15 December 2009

Blog on Winter Break!

Blog will return 12 January 2010.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

10 December 2009

Tech Tip: Using Technology to Support Retention

A special issue (December) of Campus Technology includes an example-filled article on use of technology for enrollment management and retention. Pulling from diverse campuses as well as technology strategies, the article drives home a point made by one of the interviewees: no one can afford the human mentors it would take to retain students at the level that technology tools can do it.

Campus Technology is a free subscription magazine with choice of print or digital delivery. The Subscription link is easy to spot on virtually every web page and it's easy to fill out, too.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

09 December 2009

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State U: Web site for SACS reaffirmation

As use of web sites for accreditation documentation has become more popular, institutions' efforts have become more sophisticated. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT) currently is displaying its compliance reports and myriad samples in preparation for its 2010 reaffirmation by SACS. The NCAT SACS Reaffirmation 2010 web site is extensive; it includes full explanation of the campus work (teams, timeline, etc.) leading up to the effort.

Like most SACS institutions that create web sites to document the process, this one includes a Document Library. Using PDF to full advantage, documents are accessible and can be printed easily, as well. Throughout the web site, "filters' are available in the fashion of search boxes. Many of the web pages also offer three option buttons of PDF, Print, and Email. Hyperlinks appear in most text to offer linking to pertinent documents or data.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

08 December 2009

Discussions at SACS 2009

The nice thing about assessment folks is that they are open-minded. Perhaps that's because the work of assessment on higher ed campuses is tough. So, the people who do it are always looking for new assists, new thinking. In our pre-conference workshop last weekend at the SACS Annual Meeting, two discussions proved this again.

First, we talked about the strong and candid statements of Laurie Fendrich. She has written short pieces for the Chronicle (in 2007 and 2009, if you care to google her) about outcomes assessment. No doubt, when she calls the process baloney, she reflects what many are thinking. The SACS room was interested in the comments, chuckled appropriately, and took seriously the fact that many faculty members may hold the same sentiment.

Second, we talked about embedded assessment. A participant commented that this technique appears to bring out the worst in faculty, not the best. In short, the "embeddedness" in courses makes at least some faculty members resistant to assessment in general. With attention at the course level, instructors feel scrutinized and criticized.

I still like outcomes assessment. And I still like embedded assessment as a technique. But I am glad to be in the room when these things are questioned. Moving to a culture of assessment means picking up every piece of it, turning it over and upside down, and continuing to question the best way to conduct assessment.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

03 December 2009

Tech Tip: Laptops, texting, and SNSs are very in

ECAR* Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2009

EDUCAUSE surveys mainly traditional students on their technology and preferences and then publishes the results once a year. The most recent release was October 2009:

Laptops are way up and desktop computers are down.
IM is out; social networking sites (SNSs) are in.
Cell phones are ubiquitous and texting is nearly so.
Students appreciate F2F classes but they also like technology in their classes.

Fastest read: open the PDF of the Roadmap (4 pages)
Next fastest: open the PDF of the Key Findings (7 pages)

*ECAR is the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. Many of their projects and publications reside behind a password but the UG Students & IT report is open to all. (Your institution may have an EDUCAUSE membership so you may have institutional access to many more resources.)

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

02 December 2009

Mobile Learning: An Education Faculty's Accounting

A circulating URL leads to a collection of papers from Education researchers at the University of Wollongong, Australia. It's worth following to the ultimate book.

New technologies, new pedagogies: Mobile learning in higher education. The 2009 text is online in PDF format. From the University's Research Online web site, click the Download button (transfer of 16.2 mb).

Most of the projects described in the text use smartphones or iPods. "Authentic learning" is a theme for the projects directed to teachers and their students as well as to the University's pre-service teachers. Admittedly, the book itself might be a challenge on a smartphone but the projects detailed in it are well suited to the mobile technologies that we're all adopting.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

01 December 2009

The Cost of Assessment: Creating a Simple Model

In preparing for a workshop at SACS, a colleague and I made a first-time addition for a conference presentation: we're going to talk dollars. The topic arose in a different venue as we discussed portfolio costs with a vendor. Afterward, we turned to our work of that day, which was to finalize the agenda for a 3-hour pre-conference workshop.

