e-AIR Newsletter July 2016

Higher Education: The New Normal

EDUCATION%20ECOSYSTEM%20ART.jpgFor the opening keynote of the 2016 AIR Forum, David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), shared his reflections on higher education in the new normal of the 21st century, calling it an era of evidence-based change. He focused his presentation on changes he has noted during his successful career in higher education, including:
  • Why we educate is changing. No matter how higher education professionals may feel about this fact, the new discussion about higher education revolves around preparation for the workforce. There is a movement from focusing on access to focusing on success.
  • The way we educate is changing. There is good news to share on increased participation levels, completion levels, and new approaches to providing education, including increased participation in online learning, competency-based approaches, and other innovations.
  • Who we educate is changing. Attainment gaps exist between white students and students who identify as underrepresented minorities. At the same time, students in higher education are becoming more diverse, so closing the attainment gap becomes particularly important.
  • The way we assess the quality of our enterprise is changing. Completion must be part of the assessment process. The availability of analytics tools and focus of accreditors is increasing the focus on assessment of student learning. MORE
Challenges and Opportunities
By Glenn W. James
2016-2017 AIR President
As mentioned in last month’s Board Corner, there are two important contextual aspects that the Board of Directors, the interim Executive Director, and the Executive Office staff are facing, while also pursuing all of the more expected work of the Association.

These two aspects are challenges but also are useful opportunities for assessment, for consideration of new steps, and for exploration of new possibilities.

Specifically, these two important contextual aspects are the search for the new Executive Director of the Association and the decisions regarding the AIR Executive Office following the lightning and fire that hit the building last month.

The Board of Directors and I continue to be very appreciative of the professionalism, commitment, and resourcefulness of interim Executive Director Jason Lewis and the Executive Office staff, as they have diligently worked to ensure minimal disruption to AIR operations and services.

As well, we certainly appreciate the affirming expressions of support from AIR members and other colleagues, in support of the entire Executive Office team, as they deal with all of the implications of such a sudden and unexpected challenge.

We are very fortunate to have such a versatile and resilient team in place.

The search for the next Executive Director is such an important opportunity for finding and connecting an outstanding professional to this crucial leadership position.

The request for proposals for an executive search firm was launched in June, and proposals were received through early July, with the search committee conducting a thorough review of proposals.

We are now working to identify a firm with which to partner for this important search. MORE
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
How America Pays for College 2016
Now in its ninth year, this annual publication by Sallie Mae and Ipsos takes a look at public attitudes toward college, with a particular focus on how much undergraduate families pay for a college education and how they finance it. MORE.
Thanks to AIR Members
Our members are not only incredibly helpful, they are a pleasure to work with. Here are some special thanks to those who have gone beyond the call of duty for our Association.
Direct Measures of Student Learning Outside the Classroom
Dear Patti: How can I help move my institution toward direct measures of student learning outside the classroom?

At most institutions, faculty are becoming increasingly sophisticated at direct assessment of student learning in classes. However, assessment of student learning through co-curricular experiences is still largely reliant on self-reported gains and satisfaction measures.

Rubrics can be an extremely effective and low-cost tool for assessing student learning outcomes outside the classroom. Such outcomes might be tied to general education goals that cut across the curriculum, an institution’s strategic plan, student development goals (e.g. leadership, civic engagement, global citizenship), institutional initiatives (e.g. QEP, AQIP), or targeted projects aimed at specific student populations. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Patricia L. Gregg, Associate Director of Academic Assessment, Georgia State University.
Data Bite
Net Price Calculators are available on a college’s or university’s website and allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students similar to them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account. MORE

From Cautious Optimism to Active Advocacy

Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Aspirational Statement
By Jeremy Goodman, Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Decision Support, Olin College of Engineering

The Statement of Aspirational Practice for Institutional Research has prompted me to rethink my philosophy of institutional research. Over the last year, I have begun to integrate its ideas into my daily practice, while always thinking about what more we could be doing institutionally to better align ourselves with all of the aspirational concepts. MORE
2016 Forum Photo Gallery
The 2016 AIR Forum in New Orleans was the gathering place for more than 2,000 colleagues and friends from IR and related fields. To relive some of the best moments from the conference, visit the Forum Photo Gallery.

On the Horizon: The Future of IR
Mary Sapp is Associate Provost for Planning, Institutional Research, and Assessment, University of Miami, Retired

eAIR: Congratulations on your retirement from the University of Miami. What does the next chapter in your life look like?

My husband, Stephen, and I now live in Reston, Virginia, after receiving an invitation from our son and daughter-in-law to move closer to them so we could spend more time with our grandson (now 3) and granddaughter (now 9 months). Time with family will continue to be a priority, as will our continued enjoyment of travel, visits from out-of-town friends, taking our boat out on the lake where we now live and are enjoying the change of seasons we missed in Miami, and all of the attractions and cultural opportunities available in D.C. and northern Virginia. (I’m happy to assure everyone still working that retirement can be great!) That said, I’ve started looking for some consulting or non-profit work to do so I can continue to use the skills I’ve acquired over the years. MORE
Data Reshaping Techniques Using Stata
By Ishuan Li, Associate Professor of Economics, Minnesota State University
ExcelIcon.png This tip provides an overview of data reshaping techniques in multiple-response sets using Stata, a general purpose statistical software package, as applied to multiple-response variables. See the Basic Introduction to Stata for more information.

Multiple-response variables are generated by questionnaires that allow for more than one response. This in turn can create data structure and analysis issues, which come mostly from the open-ended nature of some survey questions.

The responses to these type of questions can be coded as a set of variables, or each answer can be treated as a single variable and responses can take numerical or text (string) values. MORE
Ten Facts WSU Students Want You to Know
By Craig This, Interim Director, Office of Institutional Research, Wright State University

VDDJune2016.pngWe are always looking for new and different ways to present data at our new faculty orientation. This video is a product of our Office of Institutional Research and our Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), which sponsor the orientation.

We had various data results – FactBook, NSSE, SSI – but did not want to present them in the usual fashion, via PowerPoint or Prezi. Passing through our quad one day, we interviewed 100 students (nothing scientific) and asked them three things they wished faculty knew about them. We tallied the results and determined our top 10. MORE
Announcements for conferences, meetings, institutes, symposiums, and other events of interest. See the LISTINGS.
Keeping AIR Members Informed
AIR welcomes brief announcements of interest to the IR and assessment communities, such as the release of a report, funding opportunities or a request for applications. Send your announcement to eAIR@airweb.org and include a link to your website as well as a contact name and email address. Announcements
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