The Direct Network


Quality Counts: Why Faculty Need Streamlined OER

Posted by Lori Reese on Jul 12, 2018 5:30:00 AM

State legislators and administrators alike wonder why faculty aren’t clamoring to use Open Educational Resources. Though the academic community has been abuzz with talk of OER for years, research shows teachers have been slow to latch onto the trend.

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Textbook Wisdom: What Do You Lose Without the Required Texts?

Posted by Lori Reese on Apr 17, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Given the careening cost of higher education, it might be tempting to cut required texts from your syllabus in order to help students save money. If you’ve been teaching a while, you likely have ample resources for giving lectures, assigning homework and conducting assessments. However, if you eliminate the opportunity for students to engage with a text, you eliminate more than an expense. You deprive students of the ability to develop one of our most fundamental skills — reading — in your class.

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Textbook Wisdom: What Can You Learn from a Textbook Manager?

Posted by Lori Reese on Apr 11, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Administrators and academics differ on a host of topics, but, politics aside, you know there are a lot of non-faculty on campus you appreciate. Without the department office manager, you would be stuck laboring over a copy machine more hours than you’d like. Without a well-staffed counseling center, you would have nowhere to send students in need of emotional support. Without advisors, your students would be even more confused about their path to graduation, especially at a large university where the bureaucracy is complex. An official school bookstore textbook manager is an oft-overlooked member of the administration who deserves your appreciation.

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Is the Tenure System Good for Education?

Posted by Lori Reese on Mar 8, 2018 5:30:00 AM

The academic world is rife with speculation that the time-honored tenure system may be reaching its end. Many scholars and educators regard this as a tragic result of hiring trends that put former CEOs and corporate execs at the helm of major universities. To outsiders, the tenure system — which guarantees lifelong employment — can seem charmingly antiquated at best. At worst, it interferes with an institution’s ability to maintain solvency, serve students and recruit young, ambitious scholars. Why not discard tenure altogether? The question goes right to the heart of your school’s beliefs about the purpose institutions of higher education serve.

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Three Types of Student Support That Increase Retention

Posted by Liz Schulte on Feb 21, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Students’ experiences shape their view of your school. Whether the student has a negative experience with a faculty member, has to navigate a website that isn’t intuitive or is inconvenienced with a less than satisfactory trip to the campus store, these circumstances have the ability to influence their overall opinion about the school. A series of good encounters can demonstrate that your institution cares about his or her success, rather than sending him or her to that hard to reach, at-risk category.

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Why Are Faculty Often at War With Administrators?

Posted by Lori Reese on Feb 13, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Let’s say you’ve formed a committee to discuss your school’s transition from a brick-and-mortar college store to an online course material distributor. You’ve looked at the numbers. You’ve done your due diligence. It’s obvious to you the new bookstore will serve students better and further academic success — things that should matter to faculty. Yet, the academics on your committee are recalcitrant. They’re constantly throwing out verbal grenades that undermine efficient decision-making. What’s going on?

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3 Ways You Need to Reach Faculty About Adoptions

Posted by Lori Reese on Feb 8, 2018 5:30:00 AM

In my first week at MBS, I told a colleague something about faculty book adoptions that stunned him. He was writing a blog about why it’s essential for administrators to ensure teachers get adoptions in early.

“Impossible,” I said.

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What Happens When Teachers Are Tech Leaders?

Posted by Lori Reese on Feb 1, 2018 5:30:00 AM

These teachers stand out — and raise eyebrows. They integrate the latest technologies into their classrooms. They have popular Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and blogs. They score lucrative speaking gigs at conferences on educational leadership. These are the  high-profile classroom teachers that companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon court with freebies —  everything from gift cards to iPads and free access to premium classroom software — and they are igniting debate about corporate-infused pedagogy. Should you encourage your teachers to seize such opportunities or forbid them from fraternizing with Silicon Valley elites?

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Winning Faculty Allies in the Struggle for Affordable Course Material Solutions

Posted by Lori Reese on Jan 22, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Would you like to know how and why faculty treat textbooks the way they do? According to our report, “Winning Faculty Allies in the Struggle for Affordable Course Material Solutions,” many teachers are emperors of their classrooms: They select their books with a keen interest in maintaining academic freedom — and they don’t expect input from others.

Find out how faculty choices affect the cost of education and how your administration can win allies in reducing course material costs in this exclusive report.

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Are Your Committee Meetings Effective or Prohibitive?

Posted by Liz Schulte on Jan 17, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Meetings can often feel like the enemy of progress. They can break up our days into odd chunks, prevent or interrupt deep work, and they can negatively effect workplace satisfaction. Despite downsides, meetings can also increase communication and collaboration, ideally producing a better end result. Committee meetings aren’t an exception. To ensure the time you commit to committee meetings is beneficial, it is important to periodically evaluate the reason for the committee and whether or not it is still serving its intended purpose.

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