The Information Architecture Institute Student Chapter
Teleconference brainstorming session Sunday, February 7, 2010

In attendance: Chris Oliver, Damon Herren, Jean Church, Cathy Carr, Holly Murphy, Dr. Froehlich

The following are notes created by Holly Murphy and edited by Dr. Froehlich. If any notions or ideas have been misrepresented, please edit them. Also feel free to add ideas or elaborate on ideas or criticize ideas. After a certain level of ideas have been gathered, we can try to organize them and possibly create subpages for specific aspects. It would be good to have something to discuss at the IA Summit running from April 7 to 11.

The goal is to create a model (template) for a student chapter. The Institute does not want to create a traditional kind of chapter, but one that will accommodate working professionals and students, sponsers and members in different geographic locations.

It is important to think outside the box, not only in terms of what IAI can offer or facilitate for students, but also students can do for IAI

Some suggestions offered by attendees include:
  • We may be able to get some ideas by looking at other student groups (Information Society) and organizations (Society for Technical Communication).
  • The group should have officers to make sure that the regular work or agenda of the chapter be accomplished .
  • The chapter should have regular, virtual programs: perhaps monthly meetings, where leading working professionals or eminent figures can call in to a virtual meeting and do a presentation or talk to students about their books, projects, working experience, etc.
    • Virtual meetings and webinars could include 3D Virtual Environments like Second Life. Dr Bedford is working with NASA and on some webinars that will be viewable in SL… perhaps the group could help with and/or learn from those. IBM has invested a great deal in Web 3D and the experience with the “immersive internet” could be a plus for group members.
  • We may want to call semiannual physical meetings, for local, regional or state-wide students.
  • This could involve creating a global group for all colleges or universities that have IA programs (17 states -- source? – how many colleges or universities?), where each college or university has a chapter and which they could communicate through the global group.
  • This might incorporate groups from Europe, Asia or other parts of the world.
  • A good project for the chapter or global group to hold reading sessions of an renowed work in the field, and then holds a virtual meeting with the author to discuss the * text and/or to communicate with other readers.
  • One could sponsor an open house to attract students or to inspire other schools to create chapters.
  • It might be interesting to meet in second life, but it may be too complicated for initial meetings.
  • We need to have a Web presence: global page for the main group with sub pages for each chapter.
  • The web site can include a marketplace, that would have student profiles, employment opportunities, mentors, master’s projects.
  • Lunch meetings (physical and/or virtual) could air with tabletop ideas (?)
  • We can send out a questionnaire for students asking what they want from a student chapter & how/when they want to communicate.
  • We would record discussions/meetings for later access.
  • We need to find and get support for collaboration software, such as WebEx) for discussions/meetings.
  • Given that a lot of IA programs are online, a topic to explore is: what makes a good online experience pedagogically.
  • We can try to hold a meeting at the IA Summit with those students who can attend and representatives of IAI.

When Dr. Froehlich initially communicated with Andrew Hinton, who was spearheading this endeavor for the IAI, he made some suggestions for thinking about forming a student group:

  • what a chapter should look like
  • how it should be formed
  • how it could provide value to its members
  • what kinds of activities it could engage in
  • how it could facilitate professional development and networking
  • how it could set and hold virtual and/or physical meetings
  • how it will work with or facilitate the interests of the Information
Architecture Institute
  • how the Information Architecture Institute could provide value to student
chapter members: e.g., webinar discounts, publisher discounts,
reduced membership costs for related associations, publishing
student portfolios
  • how it can collaborate with professional members of the Institute
  • how it will collaborate with other chapters

The list above provides potential ideas, but nothing is solidified. The purpose of the challenge is to figure out precisely what would work, especially for working professionals who are pursuing a degree at the same time.