Sunday, December 28, 2008

Two ACHE and CAEL veterans

Have a new book on prior learning portfolios. Denise Hart and Jerry Hickerson are experts on the assessment of prior learning, and I have called upon Jerry often for advice and consultation with our non-traditional degree programs. As adult students come back to school for retraining and work towards degrees, prior learning will become more important as a recruiting tool. Prior learning can be troubling to academics, but with reasonable safeguards, it can be an important part of an adult degree program. I've worked with PLA for over 25 years, and CAEL's advice has always been right on the money.

Prior Learning Portfolios: A Representative Collection by Denise M. Hart and Jerry H. Hickerson

This resource is a valuable reference tool for PLA assessors,administrators and PLA instructors, and can help train both faculty and students to understand portfolio assessment. Designed to provide you with institutional policies and procedures regarding prior learning portfolios, this text and accompanying CD-ROM contain thirteen sample portfolios from eleven different institutions, handbooks, guidelines, flow charts, and information about the location of portfolio assessment in the context of a degree.

Click here to order online

Friday, December 26, 2008

Some girlie drinks are allowed over the holidays


According to Holiday Hints for Hooch Heads from Modern Drunkard Magazine http://tinyurl.com/669qmz:

During the holidays you are allowed to drink all the mint schnapps you want without feeling like a sorority girl. Peach schnapps is still forbidden.

Kwanzaa


starts today.

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday celebrated primarily in the United States honoring African heritage, marked by participants lighting a kinara (candle holder).[1] It is observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.

Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and pouring of libations, and culminating in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Ron Karenga and was first celebrated from December 26, 1966, to January 1, 1967.
=
Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called "The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa", or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba - "The Seven Principles of Blackness"), which Karenga said "is a communitarian African philosophy" consisting of what Karenga called "the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world." These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
Umoja (Unity) To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith) To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Not everyone has love for the iPhone

www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/8432/Iphone+vs+Stone/

Number 7



Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Christmas



Kiss Me, I'm Celtic

According to Celtic and Teutonic legend, mistletoe is magical — it can heal wounds, increase fertility, bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe didn't begin until the Victorian era, a surprising origin given the stuffy and sexually repressive behavior of the time. Actually, it's not very surprising at all.

And it's pronounced keltic...

Also catch Top 10 Worst Christmas Movies at the same site.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Guaranteed good investment

2009 ACHE South Spring Conference
April 27-29, 2009
Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Louisiana State University

Don’t miss the 2009 ACHE South Spring Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hosted by LSU. Enjoy a unique meeting location on the Mississippi River, excellent networking opportunities, and action-oriented presentations that you can use the minute you get back to your desk. We look forward to seeing you!

A nearby college


is in trouble with SACS. From tricities.com at http://tinyurl.com/5yzzwl:
King [College] was among five schools SACS recently placed on warning status, while two others had their warning status renewed. Six colleges were placed on probation – including Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va. King was cited for not having an adequate number of qualified faculty members and not offering students access to adequate library learning resources and services. In addition, some parts of the college weren’t engaging in proper planning and assessment, not assessing student college-level competencies, not performing evaluations of faculty members and having insufficient numbers of qualified staff in its library and student affairs departments.
David McGee
Staff Writer / Bristol Herald Courier
King College has been aggressive in its attempts to grow off campus and with adult programming. They are even planning for a medical school. However, King has never been active in TACHE or ACHE. We've devoted much time in both organizations to accreditation issues, especially in TACHE since all institutions are covered by SACS. It's possible that had King staff members attended some of those sessions, they may have been better prepared for SACS.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today is


Festivus.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus

Festivus is an annual holiday created by writer Dan O'Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a scriptwriter for the TV show Seinfeld. Although the original Festivus took place in February 1966 as a celebration of the elder O'Keefe's first date with his wife, Deborah, many people now celebrate the holiday on December 23, as depicted on the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode "The Strike". According to O'Keefe, the name Festivus "just popped into his head."
The holiday includes novel practices such as the "Airing of Grievances", in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year. Also, after the Festivus meal, the "Feats of Strength" are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned. These conventions originated with the TV episode. The original holiday featured far more peculiar practices, as detailed in the younger Daniel O'Keefe's book The Real Festivus, which provides a first-person account of an early version of the Festivus holiday as celebrated by the O'Keefe family, and how O'Keefe amended or replaced details of his father's invention to create the Seinfeld episode.
Some people, influenced or inspired by Seinfeld, now celebrate the holiday in varying degrees of seriousness; the spread of Festivus in the real world is chronicled in the book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us.

