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EverFi Expands Higher Education And Enterprise Focus With Acquisition Of Compliance Education Leader LawRoom
Posted by On Thursday, July 21, 2016

LREFimage

Combination Creates One of Education’s Largest Players with Over 3,000 Major Customers and 6 Million Annual Learners

EverFi, the leading education technology company focused on critical skills and prevention education for K-12, higher education and adult learners, today announced the acquisition of compliance education leader LawRoom. With the addition of LawRoom, EverFi grows its customer base to 3,300 partners, including 2,000 corporations, foundations, and nonprofits and over 1,300 higher education institutions.

The acquisition includes LawRoom subsidiary CampusClarity, which together with EverFi forms the industry’s largest campus prevention education provider. The combination of EverFi’s proven efficacy in alcohol abuse and sexual violence prevention along with CampusClarity’s flexible platform and compliance expertise will help campuses more effectively deliver and scale prevention education for students, faculty, and staff.

Together, EverFi and CampusClarity will also form the Campus Prevention Network, a nationwide coalition of over 1,300 higher education institutions that are committed to student wellness and safety. Through the Campus Prevention Network, colleges and universities will have access to award-winning online prevention training, regulatory compliance expertise, dynamic tracking and reporting, and groundbreaking prevention research based on the largest global dataset of attitudes and behaviors related to sexual assault and substance abuse.

“Whether for a student on a college campus or an employee in a corporation, innovative and proven digital education can help shape how we engage learners to prevent sexual violence and harassment,” said EverFi CEO Tom Davidson. “We now have an opportunity to welcome every campus and employer into our magnified network and truly tackle these issues at scale.”

The EverFi Campus Prevention Network will reach over five million higher education students and staff across the U.S. annually, including public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, and state university systems. EverFi partners now include Boston College, Carnegie Mellon, Clemson University, Georgetown University, Harvard, MIT, the Montana University System, Princeton University, Oklahoma State University, Oregon State University, University of Michigan, Stanford University, Technical College System of Georgia, Tennessee Board of Regents System, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, the University of Texas System, University of Virginia, Villanova University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Among LawRoom’s corporate compliance education customers are Acxiom, Barracuda Networks, Cathay Pacific, Kimpton Hotels, Informatica, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, Patagonia, Samsung, SurveyMonkey, UFC Gym, and TIBCO. The combined company will not only ensure proven compliance training for enterprises, but also provide the additional cutting-edge skills that the next-generation employee needs to be successful across the globe.

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About EverFi, Inc.

EverFi, Inc. is the education technology leader that empowers K-12, higher education, and adult learners with the skills needed to be successful in life and work. With investments from some of technology’s most innovative leaders including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and venture investors New Enterprise Associates and Rethink Education, EverFi has built the most comprehensive digital learning platform that serves K-12, higher education, and adult learners. EverFi partners with over 3,300 customers and 20,000 K-12 schools to bring its innovative learning platform to learners across the country. Learn more at everfi.com.

Media Contact: 
Brian Cooley
brian@ everfi.com
202-625-0011 x352

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Campus Climate Surveys: Data Collection as Prevention & Risk-Reduction
Posted by On Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sexual Assault Campus Climate Surveys are a hot topic for student affairs administrators around the country. Some schools have administered internal climate surveys, some have utilized prepared climate surveys from the AAU or HEDS, and others are in the process of developing and implementing climate surveys. While climate surveys are not yet federally required (although some states are now mandating them and the OCR has required them of schools under investigation), the government has urged schools to adequately assess the climate on their campuses through climate surveys.

At CampusClarity, we do more than just help reach Title IX & Campus SaVE compliance. We strive to eliminate sexual and dating violence on college campuses and beyond. Because climate surveys are considered a best practice for gauging campus climate, we have developed a tool that will help campus administrators tackle the huge task of building climate surveys.

