Don’t mistake a tool for the goal

  • 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)  publicly available!  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…

  • 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.   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.  At the…

  • 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.  Most of them are bad.  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.  But I’ll be more professional…

  • Item Non-response and Survey Abandonment SPSS Syntax

    I don’t often write about what I do in my day-to-day job.  But I’ve recently spent quite a bit of time working on survey item non-response and survey abandonment and I want to save you some time if you’re working on those issues, too. One of the projects on which I’ve worked over the last…

  • Thoughts on Backward Design

     This post will be less organized than most posts; some of these thoughts and ideas are still a little raw. Backward design – the method by which one begins with the desired end result(s) of an educational program, determines acceptable evidence showing that the result(s) has been achieved, and then creates a plan to teach…

  • When Did Student Affairs Begin Discussing Technology as a Competency?

    At a presentation I attended at this year’s ACPA conference, the presenters discussed technology as a competency for student affairs professionals.  It’s a discussion that’s been going on for many years but I don’t know if many people – particularly younger professionals – know just how long it’s been going on.  The presenters of this…

  • “Best” Practices?

    In a recent blog post releasing a (very nice!) infographic about “Best Practices in Using Twitter in the Classroom Infographic,” Rey Junco writes: I’d like to point out that I’m a real stickler about using the term “best practices.” It’s a concept we toss around a lot in higher education. To me, a “best practice”…

  • Additional (older) #SAchat data: Participation, Geography, and Gender

    In a comment to my previous post sharing some of my thoughts about #sachat in advance of their “State of #SAchat” discussion tomorrow, Gary Honickel asked about demographics of #sachat participants.  In our forthcoming chapter (I’m not trying to advertise it – honest! Just trying to explain why I have all of this information. I’m…

  • Reflections on #sachat

    Tomorrow, the members of the #sachat community will be engaging in introspection and discussing “The State of #SAchat” instead of their usual weekly discussion of topical student affairs topics.  I have been conducting research on the #sachat community for a couple of years now so I thought it might be helpful for the community if…

  • Dissertation Journal: Chapter 2 Draft

    It’s taken me about a year to reach this point but I finally completed and submitted to my chair a draft of chapter 2, the literature review.  It’s pretty solid but it’s still a draft. There are a handful of places that I know I could expand but I’ll wait until I hear back from…