Don't come home a drinkin

If iPhone tells you no. A breathalyzer attachment for your iPhone or iPod. From Marc Saltzman blogging in usatoday.com at http://tinyurl.com/9hbmfm:
David Steele Enterprises' aptly-named iBreath ($79) accessory lets iPod or iPhone users test their own blood alcohol content. Yes, we thought this was a joke too, but apparently not.
Simply connect this accessory to the bottom of the iPod or iPhone (all current models supported except iPod Shuffle), fold out the "blow wand" and exhale for a minimum of five seconds. Two seconds later, your blood alcohol level will be displayed on the LCD screen to advise you whether or not you're ok to drive. If you blow over, a built-in timer can be set (from 1 minute to 8 hours) to remind users to take the test again.

A resource

For conference planners, particularly for those responsible for recruiting exhibitors and sponsors.

Annual Directory to Higher Education Consultants
The Annual UB Directory of Consultants is a PDF document, reproduced from the June 2008 issue of University Business Magazine, that can be viewed, printed and/or saved. Information in the Directory has been provided by the companies listed, and the section is produced by University Business marketing department. universitybusiness.com at http://tinyurl.com/6foh4t

Monday, December 22, 2008

The A.V. Club picks

The worst films of 2008. I can boast that the only one of these I've seen is #16 Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. And it was craptastic, even inspiring one of the top ten Buzz Words of 2008 (http://tinyurl.com/5aaz6e). Here are the three worst films and some of the A.V. Club's comments. See the whole list at http://tinyurl.com/6ql4rb.

3. The Hottie And The Nottie
Paris Hilton's "acting" was once limited to bit parts and direct-to-DVD comedies, but this little monster wandered into theaters briefly. Behind hooded, uncaring eyes, Hilton helps her hirsute, mole-ridden best friend through an ugly-duckling-to-swan transformation. Hilton's negative charisma proves a bigger turn-off than some of the grossest latex appliqu├ęs outside of the Saw series, which says everything you need to know about the movie.

2. The Happening
M. Night Shyamalan's breakout movie The Sixth Sense was a massive box-office and critical success, heralded as the arrival of a terrific new talent. But as the years drag on, Shyamalan has proved unwilling to step away from all the hallmarks of that first hit—spooky twists, surreal interludes, a chokingly portentous mood, and meek characters who deliver every wheedling line with strained intensity. The tone that was perfect for a ghost story and was at least novel in the superhero tale Unbreakable was only fitfully apt in the pseudo-fairy tale The Village, and downright out of place in Signs' science-fiction world. ... Shyamalan once looked like a brilliantly innovative stylist, but these days he's starting to look like an incompetent craftsman with only one tool, which he keeps twisting to increasingly inappropriate tasks.

1. Witless Protection
Larry The Cable Guy normally gets a pass for the incredible shittiness of his movies because he's an unfunny, obnoxious bore, and no one expects any better from him. But special attention must be paid to Witless Protection, if only because this shabbily assembled turd represents an era in this country's history that we're (hopefully) about to leave behind. Larry The Cable Guy's redneck minstrel act was a perfect fit for George W. Bush's America, a place where reason, empathy, and basic decency were derided as elitist qualities by a loudmouth extremist minority that pretended to represent Middle American values.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tennessee has two

Of the least fit cities in the country. Including the least one, Chattanooga. The bottom ten is listed below, from usnews.com at http://tinyurl.com/5eaqdr:

1. Chattanooga, Tenn.
2. New Orleans
3. Baton Rouge, La.
3. Lake Charles, La.
5. Hickory, N.C.
6. Birmingham, Ala.
7. Mobile, Ala.
8. Tuscaloosa, Ala.
9. Jackson, Miss.
10. Fort Smith, Ark.
10. Memphis

They're all in the South, but I'm not sure I'd consider Hickory a city. I've been to Hickory...For the curious, here are the fittest from the same source:

1. Boulder, Colo.
2. Provo-Orem, Utah
3. Anchorage
4. Barnstable Town, Mass.
5. Lincoln, Neb.
6. Portland, Maine
7. Fort Collins, Colo.
8. Grand Rapids, Mich.
9. Albuquerque, N.M.
9. Casper, Wyo.

