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Need Advice? Just ASK!
Brown's Dean of the College releases new tool for advising
The Office of the Dean of the College at Brown is pleased to announce the latest update to its custom electronic advising tool ASK, https://ask.brown.edu. This version, developed by Christopher Keith and Jason Orrill of the College staff, includes an improved visual identity, a more robust notification system, and a public landing page that allows advising materials to be shared more widely with parents and colleagues.
First released in 2009, ASK (short for "Advising SideKick") belongs to a suite of tools designed by the College to enhance the student's experience of the open curriculum. A second tool, "Focal Point," is focused on the academic concentrations http://brown.edu/Administration/focal-point/.
Together, they provide students and advisors with a common online space in which they can find information critical to the advising process and mark important milestones in a student's academic journey.
The new public homepage for ASK includes announcements, electronic copies of handbooks and planning guides, web links, and important campus phone numbers. Brown's Liberal Learning goals are prominently featured here as well: each time one accesses the home page a different goal appears at the top.
Logging into ASK gives students and advisors access to more individualized information, such as internal academic records, and names and emails of advising partners. ASK stores letters written by students to their first-year advisor, essays written to defend the choice of concentration, and other examples of significant work. Such written evidence allows both advisors and advisees to reflect on a student's academic and personal growth, thus supporting the continuity of advising through all the years at Brown.
In the coming months, ASK will see a number of additional improvements. These include: a writing portfolio, in which students will demonstrate their work on Brown's writing requirement; a concentration portfolio to show milestones in the concentration; and a database for exploring career paths and summer internships. Students and advisors are encouraged to try out the tool and offer feedback. The Dean of the College will be forming a student advisory board to gather more ideas about how ASK could be developed to enhance the advising experience. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 401.863.2573.