Over the past few months, our product development team has dedicated countless hours to learning from others, developing best practices, and engineering a platform that will allow administrators to simply and swiftly build campus climate surveys. Our platform has many unique features made specifically for campus climate surveys, such as built in content/trigger warnings, a landing page for IRB approval, and default settings that will help increase completion rates. Perhaps most useful is that all data collected will go into the same LMS with data from Think About It and our other courses. Data can be cross tabulated by demographic, and will be delivered with sample size protection as to not out students with underrepresented identities.

We partnered with Callisto, a sexual assault reporting tool for colleges, to host a webinar revealing our climate survey platform. Callisto allows schools to collect data all year round about incidence and prevalence of sexual assault. When partnered with climate surveys, Callisto can provide administrators the information they need to provide prevention, risk reduction, and awareness education on campus. View the below webinar to learn more about climate survey best practices, Callisto, and CampusClarity’s new product.

Climate Survey Webinar

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Race and Representation in Think About It
Posted by On Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CampusClarity strives to go beyond compliance to create widespread culture change.  We think that the laws, articles, and concepts presented in our courses are an important part of creating that change. We also understand that unconscious conditioning has a strong influence on each person’s decision-making, and instruction that singly addresses conscious choices doesn’t go far enough. Culturally transmitted conditioning tells us through a deluge of suggestive images that some people are inherently worth more than others because of their gender, the color of their skin, or their wealth, even though we know that this is not true.

Changing these assumptions requires, among other things, a massive overhaul of the kinds of visual messages that we create and consume. As a training company, this includes depicting non-white characters and narratives in ways that are complex, relatable, and un-caricatured. While on the face of it a straightforward idea, creating nuanced characters within the constraints of online training is not a simple task. Therefore, our student harm-reduction program Think About It is always a work in progress. We hope to improve our stories with every iteration by listening to the valuable input from our users. Some considerations we keep in mind when writing our courses include empathy, race perception, and othering.

Inducing empathy is a powerful tool for social change. It is important that students can empathize with the characters we present in our courses so that they can imagine themselves performing the modeled behavior. In his iconic book Understanding Comics, cartoonist Scott McCloud puts forward the idea that as visual animals, we empathize better with characters that are drawn with less detail, so that we can project our own selves onto them more easily.

This idea has since been backed up by research, and is one of the reasons we have historically chosen to silhouette the characters in our courses. Silhouetting characters removes a great deal of detail about coloring, clothing, and even gender. But what does this choice mean in a culture in which the default identity is “white male,” and any deviation from that model is considered by many to be a “distracting” detail?

Our audience is diverse. College students from across the country use Think About It and have a reasonable expectation of seeing themselves represented in our courses. Campus Clarity is further dedicated to multifaceted representations of people of different races, ethnicities, and sexual orientation. Our writers and illustrators spend a lot of time thinking about the ways to accurately reflect our audience without devolving into tokenization. After all, race and ethnicity reach far beyond just the way someone looks, and extends into culture, lifestyle, and values. For example, not all authority figures are white males, and we hope our courses reflect this reality.

However, we must balance the desire for complexity with the desire to minimize character specificity. When we made the decision to silhouette our characters in pale blue, an unfortunate side effect was the erasure of diverse sociocultural markers. This in turn made all the characters appear ethnically white to some users, when in reality many of the models and voice actors we employed were non-white. This feedback from our users prompted our development team to take a deeper look at the way formal design elements affect our learning goals. In the graduate version of the course, the characters are silhouetted in dark gray, and this issue has been largely eliminated.

Another way we tried to indicate a character’s ethnicity is by directly stating it in the course. This was noted and appreciated by many users. However, due to the aforementioned “white default mode”, this also had the effect of only pointing out when a character’s identity has veered from the “norm,” effectively othering the character and reducing empathy in the user. We plan to address these and other issues in the upcoming version of Think About It.

The vast range of opinions we receive on our courses highlight that there is never a one-size-fits-all approach when discussing sensitive topics. However, it is clear that there is a general consensus about the right direction to move in, and that an inclusive outlook provides the forward momentum for online courses to have maximum impact.