The discussion with the vendor brought us to that new idea of sharing the costs of supporting faculty in the work of outcomes assessment. Sharing workshops and materials is common in the assessment world. While vendors may not give away too much, even they invite trial uses of SaaS and products. Conference presenters from universities commonly offer their templates for widespread use and thus many institutions' instruments carry provisos such as "modified from...."

This year, we plan to add the crucial information of just how much it costs to produce those materials. We are not performing the cost analysis of salary, benefits, etc. We are using hourly and project wages that are independent of regular paychecks. So, we are outlining what it would cost an institution to hire a part-time worker to perform certain tasks. That's not necessarily what the work is worth. And it's not necessarily the reward that would satisfy faculty members who have been doing assessment "out of their hide." But it is a pragmatic measure that brings perspective to the work of assessment.

Example to support an ePortfolio in a Master's program:

A model for ePortfolio Coaches (assume two of them) to support students in a tracking ePortfolio: hourly wage of $20 for a Master's-prepared Coach with experience in using the portfolio software. Assume a ratio of 1:375, quarter-time employment, that works because the program is in its first year. The next step is to reduce the ratio to 1:250, which means bringing on a 3rd Coach. You may have already made the calculation: it's about $30,000/year (just for the support staff).

Example to facilitate a faculty group's creation of a plan:
Using a consultant model, assume $75/hr fees for assisting a faculty group in designing an assessment plan. The rest of the equation is how many hours does it take, of course. In the case of designing a plan? We have found 10 hours to be about right: 5 in facilitating meetings and 5 in creating materials. So, a program's plan may cost $750 to create.

What the examples offer:
Having a model to work from does not answer an institution's decision-making around whether to fund such a project! But it does bring into focus the real-world aspects of planning for assessment work.
Would the numbers differ from one institution to the next? Sure.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

24 November 2009

A few days off for the holiday

Off... for Thanksgiving week. Blog will return in December. ~ M. Bold

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

19 November 2009

December Conferences: Moodle LMP Among Them

Campus Technology's free webinar series (upcoming schedule online) runs during the front half of December with topics on Wellesley's content management system (Dec 3), cloud computing (Dec 9), and moodlerooms as LMP or learning management platform (Dec 10). The webcasts have a commercial flavor, to be sure, but they also communicate a lot of knowledge about new software and services (and, yes, sometimes Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS). Reservations are taken but if you miss out on a seat, you can return to the schedule page and access a past webcast "on demand." This is the method I use about half the time.

Newest abbreviation on the block: LMP for learning management platform. Distance learning (DL) in higher ed has moved through CMS (course management system but now used almost exclusively for content management system) to LMS (learning management system). LMP has some nice connotations, among them the concept of one platform among many to be employed in DL. That's opposed to a "system" which implies a complete environment, even though systems can be open. There's one more connotation from a personal perspective: I've been studying pause tables, the platforms that dogs employ on an agility course. I like that analogy best of all for DL: a platform for use, probably on a temporary basis, and existing in between other events.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

18 November 2009

Free Conferences Online: Claremont Colleges Digital Library

Conferences and symposia at Claremont Graduate University are among the most affordable but there's one more resource that's free: Claremont Colleges Digital Library. Access requires only the QuickTime player (also free from Apple). Production values are sometimes low but the video playback is superb, thanks to QuickTime.

The menu for the Online Video Library provides titles and speakers, identification by conference, and length of video. Using your browser search function [Control F] you can quickly scan the page for "Scriven" and find hours of learning to be accomplished on your own time.

A more leisurely stroll through the menu leads to other excellent resources on evaluation and higher ed issues, in general. Elsewhere on the page are links to text and video about some of the Claremont series. Some links involve a charge but you'll also find some free items, such as the first 45 minutes from the 2009 Stauffer Symposium, which happened to be Claremont's first webcast effort in addition to the F2F conference. Click on "Positive Psychology Conference - Video Footage" on the left side of the menu web page and scroll down to the black square that offers the free show. (I took the time to play the free excerpt—it's a good representation of the day but I'll admit that I'm glad I saw it in person. You can also view the whole day for $25.)

