S+R Blog

Addressing the current issues that impact higher education.

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April 23, 2015

Small Steps Lead to Big Change at Georgia State

For more than a decade, Georgia State University has focused intensively on improving the retention and graduation rates of students with long odds of succeeding. The results of this effort are truly remarkable.
 
Between 2003 and 2014, GSU’s six-year graduation rate increased by nearly 70 percent, from 32 percent to 54 percent.  During the same period, the share of its undergraduate population eligible for Pell grants has increased by nearly 90 percent, from 31 percent to 58 percent.
 
This dramatic improvement has attracted attention and Read More...

April 23, 2015
April 17, 2015

The Vital Need to Link Discovery and Access

Over the past few weeks, there has been an interesting set of discussions about whether the Liberian part of the Ebola outbreak this winter was foretold and therefore could have been stopped earlier. Writing an op-ed in the New York Times, several researchers noted that they recently “stumbled across” an article indicating the reasonable likelihood that Liberia would be faced with cases of Ebola, which turned out to have been one of several studies predicting Liberia being in the zone of likely exposure for the virus. Public health officials Read More...

April 17, 2015

Roger C. Schonfeld

April 13, 2015

Christine Wolff Joins Ithaka S+R's Surveys Team

Ithaka S+R’s surveys program is growing. Nearly 60 colleges and universities have fielded our student and faculty surveys with their own campus community, with questionnaires that are developed and tested in partnership with the academic library community. This fall, we will be fielding the next cycles of the US Faculty Survey and, in collaboration with Jisc and RLUK, the UK Survey of Academics, with findings due to be released in the spring.
 
A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to have Christine Wolff join us as survey administrator. Read More...

April 13, 2015
April 10, 2015

Gaining a Technology Platform, But Losing a University's Brand Name

The competitive pressures facing higher education these days are often compared to the massive changes that overwhelmed the music and publishing industries in the last decade. The music industry seems to have emerged at the other end of that transformation in better shape than it entered. The same can’t be said of newspapers, of course. But publishing companies continue to evolve and colleges and universities might still be able to learn lessons from the decisions they are now making about their future in delivering content to consumers.
 
The Read More...

April 10, 2015

Jeffrey J. Selingo

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

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