A community's information ecology is the total pattern of what it knows about itself, especially the distribution of access cost to decision relevant information.


Benchmarking The Curriculum

curriculum-histogram-thumb.png The catalog, as it exists in software and as it appears to students, is an accretion of faculty and administrative activity and inactivity spanning many years. Does anyone actually have a synoptic view of it? Here we try to produce one.

Deploying Faculty Time

scott-forest-thumb.png Technology has made many industries more productive. But there is a tendency in academia, because the software investment is usually made by administrators, for software to be more related to the work of administrators than instructors. Whether it succeeds in making them more productive is an empirical question. What is not a question, though, is that the place where you want a productivity gain in high education is on the instructional side. Unfortunately almost all of the software that administrators select has the effect of making instructors LESS productive. And all manner of other practices follow the same pattern - from the reports that must be submitted to the meetings that must be attended. And more often than not you can trace this to the problem of organizational visibility that James Scott described.

Institutional Dashboard

dashboard-thumb.png Dashboard that will provide faculty, department heads, deans, and provost with accurate and up-to-date information on where institutional resources are going and what they are producing.

Measuring Learning

The learning assessment industry seems to be built around the idea that if we knew whether or not students were actually learning we could make changes that would yield more and better learning.

Mining Enrollment Data for Policy Relevant Information

data-mining-thumb.png Far too little information is extracted from the administrative data that sits right in front of our noses. This project dives into enrollment data to clarify how we deploy instructional FTE to maximum advantage. How are we currently deploying instructional FTE? How might we do so in a manner that delivers more net learning and reduces faculty workload?

References And Resources

no-image-available-thumb.png Research materials and data.

Syllabus Maker

syllabusmakerlogo.png When instructors create syllabi, they almost always lean on or borrow from other syllabi, either their own, or others. Why not a tool that makes this process easier and more intellectually/pedagogically useful?

Tell Instructors About Student Schedules

no-image-available-thumb.png Tweak enrollment management system so that each instructor is presented with simple "when my students are in other classes" grid on her Blackboard or other page.

Web Consistency

consistency-thumb-2.png All over our website one can find instances of data inconsistency. This makes for conflicting information and it suggests bad design that is requiring data entry at multiple points - in other words, it's inefficient. It causes us to make mistakes, to waste time verifying what information is correct or inquiring as to who authorized a change that never happened, and to hide things from ourselves. The same pattern holds throughout our data systems. This project will involve establishing the "Data and Nomenclature Consistency Project." This will be an all-campus awareness campaign about the issue of data consistency, workshops about how departments and individuals can contribute in a distributed manner, and a few strategy sessions to zero in a some high leverage targets.

Where Are We

URhere-thumb.png Develop and automate metrics and database and analyses/visualizations that better educate us collectively about where we sit vis a vis comparison and competitor entities on relevant metrics.

Windows And Scrolls

window-and-scroll-thumb.png Build out a transparency platform for institutional governance. One stop shop for documents, agendas, minutes, handbooks, opinion pieces, requests-for-comments, faculty/staff/student news. Modern, snazzy, user friendly, inviting.