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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Recent ICPSR updates and additions - New Releases through 2013-04-28

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.

Lynn Strong

Director, Undergraduate Research

Human Subjects Research Protection/IRB

Dillard University

Ensuring students more than a degree.

PSB 250

2601 Gentilly Blvd.

New Orleans, LA  70122

T:  504-816-4446


Dillard University General Assembly Reminder Wednesday May 1 2013


eCampus News: Colleges get a lesson in disaster recovery special report

Special Reports
When Hurricane Sandy barreled into the Northeast coast of the United States in late October, it leveled thousands of homes, caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, claimed at least 130 lives, and left millions of people without electricity. It also took numerous businesses offline for hours, or in some cases, days—disrupting operations for services ranging from the New York Stock Exchange and Amtrak to educational institutions.
“Events such as Super Storm Sandy always bring back into sharp focus the need for attention to planning for the impact of disasters,” said Brian Voss, chief information officer at the University of Maryland. “The larger storms—like Sandy in 2012 and Katrina in 2005—serve to remind us that disaster response and business continuity planning require attention beyond simply the loss of one’s data center, but can extend to the entire campus, the city where the institution is located, and even entire regions.”
Included in this eCN Special Report:
  • Learn the keys to a sound disaster recovery plan, including preventing, detecting and responding to IT emergencies
  • Hear real accounts from campus leaders and how they anticipate and plan ahead to confront disasters head-on  
  • Find out why disaster recovery is vital for colleges and universities of all sizes

Colleges get a lesson in disaster recovery

Read Now


eCampus News, 7920 Norfolk Ave Suite 900 . Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-913-0115 . Fax: 301-913-0119
Contents Copyright 2013 eCampus News. All rights reserved.


Faculty Focus - Course Evaluations: Helping Students Reflect on Their Feedback 
April 3, 2013

Course Evaluations: Helping Students Reflect on Their Feedback

I always hesitate to do posts on student ratings. Every teacher has opinions, a lot of which aren’t supported by the research. But this post is on a topic about which there is little disagreement. Students don’t take the process all that seriously, especially now that they complete rating forms online. Few take the time to provide teachers with quality feedback. They mark the rating boxes quickly and dash off a few poorly worded comments. Most of the time it’s not a process that benefits teachers or students, which is sad because it could be an experience with learning potential for both.

Yes, students can learn from activities that involve them in providing instructional feedback, especially if it’s focused on their learning experiences in class. Most students have little insight into themselves as learners. So, if the assessment activity gets them thinking about how they learn and what teaching policies, practices, and behavior expedite their efforts to learn, it can be a beneficial activity for them as well as for the teacher.

The trick is coming up with feedback activities that garner these benefits and I just found a great example. Professor La Lopa, who teaches hospitality and tourism management at Purdue University, has students in his 200-level Human Resource Management course write a reflective paper on quality teaching and its assessment. (I can hear some of you wondering about the appropriateness of the assignment. His article, referenced below, explains the context which more than justified it for me.) What’s most creative about the assignment are some of the prompts students respond to in the paper. Here’s a condensed and slightly edited version of some of them.

  • How would you describe your ideal professor? Include a description of the classroom setting (number of students, physical space, etc). Paint as clear a picture for me as possible so I can envision your ideal college professor and class.
  • Now describe the typical teacher you have actually experienced in your courses here. What is the typical classroom setting like?
  • If you could put one question on a course evaluation what would it be and why would you ask it?
  • If you were the president of your college or university, what method would you use to evaluate the [teaching] performance of college professors?

The article is worth reading for the quotes excerpted from the student papers alone. Their observations demonstrate just how well an assignment like this gets students thinking about good teaching, its assessment, and its relationship to learning.

