What are the Benefits of Moving to a Curricular Approach to Residence Life?

When encountering the curricular approach for the first time, many staff may wonder why the approach has gained such currency within student affairs and residence life and what research and data backs up and supports its use. When asking these questions, it is important to understand that the curricular approach is a model of how to organize one’s educational activities to ensure the achievement of learning outcomes. It is a planning and organizational tool. The actual execution of these occurs differently on different campuses. Therefore, it is difficult to ascribe success to… Read More

The Importance of “Tags” in Using Digital Data for Assessment

  One of the most common and important features of modern software is the “tag.” A tag is a short keyword or phrase that a user assigns to a piece of information that describes it in some way. You might also be familiar with hashtags, a form of tag used in social media (#thisisahashtag). Tags are not always proceeded with a “#” symbol. Sometimes software provides you with a tag or keyword box, or a list of predefined tags from which you can choose. Many of the software applications you use probably use tags,… Read More

Presenting at Boston University Today…

I’m pleased to be presenting my research at Boston University today. This session provides a more detailed look at some of my research related to college student development in digital/social spaces.   Videos from the presentation: More about my research VIDEO: Can We Auto-Correct Humanity by Prince EA VIDEO: Social Media and Ambient Intimacy on Shots of Awe VIDEO: What’s On Your Mind by the Higton Bros VIDEO: The Instagram Generation on Shots of Awe

Which of the Residential Curriculum Elements are the Hardest to Achieve? And Why?

The Residential Curriculum Institute defines a curriculum as having 10 “Essential Elements.” These are the features and principles that a residence life department’s educational program should adhere to if it is to be considered a “true” residential curriculum. In 2013, while in my PhD program, I conducted some research on schools implementing this curricular approach. I wanted to find out more about how the Elements were put into practice and the extent to which schools were successful in fulfilling them. A subset of that research is presented here. This post explores the successes and struggles that schools encounter in enacting each of the… Read More

Residential Curriculum Element #3: Basis in Developmental Theory and Research

Student affairs professionals are educators. College student educators. Although we may not always believe we are, or maybe we are not always perceived to be, we are educators. Education and development is at the core of what we do and what we are trained in. To this end, curriculums should be based in the latest in developmental research and learning theory. This is one of the reasons why the enactment of residential curriculum often requires the presence of Masters-level trained professionals. In order to be effective educators, staff must be equipped with… Read More