 

 

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Representing Sexual Orientation in Think About It
Posted by On Friday, August 21, 2015

Every year, Senator Al Franken introduces the “Student Non-Discrimination Act,” which would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. And every year, the act has been defeated.

“There remains no federal law that explicitly protects these students and provides them and their families recourse when they face bullying that limits their educational opportunities,” said Senator Franken, explaining the importance of the bill. “No student can achieve if he cannot feel safe at school. No student will excel if she spends each day in fear of just being herself.”

While Senator Franken’s law failed to pass this year (again), there are nonetheless promising signs that the federal government is taking sexual orientation discrimination seriously. According to recent Title IX guidance documents, schools should train students and employees about same-sex sexual violence. In their 2014 Title IX FAQ , the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) explains that “Title IX protects all students from sexual violence, regardless of the sex of the alleged perpetrator or complainant, including when they are members of the same sex” (B-2). Later in the document, the OCR specifies that training for both employees and students should include information on same-sex sexual violence (J-1 & J-4).

Similarly, as we wrote about here, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently evolved its position on sexual orientation, arguing that Title VII protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The EEOC’s ruling could influence Title IX Cases as explained by Erin Buzuvis, a Professor of Law and co-founder of Title IX Blog:

“…even though it doesn’t govern the education context, the EEOC’s decision helps strengthen arguments by students or school employees who may have been excluded from participation, or fired, or denied admission, or harassed because of their sexual orientation, by giving courts and attorneys a road map of persuasive reasoning to follow.”

At CampusClarity, we believe it is important to create an inclusive course that adequately addresses the challenges all students face, regardless of their sexual orientation. We also recognize that the opportunities for us to improve our coverage of this issues, and we welcome comments from students and other users of our courses.

As part of our commitment to inclusivity and to help schools comply with their Title IX requirements, Think About It includes specific situations and scenarios that revolve around characters’ identities as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer.

One of the central narratives of the course involves a gay man. Tom Batak is one of four main characters whom students follow throughout the course. His biography explains that he has yet to disclose his sexual orientation to his Filipino parents. As users continue to follow Tom’s story, they see him come out to his roommate as gay (Healthy Relationships > Time Bomb), and they consider questions around an unhealthy relationship Tom is involved in.

Throughout the course, users are challenged to think about issues around sexual orientation and gender norms, including interactive scenarios involving same-sex couples or someone insulting a person because of their sexual-orientation.

Even when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer identities aren’t directly discussed, the course remains inclusive of all sexual orientations. Examples of this can be found throughout the section of the course about hooking up as well as the dialogues around male sexual assault. Similarly, this inclusivity can be found through visual representations as well as text representations in places like the Dating After College video that shows a couple in which the sex of the partners is intentionally ambiguous.

We feel it is especially crucial for schools to address same-sex intimate partner and sexual violence because individuals in the LGBQ community face unique challenges when reporting. For instance, for individuals reporting same-sex sexual violence may mean outing themselves as either LGBQ or engaging in same-sex relations, whether they’re consensual or not.

Survivors can also be reluctant to report out of fear that their peer group will not believe them or will ostracize them. This problem is exacerbated for individuals in the LGBQ community, who may feel that the community they have found at college is the first one accepting of their identity. Losing that community would be devastating to those students, exactly at a time when the most need the support of friends.

Furthermore, as explained in a recent Huffington Post article, some survivors may fear “causing additional problems for their schools’ LGBT communities, many of which are already struggling to overcome discrimination and bias and which may be the only support networks available to some gay or trans survivors.

Same sex relationships (both sexual and romantic in nature) are not immune from violence.

As the school year begins, take a moment to assess the inclusivity of your school’s orientation programming and how it addresses same-sex sexual violence.

