Archive for the ‘Malartoo Rationale’ Category


NPR and Lumina: Higher Ed Needs Higher Productivity

In Malartoo Rationale on March 23, 2011 by Jim Luke


Higher Education Needs Higher Productivity

Tuesday, March 15, 2011SUSIE GHARIB: When it comes to education, states should pay more attention to productivity. So says tonight’s commentator, Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation.

JAMIE MERISOTIS, PRES., & CEO, LUMINA FOUNDATION: America is home to some of the most productive and successful businesses in the world. Recent government data shows that U.S. productivity is at the highest level in many years. But one place where productivity is lagging is in the hallowed halls of our great colleges and universities. Now, productivity may not be a word you automatically associate with higher education. And yet, productivity is consistent with the loftier goals of academia. Higher education productivity is about making the system more efficient, more innovative and more cost-effective. We need a more productive higher education system because the U.S. needs a lot more college-qualified people to power our economy. And research shows that the public wants this. Some states are working hard to increase productivity by paying for results, embracing new course and program delivery models and making campus operations much more efficient. But the work must continue, because one thing we know for sure is that if companies or colleges, don’t meet the challenge, competitors will find openings and take advantage of them. And that would make a less productive and less prosperous, nation for all of us. I’m Jamie Merisotis.



Social media and research workflow ~ Stephen’s Web

In Malartoo Rationale on February 25, 2011 by Jim Luke Tagged:

Social media and research workflowCIBER, University College London, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, February 23, 2011.As Academic Impressions summarizes this report, “A new survey shows that social scientists, humanists, and biologists — many of them frustrated by traditional publishing — are increasingly using Facebook and Twitter to share research.” The report states, “Researchers are using social media tools to support every phase of the research lifecycle: from identifying research opportunities to disseminating findings at the end. They may not be the same tools, and they are certainly not the same researchers, but social media are most definitely making an impact on scholarly workflow.”

via Social media and research workflow ~ Stephen’s Web.


Students Point the Way: Use Google to Replace Textbooks

In Malartoo Rationale,Open Education,Open Minds vs. Closed Content,Texts & Publishing on February 16, 2011 by Jim Luke Tagged: , ,

Student Research: Can Googling Replace $168 Intro to Psych Textbook?

  • By Dian Schaffhauser

Students are taking the battle against high-priced textbooks into their own hands. This week, 11 University of Cincinnati seniors in the psychology program presented at an Educause event a comparison of the content of traditional college texts, one of which costs $168, to content they found for free on the Web.The research effort was undertaken as part of the Digital Bookshelf Project, the University System of Ohio’s effort to make textbooks more affordable.

For the latest research project, which took place in fall 2010, the students compared the value and educational quality of two current textbooks with the draft of a new textbook they found free online, along with what they could find through online search engines. They worked under the guidance of Charles Ginn, an associate professor of psychology at U Cincinnati.

“For our generation raised on the Internet, online searches for class materials often replace purchasing the textbook,” said Libby Cates, one of the student researchers. “So, our primary research question was: Can students depend on what they find when they Google key terms? Secondly, we wanted to see what benefits are delivered through textbooks in their various forms.”

They found that materials from Wikipedia were accurate and thorough, though “perhaps excessively thorough for an introductory course,” they reported. “These summaries were equal to or exceeded those found in the two textbooks.”

Students also found that the free e-textbook and lower-cost print materials all provided similar learning support. They recommended a combination of digital and print materials as being most supportive of student learning.

The Digital Bookshelf Project has brought together psychology departments across the state to offer students electronic textbook choices from major publishers. The goal of the project is to work with the publishers and university bookstores to provide students alternatives to standard texts.

The latest research follows on a project that investigated what format students would prefer for their text. For the 2010 academic year, 50,000 of Ohio’s 70,000 introductory psychology students have had a low-cost digital option available for the textbook of their instructor’s choice.



Improving Higher Ed: The emperor has no clothes

In 4229,Malartoo Rationale on March 15, 2010 by Jim Luke

Improving L&T at Universities – The emperor has no clothes

The following comes from a place of frustration. The approaches universities are using to improve learning and teaching don’t work. But they continue to be held in reverence because they have become a purpose proxy. The people within universities charged with improving learning and teaching are no longer focused on or measured by improving learning and teaching. They are focused on and measured by the purpose proxy. i.e. how many L&T seminars they have run, how many teaching awards they’ve given out etc.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t already fairly significant amounts of research to show that they don’t work.