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March 24, 2020

First This, Now That: A Look at 10-Day Trends in Academic Library Response to COVID19

This is the third analysis of results from the Academic Library Response to COVID19 survey, which we deployed on March 11 in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. Libraries were encouraged to not only log their current status but to also come back to retake the survey as circumstances evolved. The first update was received that same day at 11 pm, illustrating just how quickly things have been…
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March 20, 2020

Leading in a Time of Uncertainty

Some Reflections

The COVID-19 public health crisis gripping the world today has been a sprint for leaders over the past week or two, making urgent decisions about closing facilities, virtualizing the workforce, and providing services online. In the weeks and months ahead, we will face a full marathon, with colleagues, services, and in some cases businesses needing care and tending in a period of great uncertainty.  In a public health emergency, every organization must ensure it is caring…
March 20, 2020

Communicating COVID-19 in Higher Ed: Student Edition

Given recent disruptive circumstances surrounding COVID-19, students more than ever are being flooded with vital and often-changing information to protect their health and safety as well as the future of their educational experiences and attainment. In an effort to aggregate the continual communications sent to students, colleges and universities are often creating hubs of information on their websites, which encompass everything students need to know about their institution’s status, policies, key dates, and resources available going forward.
March 20, 2020

When Online Isn’t an Option

Higher Education in Prisons During a Pandemic

As the announcements of campus closures continue unabated, colleges and universities across the country are struggling to figure out how to adjust their teaching and learning practices, with many moving their courses online. But what does this mean for students who are incarcerated? Building on Ithaka S+R’s ongoing research on how technology can be leveraged towards increasing access to higher education in prisons and more equitable learning experiences, today we are taking a look at how the COVID-19…
March 18, 2020

Cultural Organizations & COVID-19

Documenting Virtual Engagement Strategies

Efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 have fundamentally, and in many cases permanently, transformed the landscape of cultural consumption. As of Monday, March 16th, over 400 major US museums have closed their doors and ceased their traditional programming. While this is an essential part of collectively weathering a public health crisis that is likely to overwhelm the US healthcare system in a matter of days, these closures invariably introduce a deep degree of precarity for hundreds of…
March 16, 2020

Dispatches from the Higher Ed #covidclassroom

Teaching and Learning Edition

As the response to COVID-19 intensifies across the US and Canada, higher education institutions are responding by shifting classes online and adjusting pedagogical expectations en masse. Comprehensive tracking of campus closures and academic library responses provides an essential birdseye view of the sector’s response to the pandemic and there are a wealth of resources and case studies about best practices but what is…
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March 15, 2020

Academic Library Strategies Shift to Closure and Restriction

The Next 48 Hours of Academic Library Response to COVID19 

For the most recent findings see First This, Now That: A Look at 10-Day Trends in Academic Library Response to COVID19 On Wednesday, March 11, at 8:00 pm ET, we deployed the “Academic Library Response to COVID19” survey in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. On Friday we presented our analysis of the first 24 hours of responses (n=213). Today we…
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March 13, 2020

Getting Online: Lessons from Liberal Arts Colleges

Many of the colleges and universities that are transitioning away from face-to-face courses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are residential institutions that have not historically provided widespread online instruction. Through multi-year evaluations of the Council of Independent Colleges’ (CIC) Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction and the Teagle Foundation’s Hybrid Learning and the Residential Liberal Arts Experience program, Ithaka S+R has worked with similar…
March 13, 2020

Academic Library Response to COVID19

The First 24 Hours of Survey Data

For the most recent findings see First This, Now That: A Look at 10-Day Trends in Academic Library Response to COVID19 On Wednesday, March 11, at 8:00 pm ET, we deployed the “Academic Library Response to COVID19” survey in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. Today we are sharing a summary of the responses from the 213 libraries that responded in the first 24 hours. …
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March 13, 2020

COVID-19 and American Higher Education

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to many colleges and universities moving to remote courses for an indefinite period, including in many cases for the rest of the spring semester. Many residential colleges are sending students home, advising them to assume classes on campus will not resume this spring, but instead will continue online. Colleges and universities with more commuter students have also moved to remote learning.  CUNY and SUNY college students were informed by New York State Governor…
March 4, 2020

Project Announcement: Cancelling the Big Deal

As Big Deal spending has come to occupy a greater and greater share of materials budgets, libraries are increasingly questioning the status quo of their Big Deal subscriptions. Recent years have seen a number of prominent cancellations, precipitated by questions about the value of the subscription materials. In 2020 we expect this trend to continue with libraries becoming increasingly assertive in their negotiating stance with publishers. This may yield some interesting compromise agreements,…
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March 3, 2020

