I don’t work in IT, software development, or anything even closely related to those fields so I’m often surprised at how much programming I do in my daily work life. At times I write scripts or light programs (e.g., this set of Excel macros), usually to save time and ensure accurate, well-documented, and reproducible results. … Continue reading I’m Not A Programmer But Programming Skills Are Still Extremely Useful
I know this will be provocative for some of you but lately when I’ve heard people use the phrase “co-curriculum” I’ve silently translated it in my head to “psuedo-curriculum.” I’ll explain more below but understand that I am not devaluing out-of-class activities but expressing frustration that we don’t really value them. My frustration here has… Continue reading The Psuedo-curriculum
Are High Impact Practices Available Online?
I am still wrestling with my unease with MOOCs and I think I’ve finally figured out why: High impact educational practices, as we understand them today, are unlikely at best and impossible at worst in MOOCs and other similar online environments. First, it’s helpful to understand that “high impact practice” (HIP) is a term of… Continue reading Are High Impact Practices Available Online?
Advantages and Challenges of Tech Skills in a Non-Tech Job
When I was on the job market last year, I was not interested in a job in IT.Â Although I’m a little bit rusty in some areas after spending five years in a PhD program, I have the skills and background to work in IT as I’ve done in previous jobs.Â But I was interested… Continue reading Advantages and Challenges of Tech Skills in a Non-Tech Job
Data Analysis MOOC Week 3: I’m a Dropout
Despite my best intentions, I have become another MOOC dropout.Â Why am I not continuing to participate in this free course? The format isn’t compelling.Â The course is primarily built around four components: video lectures and notes, weekly quizzes, a discussion board, and two peer-graded assignments. The lectures are alright and although there are many… Continue reading Data Analysis MOOC Week 3: I’m a Dropout
Data Analysis MOOC Week 2: Muddling Through Frustration
I have watched the online videos and successfully completed the quiz for week 2 of the data analysis MOOC in which I am enrolled. I struggled quite a bit with some of the R syntax and that made the quiz a very frustrating experience. I have two observations to share about what I learned this… Continue reading Data Analysis MOOC Week 2: Muddling Through Frustration
Data Analysis MOOC Week 1: I’m Going to Hate This
This semester, I have signed up for a data analysis class being taught in Coursera. This is a massively open online course (MOOC).Â I’m tech savvy and well educated but it seems like the most responsible way for me to really learn about MOOCs is to gain some firsthand experience.Â I also hope to learn… Continue reading Data Analysis MOOC Week 1: I’m Going to Hate This
New NSSE Survey and Technology Questions
I’m super excited that my colleagues have finally made the new version of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)Â publicly available!Â We’ve spent a lot of time working on this over the past 3-4 years, including focus groups, interviews, two pilot administrations, tons of literature review and data analysis, (seemingly) thousands of meetings, and… Continue reading New NSSE Survey and Technology Questions
Media Spin and Attention Grabbing Headlines
The Washington Post published a story yesterday describing some research that says that college students today study less than college students in the past.Â Â The story is largely based on a tiny bit of NSSE data that we first published several months ago describing self-reported time spent studying as it differs across majors.Â At the… Continue reading Media Spin and Attention Grabbing Headlines
Please Step Away From the Infographic!
I’ve tried very hard to be nice but I can’t bite my tongue any longer: Please, stop it with the infographics.Â Most of them are bad.Â If I were still a bratty 15-year old, I would dryly say that “I feel dumber for having read that” after seeing most infographics.Â But I’ll be more professional… Continue reading Please Step Away From the Infographic!