There are lots of potential spin-offs from an activity framed around these questions. The most frequently mentioned characteristics of the “ideal” professor could be shared and discussed. Why these characteristics? Are these characteristics that support efforts to learn? How? Why? How about the teacher writing a short description of the “ideal” student followed by another short description of the “typical” student? I wonder if the one question teachers would add to the course evaluation would be anything like the question students would add. Maybe the best way to evaluate professors is by how well their students learn. Is that a good idea? Why? Why not?

There’s lots of research documenting that students don’t believe that their feedback is taken seriously by institutions or instructors, which in part explains the poor quality of the feedback they provide. And there’s lots of research documenting that if faculty talk with students about assessment feedback it improves end-of-course ratings. It’s a visible sign that teachers care and are willing to work with students, even if we don’t make all the changes they propose. Good feedback activities like the one described here have one final benefit: they can be learning experiences for students.

Please share the ways you collect, respond to, and use feedback from students. We’re especially interested in those ways that also encourage students to encounter themselves as learners.

Reference: La Lopa, J. (2011). Student reflection on quality teaching and how to assess it in higher education. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, 9 (4), 282-292.


Faculty Focus - End-of-Course Evaluations: Making Sense of Student Comments
November 28, 2012

End-of-Course Evaluations: Making Sense of Student Comments

At most colleges, courses are starting to wind down and that means it’s course evaluation time. It’s an activity not always eagerly anticipated by faculty, largely because of those ambiguous comments students write. Just what are they trying to say?

I think part of the reason for the vague feedback is that students don’t believe that the evaluations are taken all that seriously, not to mention they’re in the middle of the usual end-of-semester stress caused by having lots of big assignments due and final exams to face. It’s just not the best time to be asking for feedback and so students dash off a few comments which instructors are left to decipher.

In most end-of-course evaluations, students tend to comment about some of the same aspects of instruction. They frequently address issues of organization, whether students were treated fairly and the challenging aspects of the course. Carol Lauer wondered if faculty and students defined some of these common terms similarly and so she asked a faculty and student cohort to say what they meant when they saw or used the term on course evaluations.

Would you be surprised to learn that faculty and students define the terms differently, or that students themselves don’t agree on definitions? Probably not, I’m thinking. Even so, some of the specifics are interesting. Take “not organized,” for example. Almost a third of the faculty think students use that term when the teacher changes or doesn’t follow the syllabus. Just over 11% of students said that’s what the term meant to them. Seventeen percent of the students equated it with the instructor not being prepared, 15% said they used it when the teacher had no apparent plan for the day and almost 13% equated it with getting student work graded and returned slowly.

“Not fair” refers to problematic grading according to almost 50% of the faculty surveyed, but to just over 2% of the students. To students “not fair” gets written on an evaluation when the teacher plays favorites and doesn’t treat all students the same way. Students and faculty are closer in their understanding of what “challenging” means when it’s applied to a course. It means hard work and lots of it.

The point here isn’t terribly profound but it merits a reminder, especially at the end of courses when teachers are tired. Many of the terms used to describe teaching on rating forms and in student comments are abstractions. “Organized” is something teachers are and deciding whether a teacher is or isn’t depends on what the teacher does. Various behaviors, actions and inaction can be what any given individual sees as the presence or absence organization.

There is good news here. If you’re interested in improving something like organization, if you define it behaviorally, you can change what you, do which is a lot easier than changing what you are. Organization has never been one of my strong suits and I didn’t make much progress trying to “be” organized. But when I started putting a skeleton outline on the board, when I stopped five minutes before the end of period and used the outline to summarize, when I began class working with students to create a list of points to remember from last class, I was seen by students as being more organized.

But it isn’t all good news. A collection of dashed off student comments collected at the end of the semester doesn’t easily translate into an action-based improvement agenda. What the student comments mean is probably not what you think they mean. Communication about the impact of teaching policies and practices on efforts to learn needs to be ongoing so there’s an opportunity for clarifying feedback, adjustments and then more feedback. We can and should make efforts to change the way our institutions collect student assessments, but, until that glacier melts, we need to take matters into our own hands and solicit a different kind of feedback and at different times during the course.