Mostly cold places. I guess you need to exercise to keep from getting too depressed during the long winters. Pass the biscuits and gravy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Get your presentation ready for Philly


2009 Call for Proposals

For AAACE members


The new Adult Learning (vol 18, numbers 1&2) has a nice reflection by Dr. Thomas Cox from the University of Memphis. Thomas works in UM's University College and teaches in their Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program. My good friend David Arant formerly headed that program, until he turned tail and returned to his academic roots this year to chair UM's Journalism Department. (From the small world department--Jim Pappas, ACHE's Executive Vice President, is also President of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs or AGLSP. Both UM and ETSU are members).

Anyway, Thomas talks about the wonderful experience he had at his first AAACE conference in Norfolk. It was a great selling point for this important adult learning association and its annual meetings.
Interesting enough, when I googled adult learning journal I got a result for Adults Learning, a UK publication.

50 branding ideas

From University Business:

SOME ADMINISTRATORS-AND EVEN MORE FACULTY-MIGHT ARGUE THAT BRANDING an educational institution takes away from its academic mission. But from where Steve McKee sits, institutions whose leaders clearly know “their specialty will prosper, and those that don’t will languish.” McKee, who is president of the Albuquerque, N.M.-based advertising firm McKee Wallwork Cleveland, says most colleges and universities have a differentiation problem when communicating with prospective students. With the backlash against tuition increases, the explosion of online education, and the increasing mobility of students, he believes competition is going to become more of a fact of life than ever before in higher education.

What about that mission issue? Done right, “institutional branding is meant to help propel an institution from its mission to its vision by creatively conveying the powerful strategy that will take it from where it is to where it wants to go,” argues Barbara O’Malley, chief communications officer at The University of Akron (Ohio). “When the strategy is clear and the creative and communication consistent and supportive of the strategy, branding is powerful and can benefit a university greatly.” Research has tied good branding to attracting students, faculty, and staff as well as to achieving success in fundraising and in getting media coverage.

The big challenge in branding a “living, breathing institution” rather than a product, says Blair Garland, director of marketing at Roanoke College (Va.), is that the lives of its students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff are intimately tied to it. That’s why branding is serious strategic business. It shouldn’t just be “an exercise to develop a tagline or a great advertisement,” O’Malley says.

http://tinyurl.com/57bel5

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The iPhone economy

Is booming!
Half the fun of owning an iPhone is trying out all the cool new apps you can put on it, and developers are cranking things out at a feverish pace. "It's kind of a gold rush," says Brian Greenstone, who runs a tiny outfit (it's just him and a few freelancers) called Pangea Software in Austin, Texas, that has created several hit games for the iPhone, including Cro-Mag Rally and Enigmo. Greenstone, 41, has been writing games for Apple's computers for 21 years. But he says he's never seen anything like the iPhone apps phenomenon, which this year will deliver $5 million in revenue for him. "It's crazy. It's like lottery money. In the last four and a half months we've made as much money off the retail sales of iPhone apps as we've made with retail sales of all of the apps that we've made in the past 21 years—combined." Business is so good that Greenstone won't even bother writing for the Mac anymore. Besides, Greenstone says, iPhone apps are easy to create: some get cranked out in just two weeks by a single developer. "Some kid in his bedroom can literally make a million bucks just by writing a little app," Greenstone says.

The new report from


The PEW Internet and American Life Project is available online at www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_FutureInternet3.pdf.
It looks like my iPhone is the future. Here is the summary of findings:

FUTURE OF THE INTERNET III
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Technology stakeholders and critics were asked in an online survey to assess scenarios about the future social, political, and economic impact of the Internet and they said the following:

• The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.
• The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
• Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the Internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
• Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,” with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.
• The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who’s connected, and the results will be mixed in terms of social relations.
• “Next-generation” engineering of the network to improve the current Internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Check out

One Day University at www.onedayu.com/:
One Day University brings together award-winning professors from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and other top-tier schools to create the most stimulating day of college available anywhere. Our great lectures lineup lets
you partake in the latest thinking on History, Psychology, Philosophy, Political Science, English Literature, and more. At One Day University there are no entrance exams, no SATs to ace, and no stress. For more information and event schedules, click here.
Will this work in today's economy?

Buddy, can you spare a dime?

