Developing A Culture of Assessment in Your Residence Life and Education Program

Because developing a residential curriculum entails refocusing your departmental efforts towards student learning, it necessarily follows that you must develop a culture of assessment. A culture of assessment is one in which decisions are data-driven and tested through the design, implementation, and review of assessment measures. As Lakos and Phipps (2004)describe it, a culture of assessment is: An organizational environment in which decisions are based on facts, research, and analysis, and where services are planned and delivered in ways that maximize positive outcomes and impacts for customers and stakeholders. A Culture of Assessment… Read More

How to Conduct an Archeological Dig and Write a Curricular Educational Priority

One of the very first steps one undertakes when developing a residential curriculum is crafting an educational priority. An educational priority is the basis upon which all other goals and outcomes are derived. Based in the mission, context, and values of your institution, an educational priority should provide a broad statement about what your division or department aims to teach. In many ways, the educational priority statement serves as a sort of “mission” for your curriculum–a short, bite-sized statement (or very brief paragraph) about what the curriculum is about and what students will learn.

Fear in Higher Ed… Fear in the workplace…

I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of fear in the workplace.  What causes it?  What are the signs and  symptoms?  How do you reduce it?  A big part of positive organizational culture change involves “getting the fear out.”  But what is the nature of fear?  Specifically in higher education? Fear is multi-dimensional, cultural, and individualized.  Because of this, it’s hard to discuss fear as a monolithic concept or something that has a single prescribed fix.  In general, however, there are some ways of understanding fear as a broad concept.

Culture Online: Contact Not Content is King

Is there something that can be described as the “online culture?”  I don’t think so, but I do think that technology is structuring the way we think and interact and I do think that there are cultural norms broadly perpetuated and upheld.  Online culture, although diverse, still maintains persistent themes. In describing how this first “internet generation” has grown up, Tapscott (2011) identified eight norms or “distinctive attitudinal and behavioral characteristics that differentiate this generation from their babyboom parents and other generations” (Kindle Locations 1957-1958). These themes included: freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity,… Read More

3 Takeaways from Presenting Internationally on SATech/EdTech at American University in Dubai

I had the incredible privilege of presenting on technology and social media to the student affairs staff at American University in Dubai (AUD) last week.  Presenting internationally comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges, particularly as it relates to talking about social media and technology.  I wanted to share three takeaways I had in preparing to present and presenting to the staff in Dubai.