Partner Since: September, 2017 Student Users: 300
Hours Logged: 231 (thru 12/2017) Economic Impact: $5,024
Building a Culture of Service
Service is an integral part of many college experiences, as students come to understand more about themselves, their passions, and the organizations dedicated to improving the communities around them. But often, the mechanics of finding opportunities, understanding organizations, and telling a story about one’s service journey make it hard for students and programs to focus on that experience.
When the Honors Program at Loyola University New Orleans started working with MobileServe in 2016, the students were using a system that is surprisingly prevalent when it comes to measuring community service impact in colleges around the country – pen and paper. There was a binder in the Honors section of the library where students could enter their hours, but that proved to be ineffective.
“We tracked student service events but didn’t know where they were spending their time outside of events,” explained Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, Director of the University Honors Program at LOYNO. “It was really hit or miss as far as people entering their hours go. We wanted to build some metrics around impact.”
After a Google Document fell apart, they tried to have the service coordinator, an Honors student who is required to be at every organized event, track it all on paper. After a set of frustrating experiences, they finally upgraded to MobileServe and haven’t looked back.
Student engagement surges
The current service coordinator and an officer in the Honors Student Association, sophomore Ariel Hall, says that the students love the convenience of the mobile app. “I have been very pleased with MobileServe and how easy it is to use, it’s been great to get more people involved and logging hours in a timely fashion,” she says. “I can use kiosk mode to check everyone into events, and it’s nice that at the end of the experience that all the students can log their own hours and capture their reflections before they leave. Then I can verify and accept all the hours in one mouse click, which saves time. It’s super easy.”
MobileServe makes it easy to track student hours in real time and get them confirmed right away, eliminating the need for forms.
Contributing to something bigger than yourself
An added benefit of the platform is actively instilling the culture of service in honors students from the beginning. By making communications with students easier, allowing them to easily RSVP for events, check-in and out, and build infographics and reports, MobileServe helps emphasize the importance of service within the Honors experience.
MobileServe’s ease of use also makes it easy to building a service resume reflecting their entire collegiate career. “Many more people are logging hours so when you complete your junior year, your entire record is right there on your service resume,” added University Honors Program Student Association President Nicole Margavio. “It has exceeded my expectations.”
Reflection transforms activity to experience
In addition to being a timesaver and a better way for the students to “humble brag” about their achievements via the social media integrations, the reporting has revealed information far richer and more detailed than they ever expected. “MobileServe is not just a data tracking tool,” attests Dr. Yavneh Klos, “it creates data that can be used to make informed decisions on curriculum and pedagogy. It gives me a chance to learn about all the different projects that the students are into – homelessness, prisons, environmental policy, and immigration are among the most popular areas. We are learning more about the students’ interests which can help shape some of their curricular decisions down the road. MobileServe makes it easy to aggregate the data for the students in a meaningful way. Service resumes are huge for scholarships, graduate schools, and jobs but we’ve also been able to secure grants for projects thanks to being able to report on and prove all that the students have accomplished.”
Make it fun
Dr. Yavneh Klos also noted that students love taking pictures and, through the MobileServe Photos feature, you can add pictures to tell the story. “I encourage the students that if something cool happens which can help tell the story, capture it in a picture. I like the photos feature and the reflections which have been very helpful in terms of making students think through what type of activities count as service. The students have been a huge part of our success with MobileServe. And it’s more fun to track it all in an app!”
Whether the Honors students and faculty of Loyola University New Orleans are putting on a fundraiser for hurricane relief, educating and rehabilitating prisoners or recycling for Mardi Gras, MobileServe captures their experiences and automates the administrative pieces so they can focus on serving their community.
Interested in learning more about how MobileServe can help you track and share your social impact? Click on the link below!