My name is Kevin R. Guidry and I am a scholar of U.S. higher education. I am currently the Associate Director of Educational Assessment in the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning (CTAL) at the University of Delaware (UD). I have a PhD from Indiana University‘s Higher Education and Student Affairs program where I minored in Social Informatics. Immediately prior to coming to Delaware, I spent five years studying full-time for my doctorate and working as a graduate assistant at Indiana University’s Center for Postsecondary Research (CPR), the research unit that conducts the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and other related surveys.
As indicated by the title and tagline of this webpage, when I created this webpage my primary interests were in the areas where higher education and technology intersect. During my 5 years at Indiana, my research focused on student and faculty use of technology as it relates to student engagement, satisfaction, and self-reported gains in learning. Outside of my assistantship at CPR and predating my employment there, much of my work examined issues related to college and university residential computer networks (“ResNet”) as reflected by my previous employment supervising a ResNet program and past membership in the ResNet Applied Research Group. I also worked on research and work related to the use of technology within the broader area of student affairs, particularly historical views and uses of technology by student affairs professionals. For several years I was heavily involved in the NASPA Technology Knowledge Community, an organization I co-chaired for nearly three years and I have been a co-author on the “technology in student affairs” chapter of the 4th and 5th editions of the Handbook of Student Affairs Administration.
After completing my coursework and beginning my dissertation, I accepted a job at the University of Delaware (UD) in a merged teaching center and assessment unit. My work at UD has focused on supporting teaching at the university, primarily by supporting faculty. This builds on previous experiences with IU’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, particularly collaboration with Dr. Joan Middendorf and her colleagues involved in Decoding the Disciplines. It has also included significant support of university-wide projects of teaching and assessment including ongoing assessments of general education requirements for all UD undergraduate students, support of the university’s accreditation efforts, and many different permanent and ad hoc committees, working groups, and task forces e.g. Faculty Senate Committee on General Education, Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Teaching Evaluation. Some of this work has been externally funded, including several projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
This webpage is merely a place for me to (a) organize and share my thoughts, (b) share resources and links to resources, and (c) place files or tools online useful to me or others. It’s also a way for me to maintain some level of technical proficiency as I install, maintain, and remove different tools e.g. WordPress, MediaWiki. Most of the website is powered by WordPress.
The URL for this site is inspired by a common theme we face in life in which we can easily mistake the tools we are (or should be) using to accomplish a goal for the goal itself. It’s an issue I often face as I become immersed in particular tools – technologies, pedagogies, analytic techniques, etc. – so it’s good for me to have this constant reminder to keep my focus where it more properly belongs. This is not a unique thought and many other people have expressed it more eloquently than I. One of my favorite formulations is from Stanley N. Katz in “In Information Technology, Don’t Mistake a Tool for a Goal”: “…technology is not something that happens to us. It is something we create. We must not confuse a tool with a goal. We must, therefore, be sure that technology serves the fundamental purposes of higher education.”
From its creation in late 2006 until early 2012, this website had the tagline “Where Student Affairs and Technology Meet.” My roots and much of my education are in student affairs but my interests have grown broader. My interests had been growing broader well before 2012 but hitting the job market and being forced to publicly reconcile what I was saying to prospective employers with my public persona finally convinced me to make this (seemingly trivial) change.
I clearly have not “shared my thoughts” on this website’s blog in several years. I have found that challenging as I have advanced in my career. I know quite a bit about what is happening in my institution and my field but with that knowledge and trust comes a delicate responsibility for practicing professionalism and sometimes confidentiality. I have not yet figured out how to balance those responsibilities with a public blog and a strong desire for radical transparency.