Create Remote Assignments for Student Employees

Work with you student employee to create project-based learning opportunities. Project based learning is having students design, develop and construct hands-on solutions to a problem. Take these 4 steps: 1) Identify the problem, 2) Devise a solution, 3) Design and develop a prototype of the solution, and 4) Refine prototype based on testing and feedback from supervisor.

Begin with brainstorming:

  1. “If I had time, I’d love to…” or “If WE had time, WE’D love to…”
  2. “I love what institution XYZ is doing, I wish we had something similar…”
  3. “Whatever happened to that project I started, but couldn’t finish…”

Gather Student Employee Ideas:

  1. “What about your job do you most love?”
  2. “What do you want to gain more experience in? What skills are you looking to grow?”
  3. “Where do you see areas for improvement in our department processes?”
  4. “What are your career goals? What can we give you that matches your path a little more?”

Pool Project Ideas:

  1. From your department or from your division
  2. Create a google share doc to match students to projects
  3. Use those project management boards listed above

Once projects are decided, track them.

  1. Description, Student Assigned, Due Date, Anticipated Completion Time, Actual Completion Time
  2. Use Excel, Trello, Monday, or Asana

Remote Assignment Ideas

Still stumped? Below are possible activities that can be adapted for your student employees to work remotely. Although these activities may not mirror the functions currently performed in your office, flexibility in during these times are key. The activities are designed to improve the student as an employee and benefit your office now or in the future.

  1. Develop training or update existing training (department student employee orientation; customer service; your department’s services)
  2. Research best practices on various higher education topics as it relates to the function of your office.
  3. Data analysis or collection using Qualtrics or Google Forms.
  4. Create online content.
    1. YouTube or Instagram Videos
    2. Online resources for webpage
    3. FAQs
  5. Host online meetings with other students and peers about your department’s service or functions.
  6. Complete office projects that have been on “the shelf”.
  7. Online files clean up.
  8. Update materials; flyers, manuals, processes, databases, lists.
  9. Review other institutional websites for content ideas to improve your office’s website.
  10. Outbound calling.
  11. Social media.
  12. Utilize the student employee’s talents and experiences. Create tips for other students:
    1. Public speaking
    2. Being an engaged student
    3. Succeeding academically
    4. Working in an office environment
    5. Being a first-gen college student
  13. Professional development. Career & Professional Development has several videos and events that your student employee can view and participate in.
  14. Student feedback. Review student employee policy for your department from their lens or create an operating procedure for a student employee policy. Empower then to reflect on their own role as a student employee.
  15. Reflect on how their coursework related to their on-campus job and to their ultimate career aspiration. What are ideas for projects related to what they are learning in their coursework?
  16. Participate in online training.

Student Employees Working On-Campus

Student employees working on-campus should follow similar guidelines given to staff and faculty through the Creating a Community of Care Action Plan. Please refer to the DU Fall Return-to-Campus Plan website for information. This website links to the CDC, the State Health Department and more. Please be aware that the orders given by the state and local government can be amended or extended at any time. Stay informed so you and your student employees can make the most informed decision.

If you have questions regarding specific DU policies (COVID and other) and guidance, please reach out to HR Shared Services at Questions about student employment can be sent to and questions about work study funds can be sent to

Resources: Stony Brook Student Employment, University of Texas San Antonio Student Employment, BU Center for Learning and Teaching, DU Creating a Community of Care Plan, Employing Student Success: A Comprehensive Examination of On-Campus Student Employment, McClellan, George; Creager, Kristina; Savoca, Marianna (2018). A good job. Covid-19 Has Demonstrated How Technology Higher Ed Major Strategic Asset (Chronicle of Higher Education)