(Un)attending the #ELI2020Unconference

I was excitedly awaiting my first ELI Annual Meeting on Sunday afternoon when I received the disappointing news that it was called off. Due to growing concerns over COVID-19, the conference organizers made the difficult decision to cancel the meeting. Although an appropriate decision, many presenters, like me, were left with many hours worth of work with no way of presenting it. Personally, I was planning on presenting my poster—…
March 3, 2020

Facilitating a Student-Based Approach to Higher Education in Prison Research

New Project Will Convene Diverse Stakeholders Around a Postsecondary Prison Research Infrastructure

In recent years, discourse surrounding postsecondary education in US prisons has grown substantially in both academic and political circles. Despite disagreement among stakeholders in this space over the specific goals of postsecondary education in prison, there is widespread agreement that quality postsecondary prison programming holds significant promise for incarcerated individuals and society as a whole. Recent figures, however, show that access to postsecondary coursework in prison is incredibly…
March 2, 2020

Second Convening on Improving College Opportunity for Veterans and Service Members 

Hosted by The College Board and Ithaka S+R

Even though veterans are more likely to earn a certificate or degree than adult learners and have higher GPAs compared to traditional students, many do not attend institutions that would give them the greatest chance of succeeding. Currently, only 10 percent of veterans using GI bill benefits attend institutions with graduation rates above 70 percent, compared to 21 percent of the general student…
February 19, 2020

American Talent Initiative on Track to Goal of 50,000 More Lower-Income Students by 2025

Comprehensive strategies at standout ATI schools point the way

The American Talent Initiative issued this press release today. Media Contacts: Keeley Smith, GMMB (keeley.smith@gmmb.com, 253.651.8416); Linda Perlstein (linda.perlstein@aspeninstitute.org, 202-339-7490) A national alliance of leading colleges and universities is on track to enroll 50,000 more students who receive federal Pell grants by 2025, a new report shows. The findings underscore the importance of the American Talent Initiative’s (ATI) collaborative push to expand opportunity for low- and moderate-income students across the country. Between 2015-16, the year before ATI launched, and…
February 18, 2020

Progress in Biomedical Data Sharing

Headlines from the Recent NIH Workshop

The biomedical sciences have been a key focus area for efforts to promote research data sharing. Effective data management and sharing policies have the potential to improve research efficiency and accuracy, with real implications for human health. Last week, I attended a workshop hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on “Establishing a FAIR Biomedical Data Ecosystem: The Role of Generalist and Institutional Repositories to Enhance Data Discovery and Reuse.” NIH has been making significant…
February 13, 2020

New Report and Forecasting Tool Shows States’ Progress towards Postsecondary Attainment Goals

A postsecondary credential has become a crucial qualification for individuals to pursue a meaningful career with a livable wage. As technology continues to reshape the nature of work, the core competencies gained through postsecondary education and strategic up-skilling by adult workers will be ever more important. States have a critical role to play in supporting their residents’ education and training, and a vested interest in seeing educational attainment increase. Recognizing this, and driven by initiatives of the Lumina Foundation and…
February 12, 2020

Now Available: Research Toolkit for Developing Services and Assessing Student Needs

Over the past three years, we partnered with a group of seven colleges looking to more effectively support their students by providing new and strengthened services from the library and beyond. Across these colleges, we interviewed dozens of students and later surveyed over 10,000 to examine their goals, challenges, and unmet needs. The project was led by Northern Virginia Community College and Ithaka S+R, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)…
February 11, 2020

The Case for Academic Libraries and “College Fluency”

Students struggle with a variety of challenges outside of the classroom that affect their academic success–balancing family, household, work, and school responsibilities, having enough money to pay for courses and basic needs, and navigating college resources and services. When presented via survey with a series of possible interventions to address these needs, students expressed great interest in having more support in navigating information related to the college experience, as described in this service…
February 4, 2020

Student Success: One Goal, Many Definitions

While many colleges see enabling “student success” as a top priority, what actually defines the term can vary widely depending on who is defining it. As such, it is hard—perhaps impossible—to have a single, quantifiable, and operational definition. In this post, I unpack how a few key stakeholders—community college students and administrators—have conceptualized this seemingly loaded term in our research along with questions for further reflection as we embark on a new project. Over the past…