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tag: Assessment

Blog Post
November 3, 2016

Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment

Notes from the Library Assessment Conference

At the 2016 Library Assessment Conference, we had the opportunity to attend sessions on how to demonstrate the value of libraries, methods for data collection, analysis, and visualization, designing library spaces, and organizational issues facing the community.  The conference, which attracted over 640 attendees, focused on building effective, sustainable, practical assessment. A number of themes that ran across the conference resonate with our ongoing work at Ithaka S+R. Data visualization There was an overwhelming amount of interest from both…
Blog Post
October 20, 2016

Four Strategic Essentials for Institution-Wide Improvement in Student Success

Over the past decade, colleges and universities have faced increasing pressure to improve degree completion rates and demonstrate their value to students. At the same time, evidence has accumulated about efficacy of a number of structural and pedagogical changes institutions can make to help students succeed. Tactics including remedial course redesign, proactive advising and coaching, active learning pedagogies incorporating technology, and guided pathways now have a solid research base. Yet despite this great motivation and the availability of evidence-supported practices,…
Case Study
October 20, 2016

Institutional Transformation for Student Success

Lessons Learned from Ithaka S+R’s Case Studies

Over the past decade, U.S. colleges and universities have faced increasing pressure from funders, policymakers, and advocates to improve degree completion rates and demonstrate their value to students.[1] At the same time, researchers have produced substantial evidence about the efficacy of a number of structural and pedagogical changes institutions can make to help students succeed. These changes include remedial course redesign, proactive advising and coaching, active learning pedagogies incorporating technology, and streamlined pathways through institutions.[2] Yet…
Blog Post
October 18, 2016

Collaborating to Support Undergraduate Student Needs

The Local Survey at UC Santa Cruz

To better understand and support undergraduate student needs, the University Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz contacted Ithaka S+R to run the Undergraduate Student Survey on its campus. Under the leadership of Greg Careaga, Head of Assessment and Planning at the University Library, UCSC ran the survey in spring 2015, and also assisted Ithaka S+R in testing and piloting a new set of questions specifically designed to help academic libraries understand undergraduate perceptions and usage of library…
Blog Post
October 6, 2016

From Learning Science to Learning Engineering

Kaplan University’s Systematic Improvement Process

Facilitated by growth in the availability of data about learners, scholars in cognitive science, psychology, computer science, and other disciplines have developed sophisticated insights about how people learn and succeed in academic contexts. Yet, growth in the field of “learning science” has far outpaced higher education institutions’ efforts to apply its insights to their students’ experience. Leaders at Kaplan, Inc., a company serving over a million learners in various programs, believe that a practical corollary to learning science is needed.
Case Study
October 6, 2016

Engineering Learning at Kaplan University

Facilitated by growth in the availability of data about learners, scholars in cognitive science, psychology, computer science, and other disciplines have developed sophisticated insights about how people learn and succeed in academic contexts.[1] Yet, growth in the field of “learning science” has far outpaced higher education institutions’ efforts to apply its insights to their students’ experience. Leaders at Kaplan, Inc.,[2] a company serving over a million learners in various programs, believe that a practical corollary to…
Research Report
September 27, 2016

Reflections on Ethnographic Studies in a Community College Library System

Montgomery College, the community college of Montgomery County, Maryland, has made an enormous contribution to the study of libraries in community colleges with a series of reports about ethnographic studies on all three of its campuses.[1] Tanner Wray, Director of College Libraries and Information Services, led the studies, which gathered information from students and faculty members on how students do their academic work and how library resources, spaces, and services support this work. The Montgomery College project was…
Research Report
September 20, 2016

Reconfiguring Auburn University’s Main Library for Engaged Active Student Learning

Introduction The effects of technological innovation have been rapid, significant, and well documented, and libraries have responded to changes in the way people read, communicate, and do research by providing digital content and renovating buildings so that they support new, technology-enhanced ways of work. But what about teaching and learning? More and more colleges and universities provide “hybrid” courses, “flipped” classrooms, and “active learning.” Instructors put lecture material online and engage students in group exploration and problem solving during class…
Blog Post
September 1, 2016

Developing and Improving Scholarly Communication Services

The Local Faculty Survey at the University of South Florida, Tampa

During a time when the University of South Florida Libraries were exploring new service offerings, the Libraries turned to the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey to better understand the research and teaching needs of its faculty members. Matt Torrence, Associate Librarian and Principal Investigator, reports that “responses to the local survey have helped the Libraries make evidence-based decisions regarding the collections, programs, and services we provide to faculty members, as well as assist in benchmarking faculty perceptions and experiences against…
Issue Brief
July 14, 2016

Rethinking Research Libraries in the Era of Global Universities

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected politically, economically, culturally, and socially, higher education has followed suit. The 2011 survey by the American Council of Education’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement found a perceived acceleration of internationalization across campuses, from doctoral to associate degree institutions.[1] The definition of what that means for each institution varies. Graham Elkin, Faiyaz Devjee, and John Farnsworth developed a 13-scale model to assist universities in evaluating where they are presently and where they…
Blog Post
February 22, 2016

