The University of Puget Sound has come up with some creative ways to use the campus LoggerCard system to improve the experience of and collect data about the fourth quadrennial Race & Pedagogy National Conference that will be held on campus in September. The effort has attracted the attention of the vendors of the system, CBORD, which has nominated the university for its Visionary Award. The award recognizes the creative uses of CBORD solutions by an organization, and honors excellence in innovative applications of CBORD systems.
“The University of Puget Sound is visionary in leading the liberal arts colleges with the creative uses of CBORD Solutions,” noted Kelley DeMarchi, director of marketing for CBORD. “The university will be able to quantify engagement with the Race and Pedagogy National Conference in September, providing analytics and assessment through the data CBORD provides for the very first time.”
Assessment has been vital to the Race & Pedagogy National Conference from its beginning, allowing each conference to build on the experiences and lessons of previous events. Tasha Helton, systems analyst in business services at Puget Sound, explained that with past conferences it was difficult to get complete counts of attendance and required extraordinary human labor to collect, process, and analyze data about attendees and their conference experiences.
By issuing special conference LoggerCards to presenters, alumni, and community participants, Race & Pedagogy Institute will be able to compare registration to actual attendance, measure the diverse characteristics of conference-goers and the particular sessions they attend, and continue the work of understanding the complex impact of the conference for different constituencies.
The system works with university’s donor and alumni databases — the conference coincides with Homecoming and Family Weekend Sept 27–29 — so the new information will give a picture of participation among those groups. Analysis of the data will help conference organizers track the most well-attended sessions to identify speakers and topics for future programming, and the data could aid with fundraising for future events among current donors, other participants, and grantmaking organizations. Plus, it will make registration and check-in at the conference more efficient.
“It’s a great honor just to be nominated,” noted Helton, who points out that most of the nominees are from large state universities and sizable medical organizations. “We’re proud of the work we’re doing to use these tools in analysis of the conference and identify participation for different constituents.”
Award winners will be announced in July and honored at CBORD’s Excellence Awards Dinner during its annual user group conference in October.