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

17 November 2009

Travel and Technology (Fall Conferences)

Fall conference travel... for SAIR, IUPUI, NCFR, and next up, SACS... has prompted a new technology list for the season. These are my new and returning tools that make working possible during travel weeks:

VOIP EAR BUDS:
VOIP headsets are as old as VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), but its the ear bud version (with mike in the cord) that caught my eye this year. This version of connecting to the laptop is comfortable and easy to pack. Don't get confused by regular ear buds and mike (for your cell phone). Nor the plain ear buds (for your MP3 player). In short, look for the two crucial components: the mike in the cord and the ending points in 2 input jacks. Find all those elements (happily, for under $20) and you're ready for enhanced VOIP. (The graphic above also shows one more feature: retractable cords via the round element in center.)

WAVE ON CHROME:
My waves can still be counted on one hand but I'm working on learning Wave, Google's new email offering. It's really a conversation piece, in more ways than one, and it requires one of just a handful of qualified web browsers. So, that's why chrome is new for me, now, too. After the novelty wears off, we'll know if Wave really adds to my productivity. Right now, it's a major learning curve. Chrome is much easier to adopt and I especially like its + sign at the top to create a new tab.

APPLE AIRPORT:
I travel with my PCs, not my Apple laptop, but I carry along the Apple Airport in order to turn cable Internet access into wireless access in my hotel room. This durable item is a standard now. I spend a lot of time worrying that I will fail to unplug it upon departure.

AIR CARD:
For the hotel rooms with too-expensive or too-slow Internet, I plug in my USB "card" which is really a neat little stick for accessing the 3G network. I also use it in airports. (Think of it as a cell phone for the laptop because it actually does have a "phone number" assignment from the cell service company.)

GOGO NETWORK:
And then there's this new inducement to work while traveling: Internet access from 30,000 feet. Just a couple of days ago, on an aging S80, I found the plane to be WIFI-enabled. It was a red-eye flight and I didn't want to disturb neighbors with my laptop so I accessed the network with my iPhone. And surfed. Hardly got my money's worth ($7.95) but enjoyed the luxury of having WIFI everywhere.

MISSING:
What's missing? Life could be pretty darn perfect if we had an assessment cruise... with affordable WIFI on ship. Travel and technology go well together.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

12 November 2009

Tech Note: Advising In World

Virtual advising has officially entered Penn State's stock of student services. The institution's Second Life island is the locale for meetings between avatars "in world"; advisers' availability is posted on the Penn State Online web site. See the staff photo (of avatars) on that web site.

An inventive feature of the Penn State initiative: walk-in hours.

The image at right is not from Penn State. That's my avatar on the island of Texas Woman's University. I have keynoted in SL, met with students, and helped to create a student research symposium. All good things to do virtually. Recommended starting point for anyone new to the immersive environment: NMC, New Media Consortium.

FYI: I don't worry over the debate of whether we in higher ed should be teaching in Second Life. Or even whether higher ed should invest in virtual worlds. But I do think we should all practice in every SL venue open to us. We need to practice. SL is probably not going to be the virtual world we teach in 10 years from now. But it's a great place to practice now.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

11 November 2009

CollegeInSight: Mashup Guide to Higher Ed

The explosion of data sources on U.S. higher education no doubt matches the growth of the Internet. It's a 2000s story, with updates daily. Today's entry isn't about a brand-new web publisher (because The Institute for College Access & Success has been around for a few years, researching access as well as student experience with loans) but an established one's beta web site for displaying college data to the public.

The number of "public" guides to colleges continues to grow with emphasis on easy to pull statistics. This one, CollegeInSight, handles data well and permits even custom tables (through the "explore all data" tab). Data reflect more than 150 variables from multiple sources. The primary sources are recognizable to folks in IR but not to much of the public: IPEDS reported to NCES, Pell Grant files, FISAP reported to DOE, and CDS or Common Data Set maintained by Peterson's.

The resulting mashup, with its clear identification of sources, sets a new standard for data sites concerning higher ed.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

10 November 2009

Comparability of College Assessments

In the search for proof of what college can do for the nation, we have a fair number of accountability initiatives. Some prescribed by government, some by accreditors. And then there are the self-assigned initiatives although they may be prompted by those other prescriptions.

We move quickly from "accountability" to "assessment," because we need measurement. So, assessment-the-process and assessment-the-instrument develop and we must then move to "validity," because we really need to know if we are measuring what our charge for accountability demands that we measure.