Reference: Lauer, C. (2012). A comparison of faculty and student perspectives on course evaluation terminology. To Improve the Academy, 31, 195-211.


Inside Higher Ed: April 30, 2013


April 30, 2013

Vote by professors forces university to withdraw from participation in online credit courses for undergraduates.

April 30, 2013

New paper finds that increases in the proportion of out-of-state students at public research universities lead to declines in the enrollment of minority and low-income students.

April 30, 2013

Changes to the FAFSA will collect information on both parents in a same-sex marriage or who are unmarried but living together.

April 30, 2013

Graduate students in the humanities rarely intend to pursue non-faculty careers -- but with more of them doing so, new survey suggests that doctoral programs may need to change.

April 30, 2013

Author discusses his new book, Student Activism and Civil Rights in Mississippi.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Turnitin FREE 30-Minute Webcast: What Students Say About Instructor Feedback

30-Minute Webcast Series
Closing the Gap: What Students Say About Instructor Feedback
DATE:  Thursday, May 2, 2013
TIME:   10:00am PT / 11:00am MT / 12:00 noon CT / 1:00pm ET   View Local Time



Henry Alan Loya
MA., JD. is a student-centered adjunct professor teaching reading and English at Citrus College. He is a National Board Certified Teacher in English. Henry discussed college writing instruction and plagiarism in the March issue of Campus Technology News and covered reading achievement in the Extraordinary Educators newsletter. His classes have made headlines for conducting teleconferences with schools in Germany and this year his classes plan to engage with students at the University of Paris.  
Webcast Overview
Join us as we share survey results from nearly 900 students and engage in a lively conversation with a student and a college instructor about the implications of these findings for facilitating improvement in student writing.

The 30-Minute Webcast Series from Turnitin is for busy educators who want to stay current with the latest trends and technologies on preserving academic integrity, improving student writing across the curriculum, and promoting student success.


Turnitin is a service of iParadigms, LLC
1111 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607, USA   |   +1.510.764.7600   |


Tomorrow's Professor: Tomorrow's Graduate Students and Postdocs

Tomorrow's Graduate Students and Postdocs

Let's Make a Deal-Six myths about job and salary negotiations and how they may hinder your ability to bargain effectively.


Yuki sat in my office at the Stanford University School of Medicine Career Center, as many graduate students have before, and detailed the two postdoc job offers she had received in spite of an ongoing recession. She had heard she should negotiate, but had no idea how to proceed. When asked what she wanted to get out of the agreement, she responded, ?I?m not good at this. I mean, why would they want to hire me??


Weeks earlier, one of her classmates, Ray (both Ray and Yuki are fictitious names to protect the identities of my students), was in the opposite predicament. He came to my office because all three of his job offers had been rescinded after he attempted to negotiate, which he had done because he felt he should. When asked how he approached the negotiations, he said, ?I simply told them I needed more money because I graduated with a PhD from Stanford.?


With recent legislation mandating equal pay for women, and reports that a woman makes, on average, 77?80 cents for every dollar a man earns, it is tempting to see these two scenarios as ?gendered?: to assume that Yuki may settle for less because she is not confident in the process, as women ?tend to be,? and that Ray?s overconfidence cost him three jobs, a mistake commonly attributed to men. In fact, both faced the negotiation question with unhealthy assumptions about the process, which ultimately hurt their cases. Here are the most common job negotiation myths and what to do about them.



Myth 1: You must negotiate


There are two types of negotiations: distributive and integrative. Negotiating a painting?s price with an art dealer, for example, is distributive. You may never see the dealer again, so focusing on the best bargain is more important than concerning yourself with maintaining a relationship.


Negotiations with future employers are integrative, which means you will (if all goes well) see them again; starting and maintaining a good relationship is therefore your most important concern.


