Monday, December 3, 2012

Academic Customer Service

Our esteemed Dean of Faculty shared with us a great article on academic customer service earlier today.  I'd like to extend on that discussion as it is such an important topic.  Here is another article that I believe offers additional insight and perspective into the importance of embracing this concept and academic customer service approach in our daily teaching.

As the author of the article identifies, this is a quandary for many - but does it really need to be or are we merely looking at the "customer service" entity from too much of a business perspective rather than an educational collaboration?  

"Education should be approached as a collaborative engagement between people in which we each bring  to the table different skills and needs. Students bring insights and perspectives that teachers need to embrace if they are to keep learning. Educators bring deep expertise in their fields that can stimulate student interest and engagement – the basis of learning."

Mr. Hampson's post focuses on the approach he and his colleagues in management took to address customer service needs of students outside of the academic realm so as to make things simple and easy elsewhere- that way, if there were academic customer service issues within the academic realm they may not be as prevalent.  But as Mr. Hampson stated, "It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s certainly better than treating students like crap in the name of academic standards." 

I challenge each of us to take this even further, though, and bring it into the academic realm so that the last statement of "in the name of academic standards" isn't even a thought; rather, let's embrace the educational collaboration perspective...serving our students serves their education, and we are in the business of education. 

Heather Thomton-Stockman
Online Instructional Specialist

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