Rise Activities describe any kind of synchronous and person-to-person opportunity for students. They can be anything from a one-off event to a sustained project over months, they can be online or in-person, available to a select group or open to the masses. You get the gist – but for illustration, see the ‘get-involved‘ area of the website. They contrast with our more asynchronous self-study packs.
Like everything else in the Rise, our platform is custom-built to support the functions we need. It may be helpful, before continuing to understand why we took this approach rather than use an out-of-the-box solution. As we worked through our pilot phase, we identified a number of things that couldn’t be supported by existing platforms (and which joining existing apps together to achieve felt messy). In particular, we needed;
- A solution to support bookings onto Rise opportunities with a connection to the Student Record System and single-sign-on. The approach needed to be able to facilitate straight ticketed events (including waiting lists to support cancellations) or those where students submitted expressions of interest and hosts shortlisted a final selection
- Support for prods and reminders to participants, including joining instructions.
- The ability to segment eligibility to sign up for events, so that they could be made available to students, staff and the general public – and that they could be restricted to certain programmes, departments or faculties.
- Built in management of tracking of attendence and engagement, and the proportionate awarding of Rise points on completion of the activity.
- We needed a tool which would support intelligent targeting and recruitment of students, tracking who had looked at a particular opportunity and signposting similar opportunities
- A platform to support the organisation of experiential learning in flexible ways. We realised that our opportunities were often made up of an array of different components, mixing scheduled events with more flexible periods of collaboration and project work in a sequence of engagement.
- The ability to ‘mix in’ existing Rise content as part of a curated journey (for instance, completing one of our self-study packs as a step in a broader learning journey).
- From the students’ perspective, the ability to see disparate and diverse opportunities as part of a consistent learning journey that can be accessed through a single point of contact, so that reflection and planning is simpler.
This is the specification around which we built the Rise activity planner.