Blog

Person surrounded by charts and graphs

Creating a Healthy Analytics Culture on Campus

In higher education, new ideas have the potential to take off quickly. With a plethora of publications, Listservs, and professional networks, good concepts can spread from institution to institution in a matter of hours. Ideas like microlearning, competency-based assessment, student-centered learning, and immersive experiences began, at some point in time, on one campus or in the mind of one individual.

Continue reading
Working Together to Ensure Students Thrive

Using Data to Inform Enrollment Management Part 2

Enrollment managers play a critical role on every campus. While the outside world may focus much of its energy on faculty effectiveness, graduation rates, and career placement, a campus can’t survive without the ability to enroll or retain students. Especially in today’s era of lowered budget allocations and tuition discounting, the pressure is on to continually meet numbers. If a student leaves, he or she must be replaced. For enrollment managers, the goal is simple: use data to admit students who are likely to thrive and then use more data to help assure they are retained.

Continue reading
Expanded Data Layer

Advancing Co-Curricular Program Development

Students have more options than ever when it comes to customizing their on-campus experience. More and more campuses are creating co-curricular programs to encourage students’ involvement in experiences outside of the classroom. These programs not only showcase the variety and depth of opportunities, but also help students become more connected to campus.

Continue reading
Enrollment Search Process

Using Data to Inform Enrollment Management Part 1

Enrollment managers play a critical role on every campus. While the outside world may focus much of its energy on faculty effectiveness, graduation rates, and career placement, a campus can’t survive without the ability to enroll or retain students. Especially in today’s era of lowered budget allocations and tuition discounting, the pressure is on to continually meet numbers. If a student leaves, he or she must be replaced. For enrollment managers, the goal is simple: use data to admit students who are likely to thrive and then use more data to help assure they are retained. Part One of this series will focus on the admissions side of the house, while Part Two will turn toward retention and student success.

Continue reading
outcomes assessment

Harnessing Faculty Power with Better Outcomes Assessment

In today’s higher education environment, faculty regularly find themselves being pulled in more directions than ever. No longer debating whether they should be a sage on the stage or a guide by their students’ side, faculty now are asked to think about their roles in admissions, retention, graduation rates, and student success. Beyond the long-standing faculty triad of teaching, research, and service, the all-hands-on-deck approach to finding students, keeping them enrolled, and then assuring they become productive graduates all occupy faculty time. Thus, any additional request from an administrator has the potential to be met with skepticism.

Continue reading
classroom engagement

Your General Education Program: Is It Time for a Redesign? Part 2

In a previous post, I wrote about how to assess your general education program. After you’ve gathered data on your current program, you can make decisions about what you have, what you need, and what you’d like to change. You can also determine if you really need to redesign your program with new goals and a different structure, or simply rebrand and reintroduce it to campus. Whichever way you go, there are a few things that are essential to consider.

Continue reading
Student Success

4 Steps Closer to Student Success

Planning for student success starts with a careful study of the data that makes up your institutional ecosystem, leading to greater insight into what makes students successful in your unique educational environment.

Continue reading
student engagement

Eager to Tell Your Student Engagement Story? Focus on Six Key Metrics

In the world of higher education, it can be challenging to explain—let alone quantify—the value that student affairs brings to a campus. That’s where data comes in. No doubt many of you already track campus-wide activities to measure student involvement. But how can you be sure that students are truly engaged, as opposed to being simply involved? And how do you know if your programs and campus resources are as impactful as you intend them to be?

Continue reading
classroom engagement

Embracing a Framework for Student Learning Outcomes

A well-articulated learning outcome statement is key to both achieving and measuring learning. If you can’t specify what your students will know or be able to do as a result of a course, program, or other intervention, then what hope do they have of actually accomplishing it? Similarly, measurement requires a precise understanding of what the outcome should look like – almost the ability to close your eyes and imagine the achieved learning outcome in full color and sound.

Continue reading
classroom engagement

Moving Away from the Course Evaluation Numbers Game

Is your course evaluation data being used to develop or to evaluate your faculty? That was the key question in my recent conversation with Ken Ryalls, PhD, President of IDEA. In episode 4 of our Data in Higher Education podcast, the two of us discussed a global approach to assessing teaching and learning in order to foster classroom engagement, risk taking, and innovation.

Continue reading
Students and Data Points

In Give and Take: Finding the Value in Classroom Feedback, I made a case for the value of formative assessment data in the development of teaching and learning. My personal point of view about classroom feedback is steeped in my own experience and my individual philosophy of education. When I’m donning my Campus Labs consultant hat and working with campuses across the United States, however, my classroom experience fades into the distance. I focus instead on the reality of helping institutional constituents scale up and onboard their entire campus to the possibilities of data in the continuous improvement of student learning.

