Hand holding pen to computer with digital icons

The Research Process and Its Relevance to the Culture of Assessment 

This article first appeared in Academic Leader on November 30, 2015. © Magna Publications. All rights reserved. As higher education evolves, so too does the importance of assessing learning. New regulations, financial constraints, and accrediting agencies are stressing that colleges and universities should strengthen assessment organizationally. However, when assessment is discussed in large…

geometric unicorn

Finding Your Unicorns: Creating a Data-Informed Culture 

This article first appeared in Academic Leader on January 1, 2018 © Magna Publications. All rights reserved. A recent article, “Higher Education’s Data Experts Face a Crossroads,” in the Chronicle of Higher Education examines the changing profile of institutional researchers.  Akin to the characters in the movie Ghostbusters, historically, they were the people you called…

flexible sabbatical

5 Recommendations for Completing the Flexible Sabbatical 

At my institution, academic administrators on a 12-month contract can receive up to a full semester of paid leave to complete scholarship in their fields. Unlike a traditional sabbatical, which is taken for a full semester, flexible sabbatical weeks are taken in clusters throughout the academic year. In this way, academic departments are minimally impacted and administrators can enjoy the benefit of well-deserved leave time.

I began my flexible sabbatical just after graduation and completed it a year later. During that time, I was able to accomplish my scholarship goals and experience the rejuvenation for which sabbaticals are known. In reflecting on my experience, I recommend the following steps to anyone interested in pursuing this type of leave:

Is Time Up for the Credit Hour?
Grading, Scholarship

Is Time Up for the Credit Hour? 

How do we know if a student has learned enough to attain a degree or credential? Likely, the answer is currently phrased in the form of credit hours: 64 semester hours to earn an associate’s degree, 128 semester hours to earn a bachelor’s degree, and so on. But the credit hour, the most widely used currency of determining work put in toward a degree, was never intended to measure student learning at all.

lifelong learning

The Value of the 60-Year Curriculum 

Much focus is currently turned on the metrics that measure the effectiveness of higher education. Selectiveness of admissions is certainly one such metric, but universities are also being judged on employability. However, it is not just the first job that matters; how employable graduates are long after they don cap and gown is also a critical measure of the effectiveness of an education, and institutions need to turn their focus to the lifelong relationship they will have with their graduates.

college generational gap

Bridging the Generational Gap 

A while back, an image went viral of a group of school children sitting engrossed in front of Rembrandt’s famous painting, “The Night Watch,” in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Only, seemingly instead of drinking in the influence of the old master, their heads were bent over their cell phones, opting for the small screen over the large canvas.