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.
Continuing my review of literature about assessment, liberal arts, and university history I found a work called ‘The Seven Liberal Arts’ by Paul Abelson from 1965. The book is largely a study of the curriculum through historical evidence and records. In that way this book features the historical and educational program side of the university that Haskins’ study of college life did not capture. Continue reading →
In an effort to better increase my understanding of education, liberal arts, and assessment as a portion of my on going career advancement I’ll be reviewing literature in these fields. This may mean an article, a video, in this case a book, or even lectures and discussions. In the future I hope to expand on and share what I am studying.
This first review is for a book by Charles Homer Haskins (an astounding name on all accounts) and his work ‘The Rise of Universities’ published in 1957. The book covers an overview of where universities came from and how they developed. An interesting tidbit from this book in particular was the amount of insight in the day-to-day activities of professors and students. It was written based on a series of lectures from Brown University in the 1920’s from what I can tell (so beware of the conversational tone and possible references to material not in this manuscript).