From the no good deed goes unpunished department.
I was standing in line at Walgreen's on Sunday behind a bunch of shoppers. In front of me stood a young lady, clutching some cash and and her drivers license. When it's her turn, she orders a pack of cigarettes and then lays down two dollar bills and a bunch of nickles and dimes and tells the clerk: "I'm sorry but I have $1.79 in change." When he counts the change, however, she is 10 cents short. She looks a little panicked and tells him that she doesn't have any more money.
*
I'm thinking, "how bad does she need a cigarette that she had to break her piggy bank?" So I throw a $10 bill that I had on the counter and said "Take it out of this." Now I meant take the 10 cents out of the $10 (I know, big spender) but that clerk took the whole cost of the cigarettes out of it! Well, I couldn't exactly complain...and at least he didn't give me the $1.69 in change to take home. My wife complained that had it been a guy, I wouldn't have been so quick to step in. And she's probably right. Merry Christmas.

Students opting to stay home

And attend the local community college. Good students, recent high school graduates, are looking to save money in today's economy. From newsweek.com at www.newsweek.com/id/175061:
According to a survey from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, nearly one-fifth of private colleges and universities reported a smaller than anticipated freshman class this fall. At the same time, the American Association of Community Colleges reports that community-college enrollment rose 8 to 10 percent. That's not unexpected—community-college enrollment usually climbs during a down economy as newly unemployed workers look to get additional training. But normally, the age of the average student rises, whereas this time around, the average age on campus has remained low because there are so many more traditional-aged students, say administrators. "The segment of fresh high-school graduates is growing fast," says Anson Smith, public relations coordinator for Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Conn.
In Tennessee, community college budgets are already tight and being cut even further. The Hope Scholarship might offset this trend, but they may be hit with double whammy: more students and much less money to instruct and serve them. Of course, all of public higher education is facing the same problem. It may just hit higher at the community college level.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Two more days to get your proposal in

Call for Papers and Presentations

DISTANCE LEARNING ADMINISTRATION 2009
June 21-24, 2009
The King and Prince Resort
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Proposals are due December 15, 2008
Extended Deadline December 17, 2008
http://www.westga.edu/~distance/dla/

The King and Prince Resort is wonderful. The Sunday brunch buffet is worth the trip all by itself!

Unbelievably

On this scale, Tennessee has the cheapest colleges in the country.
*
Based upon the percentage of average family income needed to pay for one year tuition, fees, room and board at local public four-year university (after subtracting out financial aid), Tennessee is cheapest at 13%, followed by Louisiana at 14%, and Georgia and Wyoming at 15%. The most expensive were Alabama, Michigan, New Jersey, and North Dakota at 34%, Illinois at 35%, and Maine and New Hampshire at 36%.
*
From usnews.com at http://tinyurl.com/6dfumy.
*
This seems counter intuitive since Tennessee tuition has more than doubled in the past few years, but it probably shows that costs have gone up everywhere else as well. Or it shows the impact of our state lottery and the Hope Scholarships on traditional student attendance. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly difficult for adult and nontraditional students to attend college at these costs. At one time in my career, adults enrolled in interesting college courses for fun. No more. And at one time, you could toss almost any course out there in the wilderness for off-campus students and it would succeed. Again, no more. Before off-campus students commit to even one course, they want to see how it fits into the entire program offered at that site. And who can blame them?

Friday, December 12, 2008

No meeting in 2009?


TACHE, our state continuing higher education organization, is considering cancelling our annual conference next year. Actually, cancelling is the wrong word--delaying it a year is more like it. Attendance at this year's conference was about half of the previous two years. In 2009, the conference was going to be located in Cool Springs, south of Nashville. If we can get our of our hotel contract, we're looking at options such as holding one-day, drive in regional meetings and/or meeting at state parks or college campuses. One past president has said we're over-reacting, and nobody knows what 2009 will be like. While that's true, it doesn't doesn't look good. At many colleges, travel is already frozen, and community colleges have been hit the hardest because their budgets are smaller to begin with. And TACHE depends heavily upon community college membership.
I wonder if other state organizations are thinking of doing the same thing? Why does this budget crisis seem so worse than others?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A webinar from


Augusoft, Inc. augusoft.net

The State of Community Education & Lifelong Learning
December 17, 2008
1:00 p.m. Central Time

A Webinar presentation featuring Joel Nitzberg, President, National Community Education Association (NCEA) and Senior Faculty, Cambridge College. Joel will define community education, how it connects to and potentially impacts the many aspects of community life. In addition Joel will share how community education can play a significant role in the country's efforts to move out of economic and social crisis and revitalize and sustain communities. Learn why the term, “Community Education” has been lost or forgotten, partly because various lifelong learning areas such as: out-of-school time, youth development, adult basic education, child-care, workforce training, environmental education and continuing education have had to become self-sustaining and needed to create their own identity.