Some associations emerge to help with the process, one being VSA, Voluntary System of Accountability. That's a gathering of 4-year public universities just since 2006 to bring transparency and accountability to higher ed. VSA's most visible achievement (on the web, at least) is College Portraits, a collection of institutional profiles providing "comparable information" on colleges for easy review by students and families.

Recently, VSA published a report on validity of what most educators consider the "top" standardized assessments (instruments) of gen ed skills, specifically tests from the CAAP, CLA, and MAPP. The results announce that the assessments are comparable in what they do. The report does a nice job of explaining the results when the institution is the unit of analysis and when the student is the unit of analysis. (The results differ.)

Depending on what assumption you (personally) have about standardized assessments of gen ed skills and applicability to student learning, you now have an answer.

Assumption #1: Such assessments measure student learning. Your answer: The top assessments are comparable and you can proceed with your choice based on other criteria (cost, logistics, etc.)

Assumption #2: Such assessments may measure something but probably not student learning. Your answer: The top assessments are comparable; in short, they're all the same.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

05 November 2009

Authenticating Identification... No, Just Identifying

Negotiated rule-making on the question of student identity in distance learning suggested a common sense approach and that is now made official in the final regulations from Department of Education. The fast find: search for "identity" on the web page.

The October 27 publication (in the Federal Registry) was among a cluster of final rulings on the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, abbreviated as HEOA. Announcements about similar regulations are made on the Higher Education page of Ed.gov. Although designed as a web page, the site reads a lot like a blog, with stacked entries over time and sidebar hyperlinks to other sources.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

04 November 2009

Reporting Assessment Results (Well): Pairing UNLV and OERL

Following the work of University of Nevada - Las Vegas Office of Academic Assessment and their online Assessment Toolbox, a good outline for reporting to stakeholders includes a link to OERL with recommendation to explore the tabs for Plans, Instruments, and Reports.

One of the richer guides on the OERL (Online Evaluation Resource Library) site is the Alignment Table for Report Components. Between the two web sites, you find the short and long of assessment report-writing.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

03 November 2009

Old Dominion's GNATs

"The number of colleges and universities carrying out assessment activities since the early 1980s has grown from a handful to virtually all institutions of higher education today."

~ from the History web page of Old Dominion University web site on assessment

The history of assessment at Old Dominion does a good job of highlighting the events since the '80s that drive measures today. The lesson is subtly made: attention to outcomes assessment is relatively recent. Old Dominion is frank about its own recent attention to building infrastructure for assessment. One of the institution's strategies was formation of GNATS—Great New Assessment Teams.

Old Dominion indicates that its assessment web site is "new and improved." Not knowing its previous condition, I can at least call the current version neat, clean, and easy to read. From left, check out the Assessment Cycle. From right, go ahead and click "Top 10 Facts About Assessment of Student Learning." The Top 10 list draws you in....

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

29 October 2009

APA 6: Corrections Now Available

As software is released in versions, we've become accustomed to products improving after their release. The APA Publication Manual joins that tradition. Actually, it already was in the tradition: after the 5th edition was published, APA offered a list of corrections and then inserted the corrections in subsequent printings of the book. This year, the same is being promised for the 6th edition.

The list of corrections is available on the APA Style web site. The second printing (with corrections) of the book will be available to requesters after November 2 (for a limited time). Check out the APA web site for more information.

For a much more instructive (and entertaining) introduction to APA 6, read the APA Style Blog. If you scroll to October 8, you can learn more about the corrections to the text. But the real treasure is in the informal explanations of APA rules.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

28 October 2009

Lunch at IUPUI: Unofficial Report on California Higher Ed

At the speakers' luncheon today at IUPUI Assessment Institute, I sat with colleagues from UCLA, USC, and Southern Illinois U. The conversation was lively and also instructive. The UCLA person confirmed for us much of what we have assumed from news reports about public higher ed in California. Her brief report: students are paying 30% more for 10% less... and this is not a single year of belt-tightening in terms of furloughs. She, and her cohort at UCLA, expect rough years ahead. And they are prepared to see students give up on waiting to get into the system.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

27 October 2009

Expectations for Assessment: Still Growing

To gain a quick sense of the surveys utilized in higher ed today, check out the Tool Kit: Surveys web page of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment web site.

