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Monday, May 20, 2013

Inside Higher Ed Articles: Not So Academically Adrift? / Questioning Assumptions on Grade Inflation -- May 20, 2013 Daily Update


Challenging findings of landmark 2011 study, new data suggest that college students make significantly bigger gains in critical thinking. But differences in methodology may contribute to the differing conclusions.

Study challenges assumption that professors have become more lenient in evaluating students, or that their grades have less "signaling" power. Another researcher challenges paper as inaccurate.

ETS releases a new test to measure students' non-academic skills. Colleges want to use test for advising and finding remedial students with "grit."

Education Department will delay enforcing a rule that requires states to submit evidence that colleges are authorized to operate within their borders -- and that could end colleges' aid eligibility if states don't do so

University of Colorado President's Teaching & Learning Collaborative CU’s Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Program Call for 2013-14 Research Proposals


President's Teaching & Learning Collaborative

CU’s Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Program

Call for 2013-14 Research Proposals

The President’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative (PTLC) is publishing a call for proposed projects that will deepen student learning in higher education. Faculty from all colleges, schools, disciplines, and professional programs are eligible to apply.(1)

This Call includes participation for a maximum of two years: Faculty Researchers currently in the Collaborative may request an extension to be a member of the cohort for a second and final year (no additional funding for second year). Please submit written requests to extend your time in the collaborative to Mary Ann Shea at

What is the President's Teaching and Learning Collaborative?

The PTLC is a comprehensive, collaborative program that offers access to supportive expert educational research programs, financial support from the Office of the President, the campus Provosts, and a structured plan for completion of a classroom research project. The Collaborative is committed to establishing the University of Colorado as a leader in research and scholarship on teaching and learning. The Collaborative will focus on projects emphasizing student learning and assessing course learning.

The goals of the collaborative include: fostering inquiry and leadership for the improvement of student learning, developing and synthesizing knowledge about learning and teaching through publication in peer-refereed journals in two years’ time, and promoting institutional change in support of the scholarship of teaching and learning. To read more about the PTLC visit:

The Collaborative wishes to consider proposals from two Faculty Researchers representing two different disciplines. Because interdisciplinary research has strong advantages for learners as well as for innovative pedagogies, we invite them. If accepted, one budget or $1550 will be allowed and it is the case that the two Faculty Researchers will teach together in each class as opposed to teaching alone.

(1) Do not apply to the President's Teaching and Learning Collaborative and to the Teaching Scholar Program, Anschutz Medical Campus simultaneously.

Who is eligible to apply?

All faculty members and teaching professors on any campus of the University of Colorado are encouraged to apply. We seek faculty with a record of innovation in teaching and/or assessment of learning as well as those just beginning to examine their teaching and their students’ learning. Experience in educational research is not a requirement. The aim of the program is to broaden participation of faculty in effective inquiry in learning and teaching. Familiarity with the literature on learning and teaching in one's discipline is an ongoing necessity, and the goal of the program is that PTLC participants publish their research.

You must be a faculty member who is currently engaged in teaching. We do not accept proposals to evaluate programs.

What are the benefits and expected commitments?

