come across a variety of articles featured in places like The Hindustan Times, Preston-Leader.whereilive.com.au, or Aglasem.com to name a few.  While this campus brand is certainly enjoying people consuming their identity across new, interactive, and engaging platforms, they also see no reason to disregard the old all together.

CONCLUSION: Village efforts of all kinds make up a brand identity that cause it to spread widely amongst the public masses.  Consumption occurs across a plethora of different media vehicles.  A truly progressive institution makes their campus brand known for consistency and thoughtful intelligence, regardless of where one learns about them and endures a first impression.