Big Data MOOC

I am taking the plunge. I am taking a mooc. I took my picture and help up my ID and paid my $49.

I have done the intro and have watched the first two videos. I am just about ready to dive into the regressions and hope it is a helpful experience to me.

I am actually good with data but have not done any true statistics in recent years. I know that for what I do, it is just about data and looking at the numbers and trying to tell the story of the students and their success. I need to do this as I have not done statistics in quite a while-probably Hudak’s class at Allegheny! Again, we are talking basics and not very in depth but time to push my comfort zone a little and do this.


And Grades are IN

I got in stupid early this morning to post my final grades for Spring Term. I always feel excited and exhausted when submitting grades.

This term was a blur. Personally, a wedding shower and a wedding made the first half of the term fly by even faster than usual. How wonderful to celebrate such a happy and joyous event. Of course, Ali and James are just amazing and I am delighted to have a son!

I will take some time and reflect on the academics of this term. Too many Ds and Fs and I need to think on how this could be prevented. The BRT (Business Retention Team) is an incredible bunch for intervention, but there are just a few that don’t seem to be “helpable”.

I am finally going to add Outcomes at the course level for both BA 131 and BA 315 this summer. I really need to have this in place so other faculty can “see” how it all works in Canvas.

This will be a long and a truly “off” weekend so let’s hope for sunshine as the dogs are getting extra walks!

Program Capstone Data

I am near the end of getting the Program Outcomes into Canvas (you will remember that I have not been able to do this for a couple days-I love “not my fault” breaks). I hope this transition to Canvas will be helpful to faculty and just inputting the Outcomes has helped me see some revisions that could be helpful.

These are the types of projects where the support is incredibly important. It has taken me quite a bit to “sit with” Canvas Outcomes and make it work. After presenting at WACC, I feel really good about the work I have done this year and that this is a crucial tool for continued collection and analysis of data.

So, time to finish inputting and a big WOOHOO to Canvas. And a plea that it does not change that much this summer since it has taken me a while to figure out this version.

Canvas Downtime…during finals

Yes, it is true. Canvas was unavailable for several hours yesterday. Those of you who know Oregon, we are in finals week and we graduate students this Saturday due to our late Fall term start.

I should have been more upset but I really just giggled. This happens at the worst of times. Our IT folks were on it and did all they could to restore us as quickly as possible. There was no malice, thank goodness, just one doozy of a reinstall/reload.

Now, we can talk about the lessons of being prepared and having backups and off line copies of things but that is not going to happen. We are all on survival mode for a few more days. This outage just hit me as we get so spoiled with basically no down time and things working flawlessly month after month after month. Remember all that holding down the C key and taking so long to reinstall an OS? We have come very far and we must continue to be thankful for all the speed and connectivity!

Friday Fun!

Data. We hear it ALL the time now, especially as many software companies are now bypassing IT departments and marketing directly to specific offices such as Admission and Student Services.

I think the main thing to keep in mind is that data is not statistics. Data are the numbers/the artifacts that we can use to tell a story. Data can be thought of as the tool to see where there are needs and where there is success. Just as important, can we meet those needs on our own or do we need to involve others to be effective? And yes, all the education people are now saying, “What does it mean to be effective in any given situation?” For my purpose, most of what I do addresses first to second year student retention, retention in an online MBA program and success/graduation (that is where our funding is now so it is so very important).

As I  compile Program Assessment data, I will be looking to see what the story is for each program. I can tell one piece of the story but the power will come in the collaboration with faculty as we discuss what we found and where we go from what we learned. Maybe there are significant changes for some work, maybe it is time to “stay the course”. It will be exciting to find out!


Finally, the last week of class

Yes, you are reading this title correctly.

Here in the Great State of Oregon, we are on trimesters and they begin the last week of September and we will graduate on June 17. It is EONS from other semester schedules and the end is always a bit more rushed and condensed knowing so many are out and have been out for a month now.

I don’t dislike this calendar, but I wonder what other regions think about it? Are our students at a disadvantage for jobs? Do we just misalign in terms of reporting Assessment and Evaluation work?

I feel calendar does affect one’s psyche! But alas, I am a Cavs fan so I joyfully await Game 3 tomorrow from the Q. I can grade projects and cheer!

Ready to reboot Prairie Tech Companion

Time to reboot my blog! I never quite came up with another name so here we go again.

I have Outcomes and Assessment heavy on my mind these days. I cannot get a critical mass of people to understand that Canvas can be used easily to document students meeting Outcomes for Programs, Courses and for University Outcomes. The days of paper are gone and the days of having this in someone’s head are also gone.

I need to think and to foster collaboration and to really help faculty understand that I am a support that is beyond clerical. I can “see” and learn how things work and how to make our work better and more transparent.

I truly believe we are moving to just get our work with Outcomes documented (we have Canvas so for me, Canvas it is!) but that has to be with time and with attention to the task at hand. In coming from K-12, it is standard that the end of the year is nuts. Let’s all work to support and help each other and make the future a more smooth and collegial place!