Also, during this webinar you will hear from Lydia Martinez, Director of Community Education for Northside Independent School District in Texas. Lydia will share the challenges and achievements with running a successful Community Education program.

This webinar will conclude with an opportunity to ask industry experts and guest panelists your questions! Greg Marsello, VP Organizational Development with LERN (Learning Resources Network) and Beth Robertson, Executive Director with NCEA will join us and share with our webinar attendees insight as to what the future holds for Community Education and Lifelong Learning in 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 20081:00 p.m. Central Time[Click here] to register FREE for this event.*Long distance phone charges may be incurred to dial into the audio line.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Homestate pride

I grew up in Illinois and most of my family still live there. I'm so proud it's in the news today. Is it the most corrupt state in the country? Here's Daniel Engber explaining in Slate http://www.slate.com/id/2206364/:

How do we know that Chicago's so corrupt? The most straightforward way to measure corruption is to check the number of convicted local officials. Between 1995 and 2004, 469 politicians from the federal district of Northern Illinois were found guilty of corruption. The only districts with higher tallies were central California (which includes L.A.), and southern Florida (which includes Miami). Eastern Louisiana (and New Orleans) rank somewhat further down the list. But a high conviction count doesn't necessarily mean more corruption. It could mean that a district happens to have very strict transparency laws or a zealous and effective federal prosecutor—like Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago.

You might try to measure corruption by checking the number of city employees per 1,000 people. (Bigger governments suggest patronage-style politics.) Or you could check to see how long it takes to acquire a construction permit through legal means. (Long delays may reflect a system of rampant bribery.)

Public perception may be the most useful measure. If the inhabitants of a city view corruption as a given, they'll be more inclined to forgive politicians who have already been tainted by scandal, like Chicago's current mayor, Richard Daley.

Monday, December 15, will be

the deadline for the Call for Manuscripts for the Spring 2009 edition of The Journal of Continuing Higher Education.

The Journal of Continuing Higher Education considers two types of articles:

(1) Major articles—current research, theoretical models, conceptual treatments on organization and administration of continuing higher education.

(2) Best Practices articles of up to 4,000 words. These Best Practices articles contain descriptions of new, innovative, and successful programs or practices. The programs or practices should be replicable and of significance to continuing education.

For best consideration for the Spring 2009 issue, manuscripts are requested by December 15. Manuscript submission guidelines are available online at http://www.acheinc.org/writguid.html#journal. Potential authors should feel free to consult with JCHE editor Barbara Hanniford. She can be reached at b.hanniford@csuohio.edu or (216) 687-2149.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If John Milton were alive today

He'd be 400 years old. Every once in a while the old English major comes out in me. Here's a Milton quote you might be familiar with--if not from Paradise Lost then from The Wrath of Khan.

Here may we reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell.
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.

Paradise Lost (bk. I, l. 263)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Top ten

Buzz words for 2008. Number 5 is Nuke the fridge:

To "nuke the fridge" means to exhaust a Hollywood franchise with disappointing sequels. It was coined after a ludicrous scene in the latest Indiana Jones installment in which the hero climbs into a refrigerator and somehow survives a nuclear explosion. The term is patterned after "jump the shark," which comes from the 91st episode of Happy Days — in which Fonzie jumps over a shark tank while water-skiing in a leather jacket — and now denotes the point at which something trendy starts to really suck.


See whole list on Time.com at http://tiny.cc/U16ed.

Note: Rickrolled is number 7. No relation. Topless meeting is last at 10. It's not what you think. But I'm calling for one next chance I get to see what happens!

Moving time


After 19 years in the same house in Tennessee. I had to extend my weekend through today, using annual leave, just to get a little ahead. It'll be a challenge just to find my clothes for work tomorrow. Moving is awful.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Veterans Upward Bound

is a part of continuing studies at ETSU. I attended the VUB Participant Recognition Program on December 4. Jason Wright (pictured) received the Polly Archer Award for achievement in post-secondary education. There were two runners-up to the award and all three received autographed copies of Freakonomics. It seems Len Morrison and Stephen J. Dubner have been friends for a number of years. It was a wonderful dinner and nice recognition for a group of dedicated veterans working to improve their educations.