  • Funding from the Office of the President. Faculty researchers will receive funding from the Office of the President and campus Provosts totaling $1,550 for their research that may include a student research assistant and presenting one’s research.
  • Meeting with Coach every semester. Each Faculty Researchers accepted into the Collaborative must meet at least once a semester with her/his Coach to define, clarify, or revise their research project. The Coach is someone with experience in researching teaching and learning. This person has submitted proposals to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) previously and so also has experience with that process. Thus, the Faculty Researcher and Coach will meet one-on-one at least once each semester to advance the researcher’s project.
  • Meeting with campus-specific group every month. Faculty Researchers will meet monthly for progress reporting as a cohort group. Attendance at these monthly meetings is mandatory for membership in the Collaborative. Some of these meetings will include instruction in different facets of education research. Attendance by your Coach is encouraged but not mandatory. Your Campus Faculty Coordinator will contact you regarding these schedules.
  • Meeting with entire Collaborative twice a year. The celebration of teaching and learning meeting to launch the cohort will take place on Monday, September 16, 2013, from 12:00 to 2:00. The meeting to culminate the Faculty Researchers’ efforts for the school year will take place on May 19, 2014, from 10:00 to 12:00. These two mandatory meetings will be held at the Anschutz Medical Campus of UC Denver.
  • Approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB process should be completed prior to your attendance at the launch meeting on September 16, 2013. This review may take up to six weeks depending on the proposed project. Your PTLC Coach, Campus Faculty Coordinators, and the director (Mary Ann Shea) should be consulted to assist in this process. You may not begin collecting data for your research project prior to gaining IRB approval. For information about the IRB process on your campus see
  • Submission of a peer reviewed research article. The goal of the Collaborative is to have submitted a research article to a peer-reviewed journal no later than the PTLC entire-cohort meeting on May 19, 2014. If you have not submitted an article by that date, you may apply by written request to extend your time in the Collaborative by one year.
  • Maximum of two years in the Collaborative. Participation as a Faculty Researcher may include two years’ time at the most. You are expected to participate for one year (Sept 16, 2013 through May 19, 2014); however, you may extend your time as a Faculty Researcher by one year if you have not yet completed your work by submitting a research article to a peer-reviewed journal though there is no additional funding for the second year. You must formally apply for an extension with Mary Ann Shea at no later than August 15, 2014.
  • Local presentation of PTLC research. During your year(s) of membership as a faculty researcher, the PTLC requires each participant to formally present their work on their respective campuses. Presentation includes departmental meetings and campus colloquia, among other venues. This spreads awareness of both your scholarship and of the PTLC.
  • Future participation as a Coach. Because the growth of the PTLC depends on investigators’ willingness to Coach future PTLC investigators following their term in the program, each researcher is expected to participate as a Coach in the following year.

How do I apply?

All application materials must be submitted electronically in attached Word documents only to Suzanne.Eyerman@Colorado.EDU between December 4, 2012, and May 22, 2013.

Please send the following all in a single Word document:
1. Cover sheet with the following information:

a. Name
b. Job Title and/or Academic Rank
c. Institution
d. College or School
e. Department or program
f. Discipline and/or professional field
g. Campus address
h. City, state, ZIP code
i. Phone number
j. Email address
k. Title of your proposed project


2. Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae (no more than one page)

3. Letter of proposal (no more than four pages double-spaced and paginated, with your name in the header of each page) answering these questions:

a. What is the central question, issue, or problem you plan to explore in your proposed work?
b. Why is your central question, issue, or problem important to you and to others who might benefit from or build on your findings?
c. How do you plan to conduct your investigation? What sources of evidence do you plan to examine? What methods might you employ to gather and make sense of this evidence? What literature have you reviewed on your topic?
d. How might you make your work available to others in ways that facilitate scholarly critique and review, and that contribute to thought and practice beyond the local? (Keep in mind that coaching will be available to invite you to develop these aspects of your proposal, so you need not feel you must present a finished project design at this time.)
e. Include a literature review of the theory and effective teaching practice of the subject of your inquiry in order to locate your research in the literature preceding it. (The website offers expert advice on how to conduct a relevant literature review.)
f. What is your record of innovation in teaching and/or the assessment of learning?
g. Are you able to attend the required meetings as specified in the sections titled, “What are the Benefits?” and “What commitments are expected of participants?”
h. As part of your acceptance we ask that you make contact now with a faculty peer who agrees to serve in the collaborative as your Coach. Please provide the name and email address for your Coach. The description here provides information as to how a Coach faculty member will best serve you in both your education research and your content subject. A Coach is a faculty member who has experience with research and is one who will collaborate with you in your research on teaching and learning in your discipline. The Coach will attend the meetings on the Anschutz Medical and the monthly campus-specific meetings, if possible. The Coach must meet one-on-one with you at least once per semester. We ask that you schedule the meetings with your Coach. In addition, your Coach is required to participate in a Coaches’ Video Conference Meeting with Mary Ann Shea on June 27, 2013 from 9:15 to 11:00. You are responsible for ensuring that your Coach has read this entire Call for Proposals document prior to agreeing to serve in this role.
j. If you are selected, we ask you to agree to serve as a Coach in PTLC in a future year.