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CampusClarity/LawRoom Update Courses to Meet New York’s “Enough is Enough” Law
Posted by On Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On July 7, 2015, Governor Cuomo signed New York’s “Enough is Enough” bill into law, mandating uniform policies and procedures to address campus sexual violence across the state, including “student onboarding and ongoing education.” New York schools must have policies in place to comply with these new requirements by October 5, 2015. To help New York institutions of higher education educate campus communities about their rights and responsibilities under the new laws, CampusClarity and LawRoom have updated their courses.

Basically, the new legislation codifies sexual assault prevention and response policies already required for the 64 SUNY campuses, extending them to private colleges and universities with New York campuses to create a consistent statewide approach with campus policies that:

  • define consent as a clear, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity
  • grant witnesses and victims reporting in good faith incidents of sexual misconduct immunity from drug or alcohol conduct violations
  • provide a Bill of Rights to all students, informing them of their reporting options, available resources, and the right to a fair and impartial process that protects their privacy and dignity
  • require comprehensive training for all new students, including first-year or transfer, undergraduate, graduate, or professional

Our courses already cover federal training requirements under Title IX and the Campus SaVE Act, but our employee and student courses for New York schools will also cover the new state law requirements. Specifically, the following courses will address the additional New York requirements:

  • Think About It: versions for Undergraduates, Graduate Students and Adult Learners, as well as a shorter Campus SaVE Act version
  • Intersections (combined anti-harassment, Title IX, and Campus SaVE Act training for supervisors and non-supervisors)
  • Bridges (Title IX and Campus SaVE Act training for all employees)

These courses cover the following New York content:

  • statements of prohibition and equal protection
  • definition of affirmative consent
  • explanation of the students’ bill of rights and amnesty policy
  • additional procedures and protections required in conduct proceedings
  • the long-term costs of sexual violence

Contact us for detailed information on how our updated programs help New York schools provide mandated training that covers this material with high levels of instructional interactivity.

[UPDATE 8/28/2015]: Our webinar on updates to our courses that help meet the new NY requirements is now online: “Enough is Enough” addressing New York’s New Higher Education Requirements 

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[Free Webinar] Involving Parents in Sexual Assault Prevention
Posted by On Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What are best practices for including parents in our discussions around sexual assault, and how might they be invited to be a part of the solution?

Join us for a free webinar with the University of San Francisco’s (USF) Dr. Peter Novak, Vice Provost of Student Life, and Dr. Barbara Thomas, Senior Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, as they discuss how you can support parents and how parents can support your school’s prevention efforts just in time for fall semester. (Register here.)

Tuesday, July 21st

11 am PT/ 2 pm ET

In this webinar, you will learn about

  • new research that suggests parental impact on students
  • a suggested process for communicating with other departments
  • how to support parents through the Title IX process

Additionally, you will receive resources from non-profits that can be added to your website and a sample letter sent to all parents of incoming USF students. (Register here.)

Communicating effectively with parents is an often overlooked tools in prevention education. Dr. Novak and Dr. Thomas will discuss best practice and provide resources that you can use to prepare for this fall’s incoming class. Dr. Novak sends an annual information sheet and letter to all parents/families of incoming USF students around issues of safety and sexual assault. Dr. Thomas and her staff are among the many resources that are offered, free of charge, if parents wish to consult with a professional to find out how to have a conversation with their student.

The webinar is ideal for

  • Vice Presidents of Student Affairs
  • Vice Presidents of Admissions and Enrollment
  • Deans of Students
  • Conduct Officers
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Admissions Teams
  • Title IX coordinators and teams

Space is limited, so register now for the webinar. Register here.

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LawRoom Launches Intersections
Posted by On Wednesday, July 1, 2015

LawRoom is excited to announce the release of our new anti-harassment (AB 1825) training program: Intersections. Intersections invites organizations that fall under the AB 1825 requirements to create a workplace culture free of harassment and discrimination. Filled with engaging interactive exercises, the course teaches skills to identify, prevent, and report inappropriate and abusive conduct.

With tools to assign the course and track learners’ progress, Intersections enables administrators to meet training requirements easily and effectively.

The course includes the latest legal updates and a completely re-imagined learner experience.

