Strategic Guidance

Designing & launching new programs and initiatives

Can faculty effectively incorporate MOOCs developed elsewhere into their hybrid classrooms? What is the impact on student learning? On faculty workload? Investigating these questions and others, Ithaka S+R worked with the Center for Academic Innovation at the University System of Maryland (USM) to set up year-long tests at seven USM campuses.

Related Publication: Interactive Online Learning on Campus

Developing Strategic Plans

Ithaka S+R supported the strategic planning process of the new president of Bank Street College of Education by assessing the teacher preparation landscape, exploring traditional providers, online programs, and new start ups.

Building virtual and physical learning spaces

Through our work with Ithaka S&R’s Senior Anthropologist, our staff became very excited about how we can use participatory design techniques to better understand our users. She helped us conduct investigations that resulted in our obtaining very rich data about user needs, which has enabled us to embark on a thoughtful and informed redesign of some of our library spaces. We are eager to apply the methods we learned in future projects.

— Ann Medaille, Librarian, University of Nevada, Reno

Conducting internal programmatic research

What can libraries learn from the most effective researchers on their campuses? During a six-month project at Cornell’s University Library, we trained library faculty and staff in ethnographic methods and worked with them to identify, interview, and analyze the research practices of 20 undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members. The resulting information will help Cornell University Library envisage the research library of the future while making plans in the nearer term to better meet current and emerging researcher needs.

Related Publication: A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher: Envisioning the Future of the Research Library

Performing external landscape reviews

As The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation continues to encourage diversity through its various programs, it contracted Ithaka S+R to assess the ethnic and gender diversity of the staffs of art museums across the United States. We designed a survey to collect information on staff demographics, the types of diversity programs at the museums, and the diversity of museums’ board members. The resulting report (on the Foundation’s website) provides a baseline of information for the Foundation.

Providing ongoing project management and expert support

Ithaka S+R served as an adviser to the Council of Independent Colleges’ Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction, a multi-year project. Working closely with the CIC, we helped select the members of the consortium, conducted workshops for faculty and provosts from 21 colleges, and assisted members in selecting appropriate technology partners and other resources as they developed upper-level online humanities courses. We also designed and conducted the evaluation of the consortium’s impact on learning outcomes and costs.

Related Publication: CIC Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction: Evaluation Report for First Course Iteration