4. A letter of nomination from your department chair or unit head

a. Chair’s contact information

i. Current academic rank
ii. Mailing address
iii. Department
iv. Phone

b. Please indicate ways in which the candidate’s PTLC participation might benefit the department, including opportunities to share research results with peers and students.

Collaborative Timeline:

Summer 2013
  • May 22, 2013: Proposals due to PTLC
  • June 14, 2013: Notification of acceptance to PTLC
  • June 27, 2013: 9:15-11:00 Required Coaches’ Video Conference meeting
  • Complete the Institutional Review Board (IRB) Process
    • Take the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Tutorial
    • Write and submit proposal for IRB
    • Be awarded notification of acceptance of IRB proposal
Fall 2013
  • Sept 16, 2013, 12:00-2:00 Required launch meeting and Poster Session at the Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Data collection and early data analysis
Spring 2014
  • Data analysis and writing
  • Required cohort meeting, May 19, 2014, 10:00-12:00
  • Submission of research project results to peer-reviewed publication or conference (for those who have completed their researcher project and are not continuing in the 2nd and final year in the Collaborative)
Summer 2014

What kind of research does PTLC support?

The PTLC seeks to promote the practice of inquiry in teaching and of measuring student learning. PTLC faculty researchers work on projects that aim primarily at assessing student learning. Through their research on teaching and learning, we hope to improve the student experience at the university. This occurs through changes PTLC faculty researchers make in their own teaching after conducting their research. In addition, other faculty beyond PTLC participants may work to enhance their classrooms as a result of the dissemination of PTLC research. In particular, the Collaborative assists University faculty in developing scholarly projects on teaching and learning intended for publication. This program is modeled on the Carnegie Foundation’s national work on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Central to the PTLC is creating and disseminating scholarly work in teaching and learning to contribute to scholarship and practice in and across fields. To this end, each scholar designs and undertakes an investigation aimed at deepening her or his understanding of, and practice related to an important issue in innovative learning. Several features for projects should be kept in mind:
• Proposed work should center on definitions, experiences, problems, and values related to effective teaching and learning as well as investigations of one’s own students and classroom practices.
• The focus of this work should be teaching and learning for understanding, exploring primarily the character and depth of student learning that results (or does not) from particular teacher practices.
• We look for attention to enduring, widely recognized issues and questions that have broad relevance or implications for student learning. Scholarship that advances understanding of such questions is more likely to find audiences. We also are interested in work that demonstrates a commitment to the personal and social development of students.
• Of further interest is work explicitly linked to established lines of research. Like other forms of scholarship, the scholarship of teaching and learning builds on work done by others. All proposals should review research related to the specific problem to be investigated.

PTLC Campus Faculty Coordinators


Professor Alison Hicks
Library Administration

Professor Diane Martichuski
Boulder Psychology

Professor Elaine Cheesman
Special Education

Professor Dave Anderson

Director, Faculty Resource Center


UCD – Downtown campus
Professor Donna Sobel
Acting Director of the Center for Faculty Development


Professor Kari Franson
School of Pharmacy


EducationAdminWebAdvisor Education Administration Headlines + More!

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Issue 26 · May 20, 2013
A 2012 law amended the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program to extend the 3.4 percent interest rate for another year and encourage student borrowers to finish their academic programs on time.
An armed security officer accidentally shot a high school student. Meanwhile, colleges and universities are quietly conforming their campus policies to comply with state concealed carry and other gun rights laws.
His fellow middle school students called him "Aladdin" and, worse, a "terrorist" because he wore a turban in keeping with his Sikh religious faith. The behavior violated Title IV of the Civil Rights Act.
The Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program drifted away from its cultural roots and was being used to fill teaching jobs. Proposed amendments to the program regulations will reemphasize cultural activities that promote mutual understanding.
Politically inspired criticism of the Common Core State Standards is taking its toll. Even some states where the CCSS have been adopted are having second thoughts. Teachers and parents are beginning to voice doubts too.
Continuing Education for Administrators
Click for more details and to register ...
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern
A Justice Department settlement requires a school to make menu accommodations for students with special dietary needs. The implications are potentially far-reaching and could expose educational institutions to complaints of discrimination under the ADA by students with serious food allergies. What schools need to know about this evolving aspect of disability law.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern
Suicide has become the leading cause of death among college students. To secure the safety of not only troubled students, but of all students and faculty, higher education administrators need to know how to address the many interrelated social, legal, ethical, mental health, and practical issues raised by this crisis.
Thursday, June 6, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern
Along with greater post-secondary educational opportunities for students with disabilities comes the very real and practical issues involved in helping them adjust to living away from home and succeeding socially, academically, physically, and emotionally in a college environment. High school and college administrators and special education teachers need to know the laws and how to develop a collaborative plan for a smooth transition.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern
Instructional employees, interns, substitute teachers, adjunct faculty, and temporary employees — they all need to be classified for the tax withholding and wage and hour laws. The IRS and Department of Labor are doing random audits to see if schools and other employers have properly classified their employees as independent contractors or full-timers. Get advice for how to perform your own self-audit first.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 @ 1 PM Eastern
Shared governance, egalitarianism, and individual responsibility characterize how work is done in colleges and universities, and as a result, traditional performance appraisal systems don't work well. Learn how to develop a collaborative approach to employee performance management that reflects the structure and belief system of a true learning organization.