The best approach is to enter the negotiation with a rationale that fits both parties. The Harvard Negotiation Project within Harvard Law School provides research and resources focused on the theory and practice of conflict resolution and negotiation. Researchers within the program recommend knowing the following before you begin:


? Best alternative to a negotiated agreement: What are your other options?

? Reservation price: What is the least you can accept?

? Zone of possible agreement: Where are you willing to settle?


Through answering these questions, you may find the offer reasonable or even better than you had anticipated. It?s also a good idea to know your own worth. Comparing standards in your field on sites like the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Career Insider, Radford, Glassdoor,, and The Scientist?s own Salary Survey can help. It?s important to remember that these rarely offer precise benchmarks of salary. However, comparisons of the information can offer a good sense of range. Additionally, in some fields, such as management consulting, negotiation is not even common. In effect, if you have found no solid reason for negotiating other than simply wanting a little more cash for extracurricular activities, it may be better for your professional relationship not to do so.



Myth 2: Negotiation is a disingenuous process


While you do not have to negotiate if you don?t want to or cannot make a solid case for doing so, your starting package is a baseline for all other future raises, promotions, and opportunities. So reason to negotiate does exist, but what if it just isn?t you?


Make it about you?and them. The basis for myth 2 is a belief that negotiation is an attempt to take advantage of someone. The goal of any negotiation, whether professional or personal, should be reaching a ?zone of tolerance,? or an area where both of you feel a little comfort and a little discomfort. If you are focused entirely on what you want or entirely on what you think the prospective employer wants to hear, the process becomes less genuine. Develop a personal budget plan to determine the difference between what you want and need; listen to what the future employer wants and needs; and find a fit between these interests.



Myth 3: Negotiation really means asking for more money


Even though many negotiation talks center on financial terms, approach job offers with a whole package in mind. For example, additional vacation time may be more important than a starting bonus, because of work/life balance or because vacation time is a more permanent benefit than a one-time, taxable bonus. Again, different fields have different standards. Within research and academic science, for example, space, equipment, and staff may be far more important, and easier, to negotiate than salary.


Besides those mentioned above, other common negotiable offerings may include: start date, start-up funding, professional development opportunities, job-title change, teaching load, part-time/working from home, relocation costs, parking/commuting costs, and early/delayed review times. Insurance and related benefits are typically standardized per organization and can therefore be more difficult to negotiate. Still, these are just standards, and many people make the mistake of simply not exploring the breadth of possibilities available.


Regardless of what you seek, know what you want ahead of time so that you are able to fully assess how well the entire offer fits with your interests.



Myth 4: There is a negotiation ?type? and you either have it or don?t


Yuki believed that she was not the negotiating ?type,? seeing herself as unassertive or perhaps too genuine. Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann, creators of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), identify five negotiator styles, all of which can result in successful outcomes, depending on how, when, and why they are implemented:


1. Avoider: chooses not to negotiate at all

2. Accommodator: focuses primarily on understanding the other side?s interests

3. Compromiser: intends to ?split the difference?

4. Competitor: focuses on getting the best possible outcome for self

5. Collaborator: tries to find ways to understand and satisfy both sides


Most of us fall strongly into one or two of these categories. Luckily, the best type of negotiator is a combination of numbers 2 through 5. Early on, you may want to start as an accommodator, and/or as a competitor. In the middle, you may want to take a more collaborative stance and, in the end, move more fully toward compromise. The TKI measures which of these styles suits you best, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. Unlike Yuki, you should start your negotiations with a very distinct awareness of your strengths and weaknesses both as a negotiator and as a candidate, and give yourself the credit you deserve. As a result, you?ll be better equipped to communicate your case with confidence.


Myth 5: Men are better at this than women


When I ask audiences and clients to list separately the leadership traits of men and women, the lists are invariably similar. But, of the negotiation types above, men are given credit for being more competitive and women more accommodating. However, successful negotiation will not result from an extreme in either direction, suggesting that neither of these styles is an inherent strength or weakness. What we do know is that women do not ask for as much.


