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tag: Assessment

Blog Post
October 27, 2020

Student Success, Basic Needs, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Institutional Research Perspectives on Holistic Student Success Metrics

This year has undoubtedly been marked with unprecedented challenges for higher education, as we and others have documented through ever-building evidence from students, faculty, and administrators alike. As colleges and universities work to maintain enrollment, retention, and student learning outcomes, they are grappling with how to better understand and address the challenges their students are facing. The growing urgency to support students holistically—that…
Blog Post
September 30, 2020

Holistically Measuring Student Success

Higher education institutions often use quantitative, outcome-based metrics to define student success. These measurements, which are reported to and used by government, regulatory, and accrediting agencies, are influential for decision-making, benchmarking, ranking, and most importantly, funding. However, these traditional outcome metrics provide a limited view of the goals, challenges, and experiences of college students, especially those who attend community colleges. Employing additional, holistic metrics—such as those that focus on basic needs, feelings…
Research Report
September 30, 2020

Measuring the Whole Student

Landscape Review of Traditional and Holistic Approaches to Community College Student Success

As colleges and universities work to enhance student success, they frequently use traditional outcome-based metrics—such as graduation rates, year-to-year retention, and post-graduation employment—to define that “success.” These measurements, which throughout this report we refer to as traditional metrics, are often prioritized across higher education given their impact on and consequences toward institutional decision-making, benchmarking, and most importantly, funding. While these quantitative metrics can provide a useful—albeit limited—view into student experiences inside and outside of the classroom, they often focus on…
Blog Post
May 8, 2020

Assessment Across Higher Ed

Join Us for a Webinar on May 13

Over the last few months, all units on campus have needed to plan in unprecedented ways for how best to support students, faculty, and other communities in response to the pandemic. As the activities related to teaching, learning, and research continue remotely during the spring term amid incredibly challenging circumstances, understanding the barriers students and faculty face has become more important than ever. Assessing and addressing community needs is also important for developing  appropriate supports for these communities…
Blog Post
October 21, 2019

Getting My CLAWs into Assessment

The biennial Canadian Library Assessment Workshop (CLAW) is set to take place this week at the University of Windsor. This will be my first time attending the workshop, which primarily focuses on outcome-based initiatives and decision making to better support libraries and demonstrate their impact on research, teaching, and learning. As I eagerly await for the  workshop to kick off, I’m sharing some emergent themes and takeaways from the conference…
Blog Post
December 10, 2018

Learning at LAC

Notes from the Library Assessment Conference 2018

This year, the Association of Research Libraries and the University of Washington Libraries hosted their biennial Library Assessment Conference (LAC) in Houston, Texas. Having recently joined the Ithaka S+R survey team in November, this was my first time attending LAC, and I was eager to immerse myself in the sessions described in the schedule. I knew I was in the right place when the conference started with “Wednesday Metrics with Steve.”…
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…