ABOUT: The 0.0 initiative is an attempt to use prototyping as a means for provoking and facilitating organizational change (Coughlan, Suri, and Canales 2007) in the small college context. Each of the projects it describes will be taken to the level of a "minimally viable product" - something that provides enough of a concrete illustration of the idea that smart people can start to assess its utility and improve upon its design and functionality.

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Information Ecology

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.



Innovation - generating new ideas and seeing them through so that they can be a "going concern" - is not easy and cannot be taken for granted. In many ways it is an "unnatural act" for organizations. The projects in this category are designed to deal with this head on.


Organizing The Organization

Institutions of Higher Education are, for better or worse, formal organizations. As such they are powerful but unwieldy tools for getting things done. And the people inside are not necessarily adept at the running of organizations. Or to put it another way, we could do better. This project is about bring some uncommon-sense organizational wisdom to the running of our institutions.


Pedagogical Productivity In Age Of Moocs

If you look at the numbers, it appears that high priced small liberal arts colleges - other than a small number of elite and well-endowed ones - are not economically sustainable businesses in their current form. But are there ways to restructure and innovate to create institutions that provide the same or better educational outcomes employing faculty in the same favorable circumstances as at present but do so for, say, half the cost? I think this is less pie-in-the-sky than those projects that challenge architects to produce $5,000 houses or $200 laptops that can transform the developing world. It will require a lot of ingenuity, but we have a lot of the pieces already up and running.


Price Points And Reality: Smart Targets for 2020

If one looks realistically at the US income distribution, financial aid, and the "expected family contribution" on which financial aid is based, what should target price point be for SLACs? Many of us are persuaded by the idea that there is no future in second and third tier SLACs charging $50K per year for four years of education. But is there a future at a different price point? This is a first exercise in trying to generate some insight that might help to answer that question.


When Do We Teach and Learn?

The grid into which courses are scheduled determines everything from the effective curriculum to parking scarcity to faculty time use. And yet it is generally the result of accreting exceptions and sometimes self-serving would-be master planners. This project will take the schedule apart empirically, identify outcomes, and redesign it to optimize on those outcomes.