Intersections course at a glance:

  • Completely redesigned look and feel
  • Expanded coverage to meet California’s new AB 2053 (prevention of abusive conduct) requirement
  • HTML5 platform
  • WCAG 2.0 Accessibility

    Putting Learners First

Case studyLawRoom’s team of instructional designers, writers, and artists has developed Intersections to deliver a flexible user-directed learning experience.

Following best-practices in e-learning and online training, Intersections teaches learners through a range of media-rich experiences. Compelling narratives, infographics, and immersive interactions make complicated legal concepts accessible and engaging. Real cases illustrate key legal principles, bringing the law alive and showing the real-world consequences of discriminatory conduct. Immersive interactions allow users to apply their knowledge in authentic situations, helping them develop useful skills.

Updates to the technology allowed our designers to create a more immersive learning experience. “The switch to HTML5 allowed us to design Intersections with interesting new interactions,” explains Jeremy Beckman, LawRoom’s Director of Design. “For the user, this means a greater emphasis on practicing how to apply what they learn in the real world.”

In-Depth Coverage Moves beyond Compliance

The name Intersections reflects the course’s exploration of how different forms of discrimination reinforce each other and how to create a positive company culture to counter those tendencies.

In addition to gender-based discrimination and harassment, Intersections covers discrimination based on other protected characteristics like race, age, and national origin.

Intersections also includes resources to help companies reach a standard higher than compliance. The course discusses important topics such as inclusive language in the workplace, bystander intervention, preventing abusive conduct, unconscious bias, and micro-aggressions.

Legal Updates

IntroPageAs of January 1, 2015, California employers must also include prevention of abusive conduct as a component of the training and education they offer their supervisors. This new law, AB 2053, does not change California’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination rules. It only requires additional training.

LawRoom’s anti-harassment courses have always included training around abusive conduct. Keeping with AB 2053′s mandate, we have added an entire section on preventing and responding to abusive conduct. This section includes a definition of abusive conduct based on California’s new law, interactions to test learners’ understanding of abusive conduct, and practical tips for helping create a more supportive environment where abusive conduct is not tolerated. See our blog post for more details: Click here

 

Technological Upgrades

In addition to updating and refining our content, we have introduced important technological upgrades by moving our courses from Flash to HTML5. Intersections uses a standards-based HTML5 platform, improving accessibility and allowing us to make our courses compatible with mobile devices in the future.

“The technology changes in our new harassment course move us forward in several important ways,” says Eytan Klawer, Vice President of Product Development. “The HTML5 technology allows us to make the courses fully accessible, and, also allows us to move forward with our push to make the courses compatible with tablets. Of courses, the course looks great, and the video delivery takes advantage of browser capabilities to request video streams based on available resources.”

On-going Commitment

VisitMenuAt LawRoom we are committed to continually updating and improving our courses. Intersections is the latest in our series of award-winning anti-harassment trainings. For courses to be engaging, we know how important it is to keep our
content relevant and current.

In fact, California supervisors must train on anti-harassment every two years. To ensure that your supervisors don’t repeat the same training, we release a new version every other year.

2013′s releases, Lenses, won a Silver Stevie Award for best training site at the 11th annual American Business Awards. (Our course for students, Think About It, won gold.) Intersections continues this tradition of excellence, and we continue to innovate and develop our trainings to help define our industry’s standards.

 

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Hazing Prevention [Free Webinar]
Posted by On Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This Thursday we will be hosting a webinar with Dr. Gentry McCreary (register here) at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET. Dr. McCreary is a well-known expert on hazing prevention and the CEO of Dyad Strategies. A scholar and practitioner, he brings a valuable blend of hands on work experience and rigorous research to the problem of hazing on college campuses. During this 45-minute webinar, Dr. McCreary will examine the psychology of hazing and strategies that institutional leaders can take to reduce the prevalence of hazing on campus.