According to Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, authors of Women Don?t Ask, women may compromise too quickly, fearing that asserting their own interests will either ruin a relationship with future colleagues or seem overly aggressive. It is not that women are satisfied with less or that they don?t value negotiating. Rather, there exists a fear of discrimination or rejection if they do so too aggressively. As a result, I have found that women are more likely to negotiate on someone else?s behalf (e.g., a family member), apologize, confuse assertiveness with aggression, feel like they have to act stereotypically masculine, and ruminate about the interaction long after it is over. Men, on the other hand, may stay focused on the most immediately relevant issues and present key points more concisely and confidently, and then move on without looking back.


This perspective leads men to negotiate more often. However, there is always the risk of seeming overconfident or too competitive, if you do not keep the other party?s interests in mind. So your best bet is to take the time to self-reflect and think about how others may benefit from the individual skills you bring to the table, whether gender-related or not.



Myth 6: Employers want to give only the lowest offer


Negotiation is not the same as competition. Posting a job, reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, and putting offers together all take a while. By the time you receive a job offer, the employer is committed to you and wants you to succeed.


The goal of any negotiation, whether professional or personal, should be reaching a ?zone of tolerance,? or an area where both of you feel a little comfort and a little discomfort.


Every job title is connected to a specified salary range, with professional skills and activities designated as suitable to the lower and higher ends of the range. Such activities may be a combination of content skills (technical skills specific to a particular job, such as performing PCR or working with mouse models) and transferable skills (those less obvious skills which may transfer into any job, such as facility at communication or ability to work on a team). Salaries are offered according to where the candidate?s experience falls within this continuum.


If a salary offer is not what you expected, first thank the hiring manager for the offer of a position and then inquire about the salary range, whether it is negotiable, and how they came to that figure. An offer closer to the high end of the range is more difficult to negotiate because it moves you closer to the next level in the pay structure. When negotiating (or even interviewing in the first place), however, remind your potential employer of the less obvious transferable skills you possess in addition to the hard technical skills in the job description. These are the skills that may get lost in translation on your CV or when determining an initial offer. As a candidate, you should focus on the whole package when considering a job offer, not just one aspect. In turn, it behooves you to clarify what went into the job offer in the first place to ensure that all of your skills, interests, and abilities are reflected.


Final advice for negotiating with your future colleagues

Yuki and Ray?s negotiation stories are not the worst I have heard. Several years ago another one of my students received an offer at a well-known organization. She negotiated a start date 3 months later than the employer requested, additional salary and moving expense coverage, vacation time soon after starting, and that one of her colleagues move, giving my student the corner office. She did receive the offer of her dreams, but managed to alienate all of her colleagues before even starting the job. She left after just a year and a half.


Remember that these are your future colleagues. You will see them again, possibly every day. You don?t want them to offer you the lowest salary possible, but don?t assume they are doing so. Likewise, don?t give them an excuse to make assumptions about you and your motives. Have your ideal offer in mind from the start, know your reservation price, and come into the process willing to negotiate the best possible agreement for everyone involved. Finally, ask for the offer in writing (not always possible, but highly advisable), and get a final written version once negotiation has been concluded.


Stephanie Eberle is the director of curriculum development at the Stanford University School of Medicine Career Center.




Resources used in this article and my most-often-recommended reference materials for those considering whether or not to negotiate and how to do so:


? Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School (Harvard Negotiation Project):


? Harvard Business Essentials: Negotiation, Harvard Business School Press, 2003


? Perfect Phrases for Negotiating Salary and Job Offers, Matthew J. DeLuca and Nanette

F. DeLuca, McGraw-Hill, 2006


? Women Don?t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation?and Positive Strategies for Change, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Bantam, 2007


? Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, Bruce M.

Patton, and William L. Ury, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2nd ed., 1992