For graduate school I was asked to write a fake grant proposal as if I were going to apply for one. I struggled with the assignment, did anything except it, and tried to hide from the deadline. Any time any one ever mentions grant writing it is nearly always followed by “Ugh my life” so I was afraid of it as well–untill now.
There is never an end to paperwork (screenwork?) in the Assessment Office. This isn’t so much a bad thing as it is just the nature of the metaphorical beast. Each semester needs certain reports created, documents drawn up, and files stored safely away. Because unlike a business model where projects open and then close, education is a revolving door of (hopefully) never ending service to the student body.
The real problem is keeping up with all those different exams, surveys, and day-to-day work sheets. Enter the Assessment Matrix! Now when I first learned about the assessment matrix I was a little let down that I didn’t learn kung fu from it, however it has a similar effect on your workload.
Being a polymath sometimes isn’t a brag, it’s a way of life, a work life anyway when you are a librarian. In Lori Goetsch’s 2008 article ‘Reinventing Our Work: New and Emerging Roles for Academic Librarians’ she argues that work in libraries isn’t changing as much as completely being revolutionized to keep pace with civilization’s technological advances.
In short, a librarian in today’s world can’t just know their Library of Congress shelving locations–now they have to be as skilled in computers, customer service, and archives. Once long ago each of these skills was reserved for a specific member of the staff and that was their sole purpose. In the past years that has changed to where each member of the staff has to be able to wear many hats or find a new job.
‘Udemy’ is an educational website much like ‘Khan Academy’ that allows students to take courses online on various and assorted fields of study. Unlike Khan, some courses have to be purchased and as it follows a for-profit structure of content delivery. It is a great resource for both students and techers.
Few universities carry more stigma in their description as the ‘liberal’ arts institution. The term is misleading at best and polarizing at worst. Made worse by the fact that even many students enrolled in colleges with a liberal arts program may not fully know what it really means.
This issue is more than a just marketing however, American culture has warped the idea of what being liberal is to the point that just the sound of the word regardless of context can ignite powerful emotions. Clouding the issue further is the changing nature of the arts in general.
Guest post by Brittani Mulkey
As a student of the No Child Left Behind era, I will admit that my first reaction upon hearing about a new ranking system and assessment of colleges was one of annoyance. “We’re going to be doing this again?” I said to myself. This is of course my own personal bias; testing has become a dirty word over the course of my education (which makes working in the Assessment Office pretty funny). My second gut reaction was, “This will not end well.” Again, I will have to admit to a personal bias as I tend to be a bit of a pessimist when it comes to change, particularly on such a large scale.
Recently reports began pouring into social media, gossip pages, and general news sites about a new rating system from the federal government for universities. The initiative, which has not been written yet, has created controversy in higher education circles as they fear it will impact funding. In the modern information society, however, ratings like this exist for everything from films and makeup to bottled water and podcasts. In order to stay relevant with the changing focus of how Americans evaluate a product (i.e. peer reviews) it is of paramount importance to provide this information to the general public by a nonpartisan organization at a national scale.