Apple announces top iPhone

Applications. At ACHE, I spent time with other iPhoners as we trashed the competition and flashed our iPhone's capabilities at every opportunity.

You can find the list on iTunes here: http://tinyurl.com/5fxa36

There's an analysis at Time.Com that finishes with the following:
Of course, the iPhone, in its second year of existence, is now the second-most popular smartphone on the planet. With nearly 17% market share, it's chasing No. 1 Nokia. If the iPhone continues its explosive growth, developers won't need to be among the top 10 or even 100 best-selling apps to make money. Palm's downfall, after all, had nothing to do with the number of applications available for it. After the first Treo, the company simply lost its mojo. http://tinyurl.com/58unwl

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Measuring the economic impact


of continuing higher education in Tennessee.

One of the sessions I attended at the TACHE Conference was The Economic and Social Impact of Continuing Higher Education in Tennessee: A Snapshot View 2007-2008. Dr. Fred Martin has been working with TACHE to determine the economic and social impact of continuing higher education in our state. He has surveyed all TACHE member institutions which includes the three University of Tennessee campuses, six regional universities, 13 community colleges, 12 technology centers, and eight private colleges and universities. It's been a struggle to get institutions to respond.

Part of the problem is the complexity of what we do. Continuing education includes credit and non-credit. But some programs include summer school, distance learning, off campus sites, and other things on the credit side (We're responsible for tutoring services and the university testing center, for example.); and non-credit can include everything from workforce development to youth programs to recreational activities. No two continuing education units are exactly alike, although they tend to be more alike on the non-credit end. So even a quick and dirty survey soon becomes slow and filthy. Fred got a response from 13 institutions: a 56% response rate from UT and TBR universities, 46% from community colleges, 17% from technology centers, and 0% from private colleges/universities.

Based on the response, continuing education had a Business Volume Impact of $50,314,448; an Employment Impact of 3,381 jobs, and an Individual Income Impact of $50.4-56 million. Fred concludes that continuing higher education has a significant impact on (1) increased access to higher education, (2) state workforce development, and (3) state economic development.

Fred will try one more time to get information from more Tennessee colleges and universities. His presentation will be posted on the TACHE website http://tnache.org/ at some point.

From Faculty Focus



It’s not a new finding — in general, more exams lead to better grades—but it’s always nice when research confirms some of our best practices in teaching.

In the educational assessment study referenced below, the students were enrolled in two sections of an introductory statistics course for sociology majors. Both sections had the same instructor, same text, and same material presented in class. Students enrolled in each were similar in terms of gender and year in school. In the control section, students took two midterm exams (one at the end of the sixth week, the other at the end of the 12th week) and a two-hour cumulative final. In the experimental section students took an exam every other week starting at the end of the second week, for a total of six exams, plus the same cumulative final. Students were given one-third the amount of time for each of the biweekly exams.

As for the better results, students given the biweekly exams scored, on average, about 10 percentage points, or one letter grade, higher on the exams taken during the semester. They scored about 15 percentage points higher on the final than those students who only took the two midterm exams.

Measuring the impact of testing frequency on student performance
There were some other persuasive results related to the impact of testing frequency on student performance. More than 11 percent of the students in the control section withdrew from the course. Not one student in the experimental section did.

Moreover, students in the experimental section evaluated both the course and the instructor more highly. Seventy-one percent rated the instructor as “one of the best” compared with instructors of other courses they had taken. In the control section only 36 percent gave that rating to the instructor. In this case the same instructor taught both sections. Forty-nine percent in the section with the biweekly exam said that they would definitely recommend the course to friends, compared with 14 percent in the section with midterm exams.The faculty researchers who completed this analysis suggest several reasons for these dramatic results. First, students had less material to learn for the biweekly exam, which made them less likely to cram for the exams. Second, they got feedback earlier and more often, which helped them adjust their study behaviors. Third, repeated experience taking the exams increased their feelings of competence and confidence, and that in turn increased their motivation to study and do well.
The results could be explained by any one of these reasons, or these explanations may well have had a cumulative effect. Whatever the cause, the fact that students do better when we test them more often has been confirmed yet again.
Reference: Myers, C.B., and Myers, S.M. (2007). Assessing assessments: The effects of two exam formats on course achievement and evaluation. Innovative Higher Education, 31, 227–236.
Excerpted from Frequent Exams: Better Results for Students, The Teaching Professor, June-July 2007.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Austin Peay State University Model

for Developmental Mathematics. According to the Tennessean.com, at APSU

...professors and administrators created a national model with a counterintuitive approach: The school eliminated developmental math classes.