NILOA is a new (since 2008) site devoted to highlighting assesment of student learning outcomes in higher ed. It is supported by Lumina Foundation for Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and The Teagle Foundation. The project is housed at U of Illinois and Indiana U.

The project's purpose statement "Making Learning Outcomes Usable & Transparent" and its sheer existence make a statement about expectations for assessment in higher ed: still growing.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

22 October 2009

Civic Engagement: College Ranking

Civic engagement is the leading criterion for a ranking of colleges published by Westfield State College (Massachusetts). In a report called Saviors of Our Cities, the 2009 Survey of College & University Civic Partnerhips presents 25 institutions, as it has done since the survey's inception in 2006. Added in 2009, is the Honor Roll of an additional 116 institutions.

The more informal descriptor of the survey is 2009 Top 25 'Best Neighbor' Colleges & Universities. The survey grew out of scholarly research by Evan S. Dobelle, who now serves as President at Westfield State.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

21 October 2009

List of Assessment Conferences

PACAT (the folks behind the ACATs) publishes a handy list of Assessment Conferences, with links to the conference home pages. What I like: SAIR's 2010 data appear the same week that SAIR 2009 wrapped up in Dallas (Tuesday!)

Of course, the credit for that goes to SAIR because conference organizers make entries at the web page for their upcoming meetings to be included.

I have no association with PACAT. I'm just a fan of their web page. And impressed that they bought a URL for the purpose!

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

20 October 2009

Del Mar's Dashboard

For a display of a smooth-running dashboard, check out Del Mar College's interactive charts on their Institutional Research and Effectiveness web site. The site also offers Statistical Profiles (mostly in PDF files) with convenient "new" icons for returning visitors. The site provides a nice history of assessment efforts at the College with many files and links.

Among the Statistical Profiles are course survey results. Small n courses (fewer than 5 students) are excluded and identities (such as faculty names) are omitted. Otherwise the results are complete and a sound example of transparency.

Del Mar is an Associate degree-granting institution located in Corpus Christi, Texas.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

15 October 2009

Clemson's Links to Colleges' Honor Policies

Not just plagiarism falls under the umbrella of academic dishonesty although that continues to be the hot topic for most investigations into campus culture of integrity. The proliferation of plagiarism checkers (mostly driving search engines of Google and just a few more) in the past couple of years has made electronic tools not only attractive but also near requirements, either embedded in learning management systems or available in web browsers.

Today, campus policy-makers are likely to be experts on plagiarism detection (and perhaps customers of several mainstream vendors, besides). To step out of that sub-topic and into the broader topic of academic integrity, a scan of university web sites brings perspective. Clemson University's Center for Academic Integrity is a rich resource for all the topics and a handy means to branch out to more than 50 of the Center's member institutions to see how campuses are addressing academic honesty. The comparison of honor codes and policies permits a close-up view of West Point's verbiage intended for cadets as well as policies of very large institutions and very small ones, publics and privates.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

14 October 2009

Web Resources from Intel

Intel's set of web sites for Education Programs and Resources includes a curriculum-rich set for Higher Education. But the fun stuff is at Free Teaching Tools and Resources. Your approach can be classroom or training room. Either way, you'll be rewarded.

Starting December 1, bloggers are required to disclose any relationship (or "material connections") with companies whose products the bloggers review. And bloggers must also substantiate or advise about claims about the products (such as, "results may vary"). The FTC is aiming to increase transparency on the web as well as other media. Such requirements demand compliance. But also invite humorous musings. Mine would be: (a) my only material connection with Intel is the money I've spent over the years on Intel Inside computers, (b) I would hate to have to substantiate "fun" in today's post although anyone who knows me would recognize the likelihood of me having had fun with the free teaching tools, and (c) will the FTC rule affect product placements in movies? (I like the new FTC rule, by the way.)

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

13 October 2009

Center for Language Education and Research

Resources for foreign language educators include evaluation and assessment projects from the web site CLEAR, Center for Language Education and Research. The "store" is a good starting point because it moves you quickly to the mostly free resources such as rich Internet applications (RIAs). For people in a hurry, go straight to the page with All Products.

