Now, more than ever, residence life professionals are competing for students’ time. Technological change has brought about a revolution of choice for self directing one’s learning and a multitude options for one’s use of free time. This is not a new phenomenon, but the competition has changed. Residence life and student activities have always had competition. In the past it was televisions, VHS and DVD movies, and video games. Now, however, with multiple online video streaming services, smartphones with apps and games that can be used on the go, a more mature internet… Read More
Many traditional programs models within residence life are designed such that staff members must complete x number of events or programs a semester. Relying on an overall number of programs, however, ignores an important variable in the educational equation: frequency. Rather than focus on the total number of programs to be completed, it is perhaps even more important to ensure that programs are evenly spaced throughout the year and occur at the appropriate times.
Rubrics are tools that are used by educators to help evaluate the learning and performance of students. They are written documents, often presented in a chart format, that help define progress and achievement levels towards various goals and performance indicators. When developing learning goals and their constituent outcomes in a residential curriculum, rubrics can help. Rubrics ensure that one is appropriately sequencing one’s learning opportunities. Rubrics also serve as an important assessment tool. Being familiar with “where students are” and “where you want to move students to” also allows one to structure learning strategies appropriately.
When evaluating programs and other educational interventions with students, it is important to make a distinction between two concepts: feedback and assessment. Although the types of questions you may ask in each of these categories may differ, the overall goal is how to design and execute effective experiences for students that are engaging and achieve educational outcomes. The following includes some distinctions that you may find useful, as well as some guiding questions that you could employ in reviewing your educational efforts. These questions can be used in the design of student surveys and assessments… Read More
A number of departments and institutions have recognized that as the roles of residential education staff have evolved and technology has advanced, many of the assumptions upon which training programs were previously built no longer hold true. For example, resident assistant and student staff training programs typically occur in August, before residence halls open for the academic year, and can often last as long as two weeks. But do they need to be this long? And do they always need to occur in-person and in August? In my opinion, we need to re-evaluate and… Read More