Dr. McCreary will discuss why students engage in hazing practices, factors that contribute to or reduce campus hazing culture, and both direct and indirect intervention strategies aimed at addressing hazing at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

If you’re interested in joining the conversation, please register for the event (space is limited).

[UPDATE 8/28/2015] The webinar is now available online: Hazing Prevention Webinar.

The Problem

As several recent high-profile incidents have shown, hazing remains a widespread problem on campuses across the country. In one of the few national studies of hazing, professors Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden found that over half of students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing, defined as “any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate.”

While almost three-fourths of members of athletic teams or a social fraternity or sorority reported being hazed, a range of organizations and groups haze, according to Allan and Madden. For instance, 64% of students who participated in a club sport, 56% of students who participated in a performing arts organizations, and 28% of students who participated in an academic club experienced at least one hazing behavior. Nor is hazing a higher education phenomenon. Allan and Madden found that 47% of students reported experiencing hazing before ever getting to college.

Hazing encompasses a broad swath of harmful behaviors, including forcing pledges or initiates to participate in heavy drinking, sleep deprivation, public chanting or singing, and even physical abuse. Hazing can cause psychological or physical trauma with potentially fatal consequences.

Indeed, as the recent controversy over one group’s racist chant illustrate, hazing rituals can also perpetuate harmful myths and stereotypes with consequences far beyond the organization itself.

Allan and Madden found, however, that “more students perceive positive rather than negative outcomes of hazing.” In fact, 90% of students who have been hazed don’t label it as such, and in 95% of cases where students recognized that they experienced hazing, they didn’t report.

While many students Allan and Madden interviewed justified hazing by arguing that it strengthened group unity, less than a third of students in their survey reported feeling more like a part of the group as a positive result of hazing, suggesting a disconnect between students’ perceptions of and their actual experiences with hazing.

These factors all contribute to a problematic hazing culture that has developed escalating concern among researchers and student affairs practitioners.

Cultures of Violence

Hazing does not exist in isolation. The cultures that allow hazing to continue (or even support it) may perpetuate other forms of violence on campuses. In fact, hazing does not hide in the shadows. A quarter of hazing behaviors occurred in “on-campus in a public space,” and a quarter of coaches or organization advisors knew their group was hazing, according to Allan and Madden’s research.

A few weeks ago, we wrote about a presentation at NASPA by Elizabeth Allan and Jane Stapleton. They argued that prevention efforts are too often siloed and that educators need to recognize the potential links between sexual violence and hazing (which often involves sexual violence).

Allan and Stapleton’s work demonstrates the importance of a multi-faceted approach to prevention that seeks to change the entire campus culture, and not just small enclaves. In short, by addressing hazing we can help address sexual violence as well.

Solutions

In the past, educators and prevention experts working with fraternities and sororities around hazing issues have stressed an organization’s values and getting members to act in accordance with those values or principles. Unfortunately, that approach hasn’t borne much fruit. But there are other promising directions.

Dr. McCreary’s research looks at the relationship between hazing prevention and moral development. McCreary points out that an organization’s overt or written values rarely exert a strong influence an individual’s decision to join an organization, which is more often based on the people in the organization or the tacit values expressed through the organization’s day-to-day behaviors. As McCreary writes of his own decision to join a fraternity: “I valued those people, but I didn’t join for values” (AFA Essentials 2014).

Among other approaches, McCreary commends empowering students to develop their own values instead of imposing external values onto them:

If we were truly concerned about student development, we would be creating cognitive dissonance in a way that would lead to a series of crossroads and, eventually, self-authorship. Conversations about how actions reflect values can and should be part of creating that dissonance, but when we impose new external formulas on our students, we are potentially retarding their growth and development. (AFA Essentials 2014)

In his presentation this Thursday, Dr. McCreary will go into greater depth on his research and best practices. We hope you will join us for this fascinating talk by Dr. McCreary. Register here.

[UPDATE 8/28/2015] The webinar is now available online: Hazing Prevention Webinar.

