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Higher Ed Experts Faculty Voices: Joshua Dodson

Yes, you can!

“Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.” ? Marcus Aurelius, MeditationsI’m not going to lie to you and tell you that mastering the concepts of SEO and Web Analytics is easy. It isn’t–especially when you are just getting started. There is a lot of nuance to the concepts. Search engine optimization for higher education has hundreds of variables to consider. Analytics has its own language of terms. Do you use “bounce rate” in everyday conversation? Probably not.

However, it is possible to master the concepts and go beyond your own expectations in how to analyze data and use it to make strategic decisions. More than 500 higher ed professionals have taken the courses I teach at Higher Ed Experts. Many of these marketers begin the courses without much background in the concepts. For many, the topic is brand new. They know there is something to analytics. They have heard colleagues talk about it and have heard the idea of data-driven marketing praised at conferences–and with good reason. However, when we hear a concept during a conference presentation, it can seem daunting to dive in and learn it on our own.

Steps by steps towards mastery in Web Analytics

Search Engine Optimization for Higher Ed CourseThe approach I take in the courses I teach is to set a foundation and build upon it, which makes it accessible to both the newcomer and seasoned professional alike. I also approach each student interaction as in a mentor-mentee relationship. I see it as my personal responsibility to ensure that every student feels confident with the material we discuss in the class. After all, it is most beneficial when students are able to take the ideas we discuss and apply it to their own work. That is the biggest reason why the class assignments are structured to be immediately applicable. Many students implement the analytics framework and concepts we discuss right away at their jobs.

In the Web Analytics for Higher Ed course I teach, I often find it most rewarding to see the “lightbulb turn on” around Advanced Segments in our Week 3 discussion. The students begin in Week 1 with the core concepts and foundational principles, progress into applying website goals within the larger institutional objectives in Week 2, and then fully explore how to give context to the numbers in Week 3. Week 4 is then focused on how to analyze and present the data in a digestible way to others.

Note that the student’s own ability to analyze the data grows over that time period until their mastery of the concepts allows them to teach others around them. Google Analytics for Higher Education Course

I see similar progressions in the other classes I teach. The multi-week nature of the classes makes it ideal for learning bite-sized pieces of information, letting it sink in, and applying it.

I feel lucky to be able to help students move through this process. Is it challenging? Yes. That is where the “experts” part of Higher Ed Experts comes in–learn from experts to become experts, which is not easy.

It takes effort, but it is possible and worth it. Most importantly, it is well within your reach.

Meet the Faculty: Joshua Dodson

Higher Ed Experts is a professional online school for digital professionals working in universities and colleges.

When you take a professional certificate course with us, you get a chance to upgrade your skills by working on your projects, interacting with classmates just like you and getting detailed personalized feedback from your instructor.

joshua_dodsonJoshua Dodson is a Google Analytics qualified web expert who has worked with numerous colleges and universities to improve their web presence and better understand their user trends.Before joining Bentley University as Director of Digital Marketing, Dodson worked as the Director of SEO at SNHU and the Web Strategy and SEO Administrator for Eastern Kentucky University. He has taught hundreds of higher education marketing professionals how to use analytics and SEO through the courses he teaches for Higher Ed Experts.

Joshua teaches Higher Ed Expert’s 4-week online course on Web Analytics for Higher Education as well as 3 other advanced courses.

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