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Potential.ly 101: Building a scalable award structure

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AJ McCaw
Potential.ly 101: Building a scalable award structure

Potential.ly helps employability teams build award structures in organizations that don't have the time or capacity to design and manage awards manually. The article will go over how the process of designing an award on Potential.ly works and what you should know about designing your own institutions award on the platform.

​Overall, this is a guide for those who are looking to launch an online award on their platform without much effort on their part, as well as those who are looking to build one themselves in the future with a similar application structure!

Step 1: Designing the scope of the award

Let's say we have an award called the University XYZ Employability Award, we'll need to consider the University's award structure as it is and how to apply it to an online system. For example, if there are tiers to the award, like bronze, silver or gold, how do we apply them online? We also need to think about how the award is targeted to students and how they can interact with the award online, for example skills audits and uploading evidence. Fortunately, Potential.ly is built for all aspects of delivering employability awards online and our team will assist you with this.

Step 2: Designing the award criteria

When designing an award on Potential.ly, we recommend breaking it down into as many subcategories as possible to make reviewing the criteria a process of compiling information about students, their awards and the internship they previously conducted. You can also add elements like skills audits and uploading evidence for your student to present when interacting with the award. For the University XYZ Employability Award, for example we'll look at 4 subcategories, which are as follows:

1) Learning outcomes: On the home page students should be able to see the learning outcomes that they are required to achieve as part of this award. Each will link to a separate page that will display the criteria for that learning outcome. e.g. "learning outcome 1 - personal development", "learning outcome 2 - employability skills etc.

2) Evidence: We also need to add a section where students can present their evidence for this award, for example uploaded technical reports they have conducted in related fields, as well as any statement of application about their participation in internships or volunteering.

3) Skills audit: A skills audit section needs to be added so that students can go through an assessment to measure where they're at now, and we can measure again at the end of the award journey to see their progress.

4) Achievements: Students will be able to view their individual achievements or awards that they've completed that will help with the completion of this award.

All the examples mentioned above can be found in Potential.ly's demo portal if you would like inspiration for structuring you University's own award.

Step 3: Designing a great award landing page

Award landing pages need to clearly display the information about the award, from the parameters of the application through to student's eligibility and how to apply. The best way you can design a good award landing page for your organization is with a good example of a current award, or an award that is similar to what you are planning on designing. This will help you draw up a template using the original award structure as a base. You can then add subcategories, lines of information for each category, an award logo and even customize it to your liking. Potential.ly makes it simple to edit your University's homepage on the platform, in a few clicks you can begin editing the page or our team will be happy to design it for you.

Step 4: Publish the award

After designing an award structure which is suitable for your organization, we recommend going through all of the subcategories of the award criteria and identifying which ones you are going to use online. In the admin settings of the platform you can access 'Frameworks' and add your award's frameworks and rubrics. When you're adding assessments and other resources, you can access the frameworks from there and students can progress through the framework which is visually displayed on their unique homepage.

Step 5: Building a team and sub-teams to manage the award

We recommend you consider a team of people who can work together to build your online award. These people can be from different perspectives across your organization, technical, design or student unions for example. This will help promote consistency and train all members of the team how to create awards in multiple departments within your organization. You will also need to create sub-teams to manage student applications for the award in each department, for example:

1) Employability and employability advisors - this includes career advisors, recruitment specialists and internship owners. If you are a smaller team that has multiple locations, you could have regional content supervisors manage their section of the award.

2) Academic staff - this includes lecturers, tutors and academic advisors who are located in departments across the university (e.g. physics, creative writing etc.).

3) Academic support staff - academic support staff who are not academic staff, these can include students, lecturers and tutors who work in the university's library or support the lecturers and tutors in any way possible.

4) Internship owners - if you have a specialized internship team, these internships could be managed by an individual or team from there to ensure that they align with the award structure and are up to date for each term.

Step 6: Targeting your award

Once you've created your award, the next step is to target the award to students who are eligible for this award. Potential.ly allows you to add groups of students through a filter system and similar criteria, or create your own filter, so we recommend adding a combination of groups like:

1) University XYZ users - if your University has an e-learning portal, these can be added as a group too (e.g. university staff, students who are enrolled).

2) Undergraduate - depending on the type of award you are creating you could also add groups of undergraduate and postgraduate students. University XYZ's portal already has many filters in place for this, but if they don't, we recommend adding a filter to check if students are enrolled or not before making an application. Your department may have a student management system which is able to do this if they have one, or you could work with your Academic department to get them to add it for you.

How Potential.ly enables you to run a scalable award for thousands of students

Potential.ly enables you to create a scalable, adaptable and flexible online award that fits the needs of your University. All aspects of an award can be run entirely online, and the award content is designed so that you can customise it to meet your University's specific needs. Automating your award online means that your employability team can save hundreds of hours of work and focus on other areas of their role. In addition, because the award is run entirely online, students can access their award 24/7 and are in control of their award journey. This approach will help University's reach high award completion rates and help student's become more engaged within your University.

To find out more about running an award on the Potential.ly platform, please contact us.

Tags: how to design an online award, how to create a great award land page, how to make a scalable online award in Potential.ly, how to run an online award, how to run an online award in Potential.ly, potential.ly case study, potential.ly university awards platform,

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