New Survey of Higher Ed Experts Finds Promise in Guided Pathways, Adaptive Learning

In fall 2015, Ithaka S+R invited a select group of higher education administrators and experts to join a panel of advisors. One activity of the panel, which consists of 110 members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is to take part in semi-annual surveys on issues of national importance in higher education. The results of these surveys will help guide Ithaka S+R’s research agenda. In addition, we will publish the results to inform the broader higher education community about the panel’s…
Research Report
February 22, 2016

Higher Ed Insights: Results of the Fall 2015 Survey

In fall 2015, Ithaka S+R invited a select group of higher education administrators and experts to join a panel of advisors. One activity of the panel, which consists of 110 members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is to take part in semi-annual surveys on issues of national importance in higher education. Ithaka S+R will analyze and publish the results of these surveys to inform the broader higher education community about the panel’s views on current debates, initiatives, and challenges. The…
Past Event
February 18, 2016

Liaison Librarianship: Assessment and Ambivalence

A Webinar with Roger Schonfeld

Roger Schonfeld will be presenting on a webinar hosted by The Partnership, Canada’s national network of provincial and territorial library associations, on February 18 at 1:00 pm. Registration is open at The Partnership’s Education Institute. Liaison Librarianship: Assessment and Ambivalence The drumbeat of assessment has become the cadence of higher education. But measuring the work of liaison librarians is much more complicated than doing a gate count, especially when it comes to the relationships we nurture with faculty. Join The Partnership’s…
Blog Post
February 2, 2016

To Measure or Not to Measure: Which Student Outcomes Should Make the Cut?

Few would question whether colleges and universities should have administrative systems in place for measuring learning and course outcomes for all students, in ways that can be quantified and used to help institutions meet their goals. But not all outcomes are created equal, and deciding which outcomes schools should systematically measure for all students can be difficult and controversial. When thinking about colleges engaging in systematic quantitative measurement of student outcomes, three core questions come to mind: (1) Is promoting…
Blog Post
January 26, 2016

(Re)introducing the Educational Transformation Team

The new year brings a new member—our fifth—to Ithaka S+R’s Educational Transformation team. It seems like a good opportunity to (re)introduce our program’s staff, which includes three new members since July 2015. In addition to me, the director of the program, we have two senior researchers and two analysts. Our team brings together a diverse and complementary set of skills and backgrounds, enabling us to take on a range of project work focused on research, policy, and practice…
Blog Post
January 21, 2016

Love and Measurement: Online Learning in Small, Independent Colleges

Dr. Robert Wachter, professor and interim chairman of the department of medicine, University of California, San Francisco, wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times on January 17 in which he argues that measurement in both the health care and education industries has failed us. He concludes by saying, “The secret of quality is love.” He worried that our efforts to measure and improve quality somehow block the altruism that motivates both doctors and teachers to do their…
Blog Post
January 14, 2016

Library Assessment: Notes from ALA Midwinter 2016

At ALA Midwinter in Boston, we attended several valuable sessions on assessment, evaluation, and data visualization. Here’s a roundup of what we heard. ARL Library Assessment Forum Kenning Arlitsch, dean of the library at Montana State University, reported on his grant project, Measuring Up: Assessing Accuracy of Reported Use and Impact of Digital Repositories. While at Marriott Library at the University of Utah, Arlitsch observed that the reported use of the digital collections at the university’s three libraries was…
Past Event
March 19, 2015

Nancy Fried Foster Offers Workshop through METRO

On March 19, 2015, Nancy Fried Foster is offering a workshop on “Assessment in Focus.” The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and ACRL’s New York Metropolitan Area Chapter are co-sponsoring the event, which is open to registration from both members and non-members. Librarians have used gate counts and head counts for years to understand the use of their spaces and resources. These counts can be even more helpful with only modest investments in time and training. Indeed, conducting observations…
Past Event
June 29, 2015

Designing User-Centered Survey Questions for Strategic Assessment

Join us at ALA for our workshop, “Designing User-Centered Survey Questions for Strategic Assessment.” This workshop is designed to help librarians in assessment roles, or those interested in assessment, make evidence-based decisions about designing survey questions or selecting survey instruments to understand user’s research practices, needs, and library-related attitudes. Designing survey questions according to “best practices” in survey research methodology is a time-consuming, but necessary, process requiring expertise and specific skills. This workshop will provide an overview of the qualitative…
Blog Post
August 3, 2015

Notes from the Northumbria Conference

Alisa Rod and I had the pleasure of attending the 11th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, a biennial meeting held this year in Edinburgh, Scotland. Many people think of the Northumbria Conference as the British complement to the ARL Library Assessment Conference held in the US. The conference venue, Our Dynamic Earth, put us in the middle of excited children exploring oceans and rainforests on the one side and a spectacular view…