The Wharton School provides a campus experience that is rich with opportunities for student involvement and leadership, provided by a large infrastructure of over 100 clubs and organizations and about 25 conferences.
With so many different options to get involved as a club leader or member, the majority of Wharton students join a lot of groups, on average about nine clubs. There’s a challenge in that each club costs varying amounts of money, and when students join many clubs, they need to make informed choices. Otherwise an ineffective organization may leave students feeling that they didn’t get the value they expected, nor a fulfilling experience as a return on their investment.
The Wharton School understood the need to provide their students with a channel to share their feedback and experiences. They thought of the idea to give students a better tool to determine which types of clubs might be best for them and to help club presidents and other officers plan for the next year.
The idea for a rating system was born from this need.
- Create a way to better inform students in their decision to join clubs.
- Gather ratings and comments to inform incoming student club leaders.
- Allow club members to rate clubs and provide comments (along the lines of a Yelp review) during a fixed period of time.
- Allow club leaders to download a full report including ratings, comments and a breakdown by different demographics.
Partnering with CampusGroups on this new initiative, Zinnia Horne (ED Club Operations) and Ted Sands (EVP Clubs & Conferences) set out to develop a custom Clubs Rating feature for all Wharton students. What began with a nugget of an idea from a Wharton team member, evolved and took shape with solicitation of input from Wharton club presidents and regular communication with the CampusGroups team regarding Horne’s and Sands’ team vision and thoughts on UI.
The partnership between Wharton and CampusGroups was “collaborative”, “innovative” and “promising”. According to Sands, the Clubs Rating feature “fits pretty naturally within the structure that’s already there, a testament to the flexibility CampusGroups offers as a platform”.
Working with the CampusGroups team has been really great, Horne agrees. CampusGroups proved to be “great tech partners”, helping to drill down and get aligned on the same page to implement the feature and providing regular bi-weekly check-ins. Great progress was always made on the product. “On launch day and launch week, as things have arisen, the team has been really responsive and helping to trouble-shoot.”
The Rate Your Clubs week launch was well-received, confirms Horne, and the response rate was huge. With an overwhelming positive reaction to the platform, "students are really happy with what it will enable them to do for next year," namely helping them to navigate the huge world of 100+ clubs there are.
From the collected data, The Wharton School is able to work with key metrics and qualitative results to provide and share five different dimensions to individual club ratings. They are able to publish which clubs fared best overall and in each of the various categories and look at the breakdown of 1st and 2nd year students, useful to validate presumed behavioral trends.
Looking ahead, Horne and Sands are eager to see how clubs' behavior will change, as well: how the rating system will effect club operations next year, shape students' decisions and in turn impact future versions of an organization. As for the next cohort of students looking to join clubs in the future, the clubs ratings data will be able to help identify any correlation between low ratings and sign-up.
Ultimately, the Wharton student community and clubs are establishing and pioneering an innovative, helpful way to review their clubs. Students and group officers can "compare all the clubs in a certain category and display comparative results", Sands adds. Working with CampusGroups to develop the concept from idea to implementation, Sands is looking forward to using the new feature to do more analysis and gain valuable insights into what drives more of the ratings. "Good things to know as presidents," he confirms.
Beyond the Wharton community, Horne and Sands are excited to consider how other schools partnering with CampusGroups can modify the Clubs Rating feature for their own use. Lots of promising possibilities for customization. It's pretty exciting to see how it will go.