Students’ Achievements Displayed Online Using Readabout.me

Starting this semester, HVCC will be using software called Readabout.me to recognize student achievements online, offering students an online presence to share with potential schools and employers. “Basically this is a way for us to, more effectively, highlight student accomplishments and student achievements on campus. In some ways it serves as an online resume,” said Eric Bryant, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing. Readabout.me is a website that allows an academic institution to create individual profile pages for its students and list their accomplishments in both academic and non-academic activities.

Students, in turn, can edit their landing page and add on more achievements which the school may not have listed. They can then choose to share their page with friends and family on social media such as Facebook. In addition to allowing students to share the honors they receive, Readbout.me also tracks the hometown newspapers of each person being honored and sends out a press release to those newspapers. “It takes a lot of the back-end work of us trying to find those newspapers and reach the right person out of the equation,” said Bryant. This allows HVCC students from places like California, Puerto Rico, and Florida to have their achievements published in their local newspapers. Readabout.me was used by HVCC for the very first time on January 16th, when the President’s and Dean’s lists were released. Students on the lists were then sent an email informing them that their achievement was now online. Within two days of the lists’ release, 443 of the recognized students had shared their achievement on social media, mostly Facebook, resulting in about 8000 page-views of HVCC’s Readabout.me profiles
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Although so far, Readabout. me has only been used to display badges honoring students on the President’s and Dean’s lists, the college is planning to extend its use to other accomplishments over the semester. “Our hope is that…when [students] are appointed to a leadership position in a school club or an organization, when they are named to Phi Theta Kappa, when they get any other scholarships and honors here on campus, that we’ll be able to do that same thing,” said Bryant. The communications department will be notified of these honors and achievements by faculty, department chairs, club advisers, etc. Bryant has contacted many of these people to ask them to name students they wish to honor, and urges students to approach them also. “I really encourage students to, if they’re involved in any activities [or] academic honor societies, to talk to their advisers about that and how they might be able to benefit from being recognized,” he said.”

Among the other honors that Bryant hopes to display on Readabout.me are departmental awards, leadership in student clubs and organizations, participation in student government, athletic honors, membership in departmental honor societies, and graduation. The advantage students get from using Readabout. me as opposed to some other online means of displaying their accomplishments is that what is listed on Readabout.me is recognized directly by the college itself and, therefore, acts as evidence. “Those profile pages are live on the web, so if you want to show, let’s say, an employer or someone who’s maybe looking at you to transfer to another school…this is a college-verified list of achievements,” Bryant said. The stories about students’ honors that are displayed and sent to hometown newspapers are based on a template detailing the achievement. Information about the student’s name, hometown, and academic major is then imported from the system and inserted into the template.

Once Readabout.me begins to be used to promote more student accomplishments, badges displaying honors will automatically be added by the school every time a student achieves something new. Decisions regarding when exactly the college will start making more frequent use of Readabout.me and extend the range of honors have not yet been made. “It’s something that’s new for the college, but it’s something that I think could be very beneficial, not only for the students who are being recognized, but also for the college in general,” Bryant said.
For more information on this, visit HVCC’s Readabout. me page at readabout.me/edu/ hudson-valley-community-college

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