CLEAR is a U.S. Department of Education Title VI Language Resource Center. Obviously, the emphasis on content is languages. The RIAs and other technology resources are for everyone, with user-friendly interfaces to support use of Flash word processors, game creators, mashup creators, etc. The talent behind the works: Michigan State University.

There are 15 Department of Ed language resource centers, accessible from another web page at Michigan.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

08 October 2009

Plagiarism Policies in Higher Ed

For an international perspective on plagiarism by students, see the JISC research report on how the matter is handled at higher ed institutions in the UK. An investigation into plagiarism policies uncovered 25 different penalties across 153 institutions. Common ground: 99% include the possibility of expulsion.

Similar range of penalties and policies exist in U.S. schools. Among the more informally written is this phrase from the Rutgers explanation of consequences: "University policy will kick in, regardless of the feelings of either the students or the instructor."

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

07 October 2009

Student Authentication: Resource within WCET

Higher ed has its horror stories on who can get an online degree. They range from the dog (whose owner mailed in the check) to the family who appeared at graduation to collect their, um, collective diploma because they had all worked together to accomplish the course work. Somewhere in between are the known and guessed-at scenarios of "farming out" a course or an assignment, maybe for pay or maybe just enlisting a friend or relative who's better at.... well, a Stats course might be a common choice.

Online instructors are not so suspicious. Most claim that they develop a sense of who their students are, especially if they teach in a program that permits repeated contact over several semesters. It's harder to accept the familiarity claim by instructors who meet students in a single class. (As an online adjunct, I am in this category. But when I was on regular faculty working in an online program, I also served as an advisor and taught several courses. In that setting, I felt very confident that I knew my students as well as their work.)

Being certain of an online student's identity is a hot topic for at least another year as institutions decide how to meet that expectation. A good guide to the topic is through WCET's web page on Academic Integrity and Student Authentication.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

06 October 2009

Supports from UConn: Assessment Primer

UConn publishes an extensive support for internal and external communities on its Assessment web site. The Assessment Primer provides a logical progression though the major concepts and graphics are interspersed in what is usually a text-heavy approach to learning about assessment. The illustrations are simple but drive home points such as how assessments flow from an institutional mission statement while presenting hierarchical relationships among Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes in an Outcomes Pyramid.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

01 October 2009

Tech Note: Online Edu Readiness

The Student Online Readiness Tool (SORT) is a self-assessment for student use before making the choice of taking online classes. The free access web site is sponsored by the University System of Georgia. Students are invited to take the self-quizzes in any order (and not necessarily in one sitting) to receive immediate feedback on their suitability for distance learning. While the content is standard, and the immediate scoring produces "profile" information with suggestions, the real power of all such screening tools is to place the issues before the prospective student. Just by being exposed to the concepts, students begin to make the self-assessment of how they will adapt to the online environment. Probably not a design decision, but one that occurred to me when exploring the site, is the requirement that the student actually click through a lot of radio buttons (much like they will find in a course's online quizzes and tests). If that's a time-consuming task, or a confusing one in terms of keeping track of the mouse focus on the buttons, students will tire of it and... self-select out of distance learning.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

30 September 2009

Virtual "Student Retention" Conference

U of Oklahoma's Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange sponsors symposia and this year will add a Virtual Conference on the subject. At $500 - $600, attendees can gain an access point for use in an office or conference room (for any number of people). Unlimited viewing of streaming videos is permitted between October 16 and November 20, 2009.

Virtual meetings are not new for the oganization. CSRDE offers regular one-hour webinars for $129 (member) to $229 (non-member) on subjects such as identifying at-risk students, the transfer student experience, and student services retention strategies. The 2009-10 Webinar Schedule promises a new topic every month.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

29 September 2009

The Chronicle's Helpful Chart on Higher Ed Enrollments Worldwide

The past 20 years saw slow but steady increased enrollments in higher ed in the U.S. And we tend to think of that as typical around the globe. It is not typical. The global experience is one of explosive growth. For Asia and Africa, enrollments since 1990 have grown more than 200%. The Chronicle of Higher Education compiled stats from multiple sources to produce a helpful graphic to understand the growth.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

24 September 2009

Tech Note: Want a Blackberry?

