Subscribe

How Should We Interpret the Survey?
Taking a Closer Look at Higher Ed Insights

The Spring 2016 Ithaka S+R Higher Ed Insights survey on obstacles to innovation that would promote student success identifies four top roadblocks:  Insufficient funding for public institutions; faculty incentives not aligned to teaching and learning; administrative silos; and faculty resistance to change. The top solutions, in turn, are rewarding faculty for innovating in teaching and learning, acquiring better evidence on how to bring initiatives to scale, nurturing better collaboration among PreK-12 systems, community colleges, and universities, and establishing a unit record data system. These are important findings, but I fear that the survey results might well be misinterpreted, as if…


The Three Greatest Obstacles to Improving Student Success?
Higher Ed Insiders Cite State Funding, Faculty Incentives, and Administrative Silos

A diverse group of 85 higher education leaders and experts identified insufficient state funding of public institutions of higher education as the most significant obstacle to improving American students’ postsecondary outcomes. But aside from the shortfall in that critical public investment, respondents to the Spring 2016 Ithaka S+R Higher Ed Insights Survey flagged institutional policies, practices, and culture as the greatest impediments to improving student success. The most promising solutions to those obstacles, according to respondents, are greater incentives for faculty to focus on teaching and learning, and better evidence on how to bring student success initiatives to scale. In…


Large Advising Study Launches
Many Opportunities to Learn

After a busy planning year, Ithaka S+R and the 11 public universities that are a part of the University Innovation Alliance recently launched the Monitoring Advising Analytics to Promote Success (MAAPS) study. As my colleague Martin Kurzweil explained last fall when the project was just getting started, MAAPS consists of an intensive proactive and technology-enhanced advisement intervention for first-time low-income and/or first-generation freshmen. It is funded by a First in the World grant from the Department of Education, with Georgia State University as the lead institution and Ithaka S+R as evaluator (see figure 1 below for a visual summary of…


Designing Libraries to Support Community College Students

Among the growing number of ethnographic studies of college students, only a tiny number look at students on community college campuses, and even fewer look specifically at how these students do their academic work and use the library. But community college students constitute an enormous and important group. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 7.2 million of the 20.5 million undergraduates in the US are enrolled in community colleges. And it is important to understand their work practices and information needs so that resources and services in community colleges are designed to support their success. A three-year…


Talking About Library Organization
Webinar Recording Now Available

Earlier this week, I was invited by John Burger and Joni Blake to present recent research findings to a webinar hosted by ASERL and GWLA. I focused on the recent Ithaka S+R study on Organizing the Work of the Academic Library. My presentation and the resulting q&a are recorded and available for download. More than 100 librarians joined in to participate in the webinar, and the questions were energetic and robust. I used my presentation to walk through the project’s key findings, emphasizing that organizational structures can enable the library’s strategic directions when those strategies are clearly articulated. In my…