Lately, I’ve been thinking about the decisions we make when allocating our time to the various things we do in a day. We continuously make decisions about where to best spend our most valuable resource: our time. I’ve been thinking about this as I plan programs for students and try to understand why – just like when I choose how to spend my time – a student may or may not decide to spend their time at any given program.
In a recent article, I was introduced (or perhaps reintroduced) to the concept that a student’s time is the most valuable consideration when creating initiatives in higher education environments. Truly, if a student is choosing to spend their time to attend a workshop or to participate in a community building event, they have made a statement that this is the most valuable way to spend their time.
Since this reminder, I have placed more effort into putting myself in students’ shoes when creating resources and services that I believe are helpful for them. I do this because it is so important to critically question what the purpose and value of our programs are in order to then communicate this value to students both clearly and often. I do this also to check the thought process of just because I think it may be important, does not necessarily mean a student will.
It is not enough to assume the value of a service will be known. Rather, it is our responsibility to define the value and communicate this to students so that they can make informed decisions about spending their precious resource: their time.