Peter Schilling's second annual IT Index of technology uses at Amherst College discloses that 81 employees have Amherst-provided Blackberries. That's not so unusual these days, of course. The rest of the list details student email use, twitter followers, the increasing number of MACs on campus, and so forth. Trends, at least short term ones, can be spotted through comparison with last year's Index. (At the bottom of Schilling's list is a link to the 2008 Index.)

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

23 September 2009

The Value of Poor Examples in Assessment

Dartmouth College's Office of Institutional Research provides its community with numerous Assessment Resources, including guides on assessment design. Of particular interest on the Assessment Design web page is a set of examples, good and bad. The examples use Claude Steele's stereotype threat theory as basis for an assessment effort, and reading through the "good" example gives an introduction to Steele's powerful work. Reading through the "poor" example is also instructive!

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

22 September 2009

Publications courtesy of Middle States

While any accreditation agency's web site is understandable focused on its own protocols and its own membership, there are some gems to be found on publications pages such as Middle States'. And a direct link to a summary page from Suskie's 2009 book is also on the site. It's a wonderful list of examples of evidence of student learning.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

17 September 2009

Tech Note: Keeping up with Apps on the Web

By the time you finish exploring this directory of Web 2.0 applications, Web 3.0 will be underway. Web applications emerged before anyone named the era of interactive apps as Web 2.0 but today the two terms are well linked (no pun intended). This directory site organizes web applications by category and also provides a sure guide to the most conventional tools under "Most Popular" (from the traditional LinkedIn to several artwork-sharing sites).

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

16 September 2009

Two October Conferences

Two conferences I'm making time for in October:

SAIR: October 17-19, 2009 in Dallas
Southern Association for Institutional Research
36th annual conference

IUPUI Assessment Institute: October 26-27, 2009 in Indianapolis
Annual conference on outcomes assessment

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

15 September 2009

Free Virtual Conference: Reserve December 3

Let's assume the Campus Technology 09 Virtual Conference won't run out of seats... still, an early reservation to the free event will assure that you reserve the date on your calendar.

For anyone who has ever attended the Campus Technology F2F conference (nee Syllabus), the upcoming December 3, 2010, free option is attractive. Even if you don't know that you need CT in your life, the company's quality of displays makes registration a given. You'll want to see what they've invented this year.

Registration for the free conference and expo includes a system check on your computer to insure best results on December 3.


© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

10 September 2009

No Pat Ending: Report Brief on Outcomes Assessment

"There is no pat ending to this research brief. The issue appears to remain contentious among sociology chairs."

The research brief (What's Happening in Your Department with Assessment) is the American Sociological Association's report on survey of academic sociology departments (U.S. higher ed) on their assessment activities. Specifically, student outcomes assessment was addressed. The assessment activity is high; the attitude toward the activity is... mixed.

With a sampling frame of 915 programs/departments, and a response rate of 60%, the online survey produced data that allowed comparison with previous years. The report, at 22 pages, gives a lively accounting of survey results.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

09 September 2009

iRubric: Search and Copy, too

Without joining the Rcampus web site, you can search for rubrics and view them on-screen. For the time that it takes to enter basic web form data, you can join Rcampus and gain access to the rubrics to copy, edit, print, and otherwise put the rubrics to full use.

The iRubrics web page also invites users to scan the Public Gallery. More features are available with the user membership registration. The "open tools" are free.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

08 September 2009

Transparency by Design: New Web Site

College Choices for Adults is the just-launched web site of the Transparency by Design project of WCET*.

The College Choices web site presents profile data for programs at member institutions including Western Governors, Capella, Kaplan, and APUS. Typical data: student demographics, NSSE results, alumni survey results.

Capella University's profile also includes data on student learning outcomes. A pair of clear examples:

MS in Human Services displays capstone course rubric results of largely Proficient and Distinguished ratings on eight outcomes, an expected result as graduate students typically strive to be.... proficient and distinguished.

BS in Information Technology displays capstone course results with greater variety among the ratings.

*WCET: Western Cooperative for Educational Technology was created in 1989 by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The founding 15 western states have since been joined by members from most U.S. states. The goal of integrating DL and educational technology remains the same and includes conferences and special projects.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

25 August 2009

Blog: off until after Labor Day

Blog is on vacation in honor of start of semester. Will return Tuesday, September 8.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.