Students who scored between 14 and 19 on the math portion of the ACT typically would be placed into one or two non-credit math courses at APSU. Now, those students enroll in the same courses as their peers while also attending a computer lab twice a week for individual lessons.

"I think it's a very discouraging thing (to take non-credit courses), especially for a nontraditional student," said Harriett McQueen, dean of academic support services at APSU. "They want to get through, and if it takes extra time, as long as they're getting core credit, they're motivated to do it."

Upper-division students with high scores in math run the labs, where students' computer course work targets their specific weaknesses based on results from a test developed in part by APSU professor Nell Rayburn.

The results: Student pass rates went up by a third, and withdrawals from the classes were cut in half.

"The exercises really emphasize what we need to understand in the class," said sophomore DaMara Hansen, who has an A in math for the first time ever. "I wish they would have had this in high school."

Austin Peay now uses the same approach in its developmental writing classes, and hopes to expand the program into all of its remedial education through an additional $2 million federal grant. http://tinyurl.com/6ctm9p

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mayflower myths

From History.Com at http://tinyurl.com/68bz6q:

Myth: The first Thanksgiving was in 1621 and the pilgrims celebrated it every year thereafter.
Fact: The first feast wasn't repeated, so it wasn't the beginning of a tradition. In fact, the colonists didn't even call the day Thanksgiving. To them, a thanksgiving was a religious holiday in which they would go to church and thank God for a specific event, such as the winning of a battle. On such a religious day, the types of recreational activities that the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians participated in during the 1621 harvest feast--dancing, singing secular songs, playing games--wouldn't have been allowed. The feast was a secular celebration, so it never would have been considered a thanksgiving in the pilgrims minds.

Myth: The original Thanksgiving feast took place on the fourth Thursday of November.
Fact: The original feast in 1621 occurred sometime between September 21 and November 11. Unlike our modern holiday, it was three days long. The event was based on English harvest festivals, which traditionally occurred around the 29th of September. After that first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists, Gov. William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighboring Indians. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during the prayers. Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest. During the American Revolution a yearly day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November, which he may have correlated it with the November 21, 1621, anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape Cod. Since then, each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941)

Myth: The pilgrims wore only black and white clothing. They had buckles on their hats, garments, and shoes.
Fact: Buckles did not come into fashion until later in the seventeenth century and black and white were commonly worn only on Sunday and formal occasions. Women typically dressed in red, earthy green, brown, blue, violet, and gray, while men wore clothing in white, beige, black, earthy green, and brown.

Myth: The pilgrims brought furniture with them on the Mayflower.
Fact: The only furniture that the pilgrims brought on the Mayflower was chests and boxes. They constructed wooden furniture once they settled in Plymouth.

Myth: The Mayflower was headed for Virginia, but due to a navigational mistake it ended up in Cape Cod Massachusetts.
Fact: The Pilgrims were in fact planning to settle in Virginia, but not the modern-day state of Virginia. They were part of the Virginia Company, which had the rights to most of the eastern seaboard of the U.S. The pilgrims had intended to go to the Hudson River region in New York State, which would have been considered "Northern Virginia," but they landed in Cape Cod instead. Treacherous seas prevented them from venturing further south.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This Thanksgiving, you shouldn't drink


and email. Google introduces Gmail Goggles to prevent you from drunkenly emailing photos of the bar or other unwelcome messages to all of your contacts. From Cracked.com's
5 Astounding Advances in the Science of Getting Drunk:

Google have released a ‘Gmail Goggles’ filter that you can set to automatically turn on during certain time periods. The default time is late at night on weekends but if you, like my father, prefer getting plastered in the morning because “that’s when they least expect it,” it can be set to turn on whenever you want. Once activated, the filter opens a new window whenever you try to send an email that asks if you’re really sure, and then runs you through some quick mental arithmetic before allowing it to be sent. No word yet on whether the filter also starts watering down your drinks when you begin violently sobbing while softly whispering the lyrics to John Cougar Mellencamp songs, or says you’ve had enough while repeatedly referring to you as “guy,” or calls the cops on you when you start taking clumsy, drunken swings at the monitor while insisting that it “doesn’t know you.”

