S+R Blog

Addressing the current issues that impact higher education.

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September 02, 2015

Assessing the Potential of Gamification in Higher Education

Last week, The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article that profiled “Ball State Achievements,” a mobile application by the university that incentivizes participation among low-income students in campus activities, such as attending an organization’s event or going to the campus gym, by rewarding points to students (which can later be redeemed for campus currency), like you would to a player in a game. The underlying idea is that students who participate in activities outside the classroom are more likely to achieve success in the Read More...

September 02, 2015
September 01, 2015

Talent Management for Academic Libraries

What does it take to attract, develop, and retain employees who can adapt, grow, and thrive in the fast-changing world of academic libraries?
 
In our latest issue brief, Deanna Marcum explores why libraries should consider a "talent management" approach as they seek to fill new positions and leverage the skills of their current staff. It's a change that calls for a new mindset not only in the human resources department, but truly across the organization.
 

 
Interested? Download "Talent Management for Academic Libraries."
 
 
Read More...

September 01, 2015
August 31, 2015

The Birth of an Uber Learning Economy

Before the financial crisis of 2008, the typical answer to differentiating yourself in a job market crowded with bachelor’s degrees was to get yet more college by earning a master’s degree.
 
But since the recession, enrollment in graduate school has been essentially flat as fewer students seem to want to take on the debt of going back to school or question the return on investment in a tough job market. A front-page article in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month noted that graduate students hold 40 percent of the $1.19 trillion in Read More...

August 31, 2015
August 31, 2015

The Value of a Global Perspective

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the International Federation of Library Associations and Agencies annual conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Such gatherings make starkly apparent the wide variations in the resources available to libraries in different parts of the world, but they also give reason for optimism about libraries, generally.
 
The theme of this year’s conference was “Dynamic Libraries: Access, Development and Transformation," signaling the strong connection between development of a democratic society, economic Read More...

August 31, 2015

Deanna Marcum

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August 27, 2015

Fair Use and Online Learning

The world of online learning presents some unpleasant surprises when it comes to sharing materials. Recently, a university librarian from a selective private institution told me a story that put a nice point on this issue. One of the university’s schools had recently launched a collaborative online degree with peer institutions. Faculty members teaching in the program contacted the library to ask for help with making course materials available to the online students. When the librarians explained to them that they could not legally put any Read More...

August 27, 2015
August 26, 2015

Improving Instruction at Scale

In 2008, John Immerwahr described an “iron triangle” constraining colleges and universities, in which cost, quality, and access exist in an “unbreakable reciprocal relationship, such that any change in one will inevitably impact the others.” According to this logic, making a college or university more accessible or trying to increase the quality of instruction would necessarily drive up institutional costs. Conversely, reducing expenditures would inevitably make an institution less accessible and undermine the quality of the education that a Read More...

August 25, 2015

Survey Administration Best Practices: First Steps

Since 2000, Ithaka S+R has run the US Faculty Survey, which tracks the evolution of faculty members’ research and teaching practices against the backdrop of increasing digital resources and other systemic changes in higher education. Starting in 2012, Ithaka S+R has offered colleges and universities the opportunity to field the faculty survey, and a newly added student survey, at their individual institutions to gain better insight into the perceptions of their faculty members and students. More than 70 local faculty and student surveys have Read More...

August 25, 2015

Christine Wolff

August 17, 2015

Instruction Shapes Construction at the University of Technology Sydney

Over the past eight years, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has undergone a remarkable transition, from a tired campus that housed an unsung technical institute to a major presence in Australia’s largest city where learning and research draw the attention of students, the higher education community, industry, and the public.
 
In our latest case study, “Making a Place for Curricular Transformation at the University of Technology Sydney,” authors Nancy Fried Foster and Christine Mulhern unpack the process through which UTS transformed Read More...

August 17, 2015
August 14, 2015

Shifting Policy to Support the “Typical” College Student

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times’ Education Life section published a series of articles dedicated solely to incoming college freshmen. With advice on how to navigate the dining hall, when to move into one’s dorm, and how to manage helicopter parents, the articles imagined the typical college student as an 18-year-old who was entering a four year institution straight from high school, living on campus, and whose primary concerns centered just as much on making friends as they did on identifying a viable career path. 
 
These articles Read More...

August 14, 2015

Jessie Brown

August 10, 2015

The Organizational Structure of Academic Libraries

Ithaka S+R is launching a new research project to examine how organizational structure affects the academic library's capacity for effective decision-making on major strategic issues. My interest in this topic draws from Ithaka S+R’s experiences helping more than 75 academic libraries survey their own faculty members and students as well as our other library consultations. Through these projects, it is clear that some libraries are better positioned to act on the research they conduct and the evidence they gather than are others. I have come Read More...

August 10, 2015
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