Citation:
McCreary, Gentry. (February 2014). “The Challenge of Values Congruence.” AFA Essentials.

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Think About It Updates
Posted by On Thursday, May 28, 2015

 

Changes are coming to Think About It! We’ve made a number of additions and amendments in response to new research, updated regulations, and of course feedback from our users and clients. These changes will ensure the course is compliant with new laws and maintain our commitment to training built for and with our users. Many of the changes are small – minor revisions or tightening up the design – but some are more substantial. Below is a list and explanations of the major changes in our 2015 Think About It update. We have organized them into two broad categories: compliance updates and content updates.

Compliance Updates

A lot has changed in the four years since we started developing Think About It, including new regulations and laws at the state and federal levels. When the Campus SaVE Act passed in 2013, we added new content, and we regularly update the state laws in our courses. For the current update we implemented a more comprehensive set of changes based on the Department of Educations’s Title IX FAQ document and the final Campus SaVE Act regulations. Below are the major changes:

Understanding a survivor’s reactions – We added an interaction illustrating the effects of trauma on survivors of sexual assault. This addition was something we included in our seven month follow up course, “The Way Forward,” because we felt it was important to help students understand the science behind survivors’ sometimes counterintuitive response to trauma. However, the page also helps satisfy new guidance on student training requirements for Title IX compliance.

SurvivorReaction

Title IX – It is important that students understand the range of protections against sexual violence available to them. We added a new tabbed page explaining that Title IX prohibits sex discrimination and harassment as well as retaliation against someone who complains about or participates in sexual misconduct proceedings. In addition, the page provides contact information for the school’s Title IX office and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Conduct Proceedings – We replaced the old “Disciplinary Hearings” page with a new “Conduct Proceedings” page, based on new Title IX guidance and Campus SaVE Act regulations. The page provides detailed information about how to report sexual misconduct or find confidential resources, and a school’s required disciplinary procedures.

Analyzing Unwelcome Sexual Conduct – We added two new pages explaining what constitutes sexual harassment. These pages explain quid pro quo sexual harassment and how to analyze whether unwelcome sexual conduct creates a hostile environment.

Interim Measures – A new page called “Interim Measures” explains the range of protective measures that may be available for victims of sexual misconduct.

Retaliation Case Study – In order to help consolidate the new information we’ve included around sexual harassment, we added a new interaction that asks students to apply their knowledge of retaliation to a realistic scenario. The scenario also illustrates how Title IX protects students against retaliation.

RetaliationScenario

Resources – Students must have access to information about local and campus resources as well as reporting procedures at their school. We have changed the organization of the resources and created new documentation to better guide schools on what information to provide for inclusion in their courses.

Content Updates

WCAG 2.0 Accessibility – Accessibility is one of our clients’ highest priorities, so naturally it’s one of our highest priorities too. The 2015 version of Think About It is fully accessible HTML5 technology (WCAG 2.0 AA) and tablet supported.

Course Reorganization ­– Talking to clients and reading student feedback, we decided to reorder the course in a way that seemed more natural and helped the sections to reinforce each other. In the new course we’ve moved “Healthy Relationships” right after “Sex in College.” Placing them next to each other will help students see the connections between these important topics. The new course order is 1.) Prologue, 2.) Sex in College, 3.) Healthy Relationships, 4.) Partying Smart, 5.) Sexual Violence, 6.) Epilogue. We rewrote the section introductions and summaries in order to reflect this new order.

Prologue – In the prologue, we updated content about the prevalence of sexual violence against female college students and added information about sexual violence against male college students. The new information was drawn from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ special report “Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995-2013.”

Pressure & Expectations – Think About It encourages students to think critically about the cultural and social pressures that influence their behaviors and attitudes. This kind of critical reflection helps students become more self-aware, empowering them to make safer, more informed decisions. We strengthened this approach by replacing “Elements of the Hook Up,” which was an informational page, with a new page that pushes students to reflect on the institutional, societal, and individual pressures that shape beliefs and attitudes around intimate behavior.