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tennessee tuition increases


As high as 24%? From The Tennessean:

State higher education leaders will discuss tuition increases as high as 24 percent at public universities, an unprecedented jump they say signals the direness of Tennessee's economic woes.

When the Tennessee Higher Education Commission meets today in anticipation of next week's budget hearing with Gov. Phil Bredesen, administrators will see models of university tuition increases for 2009-10 ranging from 10 percent with no state funding change to 24 percent with a 15 percent cut.

Community college tuition increases would range between 10 percent and 29 percent. http://tinyurl.com/6cxhss

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Things I learned at TACHE

There is a rum distillery in Tennessee. Not only is Tennessee home to Jack Daniels, nearby in Kelso is Prichards' Distillery, producers of Prichards' Fine Rum. I'll have to look for it in northeast Tennessee. www.prichardsdistillery.com/

Dinner before TACHE


At Pearl's Oyster House. Following a meeting with the hotel staff to iron out the final details before the TACHE conference starts, several of us had dinner together in downtown Memphis. Pearl's Oyster House was a great place with great service. Decent prices, as well. http://www.pearlsoysterhouse.com/

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Walking in Memphis

at the Tennessee Alliance for Continuing Higher Education annual conference. I'm driving eight hours today to save money, even though I swore seven years ago that I would never drive to Memphis again. I could be at the beach several times over in eight hours. At least I have good company--in the car with me is one past and the current TACHE President.
http://tnache.org/

Monday, November 17, 2008

We had our annual


Retreat today. While we've sometimes met off campus and paid for food service, in this time of budget cuts, we met at free space in the VA Carnegie Library and brought our own food in. We used pens and notepads taken from the hotels where we've attended various conferences. The only state money we spent was human capital, the most expensive and most valuable asset we have. Here we are wrapping up the session with posters where we set goals that will allow us to thrive in difficult times. Dr. Jo Lobertini planned and executed the session, and did a great job!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tennessee Board of Regents in the news

Over adjunct salaries. But this is hardly surprising considering the tremendous budget constraints Tennessee Higher Education is facing. There is certainly more pressure to lower salaries than raise them.

From 6-6 Course Loads and No Benefits in insidehighered.com http://tinyurl.com/5hztth:
For the adjuncts at the six universities and 13 community colleges governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, the solution they came up with was to ask politely. They worked with administrators to craft and re-craft a proposal to raise the maximum pay offered to adjuncts so that someone working a 5-5 course load (the kind of load that many tenure-track faculty members would consider unworkable) could be assured the chance of topping $20,000 in annual income. They weren’t even talking about such matters as health insurance (which isn’t provided).

If these salary levels are surprising, it may be because they are frequently off the radar screen. The definitive annual survey of faculty salaries by the American Association of University Professors excludes part timers, so the institutions where the part timers in this article work don’t have their averages deflated by these pay levels.

After two years of encouraging meetings organized by AAUP leaders in Tennessee, the board — through its presidents council — decided this month that the current policy works just fine, and that there will be no increases in pay maximums.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Me and my gavel

I became President of the Association for Continuing Higher Education at the 70th Annual Conference and Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Here is a picture of Past President Chris Dougherty, trying to pull back the gavel so he could keep it another year! (Note the big grin on his face.) It was a wonderful conference, hosted expertly by Murray State University. With over 370 attendees, it was probably attended by more people than any other meeting--at least in recent memory. Susan Elkins and Sandra (Darkwing) Gladney co-chaired the planning committee, and Brian Van Horne and Dan Lavit co-chaired the local arrangement. Natalie Thurmond did yeoman work, and Janeen Winters helped man the registration booth even while seven months pregnant. Perhaps man is not the right verb...

Jennifer L. Copeland from

DemandEngine (www.demandengine.com/) blogged from the ACHE Conference and Meeting. You can read her thoughts on keynoters and concurrent sessions at www.collegeinteractivemarketing.com/highereducation/

A view of

The rowdy table at the ACHE Annual Luncheon, just before I gave my speech outlining the theme for next year's conference. I've been told I did some of my best speechifying. The text of the speech is available on an earlier posting at
http://tinyurl.com/5s6tlq.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas at Opryland


Taken from Amy's party room. Amy agreed to take a room that had a balcony but no bed. She did have a pull-out leather sofa bed. Chrismas comes early to Nashvegas.