e-AIR Newsletter August 2018

Forum Session Recordings Advance Learning

Forum Session Recordings Forum session recordings (also known as Digital Pass) bring a wealth of learning opportunities right to your desktop. Each year, the AIR Forum is filled with educational sessions that highlight the training needs of professionals working in institutional research, effectiveness, assessment, planning, and related postsecondary education fields.

During the 2018 AIR Forum in Orlando, 30+ highly-rated, highly-attended sessions were recorded for their superior educational value. Now, for 2018-2019 members, these on-demand videos are ready to view anytime, anywhere.

These concurrent sessions were recorded to help you succeed in your current role as well as grow professionally. Recordings include the two Keynote presentations and several of the Impact Sessions, which address important topics and issues with impact for everyone in higher education. MORE
Sharing a Lane: Lessons in Collaboration
Michelle Appel
AIR President
Michelle Appel
I’ve discovered a love for lap swimming in the last year - some of you may have bumped into me in the lap pool at the Forum. It has become a great form of exercise and relaxation for me and I try to get my laps in at the campus pool before each workday. Swimming in the campus pool terrified me when I started because a) I was so much slower than everyone else, b) I could only do a lap or two freestyle before needing to flip onto my back, c) I might have to share a lane with someone, and d) colleagues in the pool!?

With time, I got faster and worked up to more consecutive laps of freestyle, but I continued to avoid lane sharing like the plague until a temporary pool closure made it impossible. Thankfully, there were kind and friendly experienced swimmers who helped me learn, and, as I now reflect on it, sharing a lane is a lot like learning to collaborate with colleagues outside of IR. Here are some key elements:

Look for a friendly face and ask. There are some people who clearly don’t want to share their (literal or figurative) space, and there are others who look more open. If you have a choice, go for the latter. Find colleagues who are looking to work across areas and to collaborate and be explicit in inviting them. Working with someone who is welcoming will make the transition easier and likely help both of you. When possible, avoid those who clearly aren’t ready for collaboration for whatever reason. Ultimately they may come around, but there is no reason to start there if you don’t have to.

Agree on the rules before you start. Swimmers typically share lanes by either splitting the lane (each takes half) or “circle swimming” (going counterclockwise around the lane). Sometimes the rules are explicitly posted and other times the swimmers decide, but either way you have to know how to share before you start, or chaos ensues. Similarly, when collaborating outside IR it is useful to set the ground rules ahead of time. Who will be responsible for what? What kind of data access and security need to be arranged? How much effort is each party willing to put into the project? Over what amount of time? Being explicit at the outset avoids chaos.

Leave your ego (and your self-consciousness) at the door. When sharing a swim lane with someone for the first time, it’s tempting to try to “prove yourself” by swimming faster than normal or a using a stroke you think you “should.” MORE
How to Help Adult Students Succeed
As more institutions find their adult student populations growing, so too is the need to serve this group of students with programs and services designed for them. This Education Dive article focuses on adult students and introduces a new concept that employers are looking for... MORE
Keeping the AIR Community Informed
Announcing the launch of the Evergreen National Education Prize, a new $125K prize for college and vocational success among low-income youth…MORE
Finding and Retaining Qualified IR Analysts
Ask eAIR
Dear Leslie: We have some difficulty finding and retaining qualified and gifted analysts in our IR office. What are some tips for professional development and working conditions that would result in better long-term employment stability in this key position?

I feel your pain. The loss of a key member of a smoothly functioning IR office can be a real challenge. While we never want to stifle the professional and career development of our colleagues, we do want to consider the benefits of keeping well-qualified and experienced employees contentedly in place whenever possible.

First, ask if this is a recurring situation in your department. A long-time employee who leaves to make an upward mobility move may not be a sign of concern, but rather a compliment to the professional development provided by your office. If you experience more frequent turnover, there may be some local conditions that are making it difficult for your analysts to stay with you. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Leslie Gindro, Dean of Institutional Research, Regis College.

2018-19 IPEDS Registration Now Open

Learn More & Register for A Holistic Approach to IR

Data Bite
AIR conducted the National Survey of IR Offices in fall 2015. One of the questions on the survey asked Directors of the IR Office how their office size has changed compared to three years prior. We found that approximately 1/3 said their office was larger than before. MORE

Data Bite: Changes in IR Office Professional Staff levels

Nudge Hotline and Toolkit: Resources to Support Student Success
Ben Castleman is Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy & Director, Nudge4 Solutions Lab, University of Virginia

Ben CastlemaneAIR: Will you tell us a little bit about the Nudge Hotline and Toolkit?

The Nudge Hotline and Toolkit (both free resources) are designed to help educators at both the secondary and higher education levels use evidence-based nudge strategies to help students gain access to and succeed in college. The Toolkit provides concrete, actionable guidance on 13 behavioral nudge strategies that have been demonstrated to improve student outcomes through rigorous research studies.

We structured the Toolkit to provide educators with as detailed and easy-to-digest information as possible about the core features of each evidence-based strategy, along with guidance on how to implement these strategies. MORE
Microsoft Access: Intro to VBA Programming
By Lee Allard, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, New Mexico Highlands University

Microsoft Access Many of us in the field of institutional research rely on Microsoft Access for various applications, including the extraction of data from enterprise applications like Banner.

While the standard Access tools (e.g. the drag and drop query builder interface) can be very flexible and very useful, they do have certain limitations.

Let’s say we are interested in our students who change their declared major. We might run a query (against Banner or another database) which produces the following output. MORE
Upcoming and On-Demand AIR Webinars
Volunteering with AIR Enhances Member Experience
Ishuan LiIshuan Li is Associate Professor of Economics, Minnesota State University-Mankato

eAIR: Can you share how your AIR membership has impacted you, your career, and your institution?

I joined AIR in 2013 and volunteered to serve in various positions including peer reviewer, eAIR Tech Tips contributor, and eAIR Advisory Group member. eAIR is the long-running e-newsletter for AIR. As a member, I benefited from IPEDS online video tutorials, and found expert webinars helpful. Mainly, AIR membership allowed me to network with individuals with similar interests in assessment and institutional effectiveness in higher education.

eAIR: What advice would you give to someone new to AIR regarding getting the most out of their membership?

AIR offers many resources that are of great benefit to members. To get the most out of their membership, I suggest new members explore the resources that are most useful in furthering their personal and professional career goals. MORE
Visualizing Retention with Qlik Sense
By Iryna Johnson, Associate Director for Analytics, Institutional Research, Auburn University

Institutional retention and graduation rates are frequently presented in static reports with aggregate data for the entire student population. Yet there are numerous analytic advantages of interactive reports and disaggregated data for retention. For example, many schools look at retention rates by race/ethnic group or by gender. By looking at these data among even smaller subpopulations (such as gender and ethnic groups by department, by residency, or by Pell recipient status), one can uncover important nuances and subpopulations that are at risk of failing. Interactive retention reports also help debunk some popular beliefs. MORE

Visual Display of Data

Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Keep current with the latest news from these influential journals:

- Innovative Higher Education

- New Directions for Institutional Research

- Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition

- Research in Higher Education
Announcements for AO and IR community conferences, meetings, institutes, and symposiums. See the LISTINGS.
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
Thanks to the AIR Community
Here are some special thanks to those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for our Association
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