Alcohol and Identity – We replaced “Drinking and College Culture” with a new “Alcohol & Identity” page. The two pages are similar in purpose: both help students reflect on the cultural and social factors that influence their attitudes towards alcohol. Since individual schools’ cultures vary greatly, we expanded to focus to a broader set of issues while achieving the same learning objective.

Systemic Problems – As part of a comprehensive approach to sexual violence prevention, Think About It begins by addressing the college culture around intimacy. We include a video of interviews with students about college hook-up culture. The video confronts student misperceptions about how much their peers are hooking up as well as gender stereotypes, such as double standards. To better reach these goals, we shortened the video to focus its message and rewrote the feedback to the follow-up Insights Question.

Cyberstalking – Research and client feedback revealed the growing role of social media in stalking and bullying cases. To better inform students of how perpetrators use social media to stalk victims, we replaced the real stalking cases in Think About It with cyberstalking cases.

Relationship Violence – When students think about abusive relationships, many of them only think of physical abuse. But there are other kinds of abuse. To help students recognize the range of abusive behavior, we replaced the “Cycle of Abuse” page with a new page covering different types of “Relationship Violence.”

The Drug Deal – We heard from students and clients that they wanted to learn more about prescription drug abuse, which they perceived to be a growing problem on many campuses. In order to help address this request, we reworked the “Drug Deal” interaction to include more information on prescription drug abuse. We also included a few social norming questions, asking students about their peers’ substance use. We based these questions on data from national surveys. These questions will help dispel students’ misconceptions about drug abuse on their campuses.

Stages of Acquaintance Assault – We expanded content on responding to acquaintance assault to include information from Dr. Rebecca Campbell’s research on the neurobiology of many victims of sexual assault. We have also added a new page on the effects of trauma on survivors of sexual assault (see Compliance Updates).

Sources & Citations – We updated our sources and citations page to provide a more comprehensive list of the sources we consulted when building and updating the course and to direct interested students to resources for further research.

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Free Webinar: Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus with Michelle Issadore
Posted by On Thursday, April 23, 2015

Next week, on Wednesday, April 29, we will host our second free webinar. Michelle Issadore, M.Ed., will talk about strategies “Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus.” You can register now to reserve your place.

Issadore is the Executive Director of the School and College Organization for Prevention Educators (SCOPE). She works with schools, colleges, and community organizations nationwide to assess and improve their strategic prevention efforts, as well as research and understand best practice initiatives.

Issadore’s presentation is a timely reminder of the fast approaching July 1st deadline when the Campus SaVE Act regulations take effect. The Campus SaVE Act requires colleges and universities to offer student and employee education programs “to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.”  (You can find our full breakdown of the Campus SaVE Act requirements on our blog.) This webinar will helps schools put together their prevention programs for the 2015-2016 academic year. Register for the free webinar now to reserve your place.

For many colleges and universities, implementing prevention programs seems like a daunting task, especially given the complexity of the issues and the need to coordinate and engage various stakeholders. Indeed, one of our takeaways from the NASPA conference this year was the need to bring together different prevention efforts and initiatives on campus. Similarly, last year, the Centers for Disease Control published its brief, “Connecting the Dots,” on the links between different forms of violence in order to help schools “coordinate and integrate responses to violence in a way that recognizes these connections.”

Our discussion next week will help address these pressing concerns for schools considering how to train a diverse audience on a breadth of issues around sexual and gender-based violence. During our 45-minute webinar, Michelle Issadore will answer questions surrounding sexual assault prevention strategies on campus and what institutions can do to overcome challenges associated with implementing widespread initiatives.

Michelle Issadore will specifically address the following questions:

  • What are some ways schools can achieve a community-level approach?
  • How can departments work together to create consistent messaging?
  • What role does compliance now play in prevention programming?

Even if your institution currently has training solutions in place, Michelle’s experience and expertise will prove invaluable to anyone looking to enhance their efforts.

Register for the free webinar now to reserve your place .

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