S+R Blog

Addressing the current issues that impact higher education.

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March 26, 2015

Meeting Researchers Where They Start: Streamlining Access to Scholarly Resources

 
Researchers today have access to incredible amounts of digital content as well as to a suite of tools to aid in their discovery of these academic resources. Yet, as Roger Schonfeld describes in our most recent issue brief, "the researcher's discovery-to-access workflow is much more difficult than it should be." 
 
"Instead of the rich and seamless digital library for scholarship that they need," Schonfeld argues, "researchers today encounter archipelagos of content bridged by infrastructure that is insufficient and often outdated." Outlining Read More...

March 26, 2015

Roger C. Schonfeld

March 18, 2015

Mapping the Adaptive Learning Landscape

From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s announcement of the finalists for its Next Generation Courseware Challenge to the launch of the new inSpark Science Network, adaptive learning has been in the news. Though diverse in their content and structure, the core feature that adaptive learning solutions share is the ability to respond to learner activity by adjusting assessments, content, pace, and sequence of instruction. Whether offered on its own or as a supplement to face-to-face instruction, adaptive learning presents the exciting Read More...

March 18, 2015
March 18, 2015

Higher Education’s Free Agent Future

What happens when Professor Everybody teaches at the University of Everywhere? I’ve been grappling with this question for the last week after I heard talks at SXSWedu in Austin and then in Washington, DC about the coming free-agent, unbundled era of higher education.
 
At SXSWedu—the education offshoot of the popular music and film festival—Jeff Young, a senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, explained how the so-called “sharing economy” might disrupt the higher education teaching model in the future. Just like Uber allows people Read More...

March 18, 2015

Jeffrey J. Selingo

March 16, 2015

The Role of a Society Journal in a Changing Environment

The 75th Anniversary Issue of College & Research Libraries has just been released online. C&RL’s editor, Scott Walter, has lovingly featured a selection of classic and impactful articles from the journal’s history, revisited by some of today’s leading experts on academic librarianship. 
 
I was asked to take on a slightly different task, to reflect in a closing piece about the role of a professional society’s journal in a changing environment for our scholarly communications. C&RL is already open access and online-only, so it has Read More...

March 16, 2015
March 12, 2015

Competency-Based Creducation

It was announced last week that Paul Le Blanc, the President of Southern New Hampshire University, will take a three-month leave to work with the U.S. Department of Education, where he will “assist the Department’s innovation agenda, focusing on the competency-based education experimental sites project and developing new pathways for innovative programs in higher education.” SNHU is responsible for College for America, a partnership between the university and corporations to provide a new kind of learning experience that is flexible and “built Read More...

March 12, 2015

Kevin M. Guthrie

March 11, 2015

The Most Recent Studies of Online Learning Still Find No Significant Difference

Since 2012, Ithaka S+R has periodically reviewed the empirical literature on the impact of online and hybrid instruction on student outcomes. As reported in the 2013 review, very few studies employ rigorous methodologies; of those that do, the findings indicate that students do about as well in online or hybrid courses as they do in face-to-face versions of the same course.
 
For the latest update in this series, “Online Learning in Postsecondary Education: A Review of the Empirical Literature (2013-2014),” Derek Wu reviewed twelve studies Read More...

March 11, 2015

Martin Kurzweil

March 05, 2015

Serving Graduate Students

Graduate and professional students are among the heaviest users of academic libraries, driven by original research and various types of extensive literature reviews. Faculty members have traditionally had their interests represented through various types of library advisory committees, and in recent years libraries have turned significant attention to undergraduate student success. In many universities, of the library’s major stakeholder groups, graduate students are least well understood and, in these cases, they may offer potentially the Read More...

March 05, 2015

Roger C. Schonfeld

March 04, 2015

When State Funding for Higher Education Dries Up, the Poorest Students Suffer the Most

That’s the key finding of Ithaka S+R’s new report, “The Effects of Rising Student Costs in Higher Education: Evidence from Public Institutions in Virginia.” Taking advantage of a uniquely comprehensive and detailed dataset managed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), authors Christine Mulhern, Richard R. Spies, Matthew P. Staiger, and D. Derek Wu analyze trends in state aid, what students pay to attend, and student outcomes. Their work has yielded some of the strongest statistical evidence to date of the relationship Read More...

March 04, 2015

Martin Kurzweil

March 02, 2015

A User-Centric Approach to Privacy for the Academic Library

The shift of library services to online interfaces has led to an explosion in the potential for data gathering, and also to a growing conversation about how the data should and could be used. This past year has witnessed a strong dialogue about libraries’ responsibility for maintaining the privacy and security of the data. Leading experts have pointed out the astonishing number of ways that privacy and security are unintentionally compromised in libraries’ everyday service environment. Protecting the privacy of library users has long been seen Read More...

March 02, 2015

Roger C. Schonfeld

February 27, 2015

On Library Market Share

Like all businesses and service providers, libraries compete, explicitly or implicitly, with other entities for market share. At the heart of this idea is that library leaders should care about the share of user needs they are fulfilling, even if the language of business is not always the most comfortable for them.  Take content delivery--to what extent do users turn to Amazon over the library for books, and how is this changing with the development of ebooks? If we see a shift away from libraries, what are the implications and how should Read More...

February 27, 2015

Roger C. Schonfeld

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