Student Affairs

2002 Virtual Case Study (VCS) Scenario

Teams were given a technology-oriented scenario with the charge of putting together a fictional 15-minute presentation which would be delivered at a Student Affairs staff meeting:

You are walking briskly through the peaceful quad of Telnet College, hurrying to your meeting with the Vice President of Student Affairs. While not enamored of the early morning appointment you are gladdened that the vice president, Mac G. Ford, values your opinions enough, as well as others on the student affairs team, to want to meet with you. What a change from the previous vp, you say to no one in particular.

Since his arrival just a few years ago, the tranquil campus of 3500 undergraduates in the hills of Western Massachusetts has seen some major changes. What has pleased the faculty has been the increased academic profile of incoming students, primarily in the SAT scores. Telnet's reputation as a more selective college, not only in New England, but also throughout the country, has begun to spread and attract the best and the brightest. In addition, the percent of underrepresented populations has grown where it now stands at 15% of the student population.

Administrators at the institution have applauded the VP's efforts to include the professional staff in the important decisions of the campus. This approach has created a more collegial environment between faculty and staff. Committees are now equally populated by representatives of the administration as well as the faculty ranks.

Turning the corner of the ivy-covered chapel building you climb the stairs of the century old former library structure, now housing the offices of the president, provost, vice president of student affairs and other members of the cabinet. Clutching the memo sent to you the previous week, you sit in the expansive waiting area outside the vice president's office rereading the notice before the 7:30 a.m. meeting.

"I am deeply concerned," the memorandum begins, "about the effect technology is having on our student body. Change, both inside and outside the college, continues to be fluid. Everyday, it seems, a new technology related issue sprouts up on the campus and in the community at large. Telnet College has been more reactive when it comes to handling technology related matters. We have had no systematic plan in place. This must change.

Please meet with me next Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. to discuss an institution-wide committee I want you to chair. This committee should identify and propose solutions to the most pressing issues involving how student life is being impacted by technology. There has been increased anecdotal evidence in the upsurge of the amount of time students are spending in chat rooms, downloading music and such. Your residence life staff has voiced concerns about undergraduates withdrawing to their rooms and disconnecting themselves from the campus. Other issues that have come to my attention include: -Web-based student services -Building community -Online harassment -Digital divide -Dealing with technology savvy parents

I am sure there are other issues that your committee can ferret out.

The end result of your findings should be a 15-minute presentation, which you will deliver, at next month's Student Affairs staff meeting. I look forward to our discussion."


  • Each team decides the focus of their presentation--there is no set format. Quality, not quantity, is a good guideline to follow.
  • Submissions should be well thought out and organized.
  • There is no set format for presentations. They can include, but are not limited to, PowerPoint documents, text, graphics, etc.
  • Remember, the end product's length should be the equivalent of a 15-minute presentation.
  • Teams should utilize relevant student affairs literature, where appropriate.
  • Utilization of outside sources-URLs, articles, graphics, etc.-are encouraged for the case study, but this does not include input from individuals outside the four-person team.

All final presentations must be posted using the WebCT interface. Some assistance will be offered by the designated technical adviser. It may be advantageous to include someone with knowledge of html coding, uploading pages to the Web or, at the very least, someone comfortable with converting (Save As) their document(s) to a web-based format (HTML), as part of the four person team.

Judges will be utilizing the following criteria when evaluating presentations. They are not in priority order; one is not more weighted than another.

  • adherence to the submitted outline
  • practicality of approach
  • innovation of approach
  • use of literature-both within and outside student affairs
  • presentation of case study on WebCT
  • organization of presentation