Continue reading
Students and Data Points

Your General Education Program: Is It Time for a Redesign? Part 1

We are revisiting our general education program is a common refrain heard during my visits with campuses. I also hear these words when I'm working with fellow assessment colleagues. It's not surprising, given recent trends. The 2016 AACU publication Recent Trends in General Education Design, Learning Outcomes, and Teaching Approaches reported more than 55 percent of their member institutions are prioritizing general education. Conversations about higher education are increasingly focused on the value of a college degree, and workplace priorities for skills and knowledge fit comfortably in the realm of general or liberal education in the 21st century.

Continue reading

Give and Take: Finding the Value in Classroom Feedback

Picture yourself as an undergraduate student. Alright, maybe that was another time and place. But try to remember what it felt like to be a learner in a college environment, and give yourself the full sensory experience. Enjoy the feel of a desk under your arms, the sounds of typing in a lecture hall or pens scratching against paper in a lab. Relish in the heat of an early fall semester afternoon on the fourth floor of an academic building, or the chill of a February morning and a paper cup of coffee warming your hands.

Continue reading

Introducing Campus Intelligence

The team at Campus Labs is excited to unveil an online learning space we’ve been envisioning for quite for some time – Campus Intelligence. Having partnered with over 1,000 campuses since our founding in 2001, we’ve had the opportunity to work with leading professionals in the field. We’ve also benefited from a front-row seat to view new patterns and trends as they emerge across all areas of higher education. For years, we’ve wanted to share this vantage point with a larger audience, by bringing thought leaders together to discuss emerging best practices, share creative strategies, and uncover valuable insights to support the work of higher education professionals. And we believe we’ve created such a place with Campus Intelligence.

Continue reading

Challenging Traditional Assumptions About Assessment Management

For our most recent Data in Higher Education podcast, I had the chance to sit down with my colleague, JD White, and discuss the decade-long shift in how institutions gather and use vital information for assessment management. Constituents across higher education are hungry to make use of the growing amount of data to make more informed decisions in the advancement of education. However, the existence of more data has not translated into more meaningful insights or advanced analytics.

Continue reading
Oscars Rubric

From Involvement to Engagement: The Difference Is in the Outcomes

An involved student is a successful student.” This is one of the most commonly repeated phrases in Student Affairs. However, as we learn more about the importance of engagement in higher education, we recognize that this phrase captures just a small part of the picture for student success.

Continue reading

Seven Data-Driven Ways to Identify At-Risk Students

As students return to campus and settle in for the new semester, administrators must face the daunting task of unpacking a complex and all-important problem: retention. The stakes are high in those first few weeks, as the excitement subsides and the reality of college life sets in. Given this scenario, it’s easy to see the benefits of implementing an early...

Continue reading
Oscars Rubric

More Is More: Multiple Measures for Better Assessment

What if in order to receive your driver’s license, all you needed to do was pass a written test? The road would be a very dangerous place. Personally, I feel much better knowing that the driver in the next lane went through multiple measures (a written test, driver education course, required minimum hours of driving experience...

Continue reading
TODO

As the spring term draws to a close and students walk across the stage in caps and gowns, it is time for my annual reflection on one of my biggest accomplishments to date: earning my Ph.D. Some may call this ritual part of the healing process, but I prefer to think of it as an opportunity to remind myself of some key lessons that I learned during my educational journey.

Continue reading
TODO

Documenting student learning outcomes isn’t a simple process nor is it really approachable for many faculty and staff. It’s easy to know the student got a correct answer to a mathematical equation like 2 + 2 = 4. But, as students advance in school, the outcomes they’re exposed to also get more complex; naturally, the process to measure these outcomes increases in complexity.

Continue reading
TODO

Easy Isn’t Enough: Making the Assessment Process Meaningful

Friday is trash day at my house. Every Thursday evening, I break down the recycling, fill the cans, and roll them down to the end of my driveway. It's easy because someone gave me the cans, put wheels on them, and promised to stop by every Friday morning and take it all away. But I don't put the trash out just because someone made the process easy for me. I do it because I want a clean home.

Continue reading

The Five W’s of Benchmarking

Good data is an indispensable resource for higher education. Put campus data in context, and its value increases dramatically. In fact, a larger context, achieved through benchmarking, can help faculty and staff assess student learning and the effectiveness of their programs over time.

Continue reading