Don't Worry! -- Webinars on CD Option!
What if you have a time conflict and can't participate in a webinar of interest on its scheduled date and time? Don't worry. You can still take advantage of our CD option. Soon after completion of each webinar, the program will be available on CD. Click here for the complete listing and future ordering information.
Education in the Courts
Overseas School Trip Gone Tragically Wrong:
Broad Liability Release Doesn't Spare School From Huge Judgment
A private boarding high school in Connecticut is on the hook for almost $42 million in damages after a jury found that the school had been negligent in protecting one of its students during an overseas trip. Bolstering the plaintiff's case was the judge's ruling during the trial that the school's broad waiver of negligence liability was unenforceable and could not be submitted as evidence by the defendants.
In 2007, a ninth-grade student at The Hotchkiss School signed up for a school-sponsored trip to Tianjin, China. Participation in the trip was contingent upon parents and students signing a "Release of Claims" that released the school from:
"(1) any and all claims that may arise from any cause whatsoever, whether resulting from acts or omissions of any persons, from the operation or condition of the facilities or premises, from acts of war or terrorism, or from acts of God or nature, or risks associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages, use of illegal drugs in any form, and injury or death from causes such as traffic accidents, crime, assault, and theft,
(2) responsibility for any accident, illness, injury, or any other damage or consequence arising or resulting directly or indirectly from the student's participation in the program,
(3) any liability, damage, or injury that may be caused by student's negligence or willful acts committed prior to, during, or after participation in the program, and
(4) any liability, damage, or injury caused by the intentional or negligent acts or omissions of any other participant in the program, or caused by any other person."
While on the trip to China, the student was bitten by a tick. She contracted encephalitis that left her brain damaged. The plaintiffs argued that officers and employees of the school failed to warn trip participants of the health risks of traveling to that area of China and then were negligent during the trip, including allowing students to visit known areas of insect-transmitted diseases without taking appropriate precautions such as wearing protective clothing and insect repellant and checking for ticks.
The Hotchkiss School argued that the odds of contracting such a disease are extremely rare and that school officials could not have foreseen the risk. The defendants also said that the release of liability signed by the student and her mother absolved Hotchkiss of liability for its actions.
The plaintiffs challenged the admissibility of the release. Looking at past law, the judge observed, "As a general rule, Connecticut courts disfavor broad waivers of negligence liability." Looking at the school's release, the judge found that it was written quite broadly, stating that: "... it covers 'any and all claims' and 'acts or omissions of any persons,' and waives 'responsibility for' not just 'any accident, illness, injury,' but also 'any other damage.'" The judge concluded that an ordinary person signing such a release would not have understood that it shielded the school from a basic duty to act with reasonable care.
The judge went on to say that, in essence, Hotchkiss had left students and parents with two untenable choices: refuse to sign the waiver and thus forego the trip to China and all the advantages it offered, or sign a release that waived any rights to sue for the school's failure to take basic precautions to protect those on the trip.
The judge held that the release was unenforceable as a matter of law and could not be used as evidence by the defendants. A few days later, the jury handed down its verdict.
Read the judge's ruling in Cara Munn et al. v. Hotchkiss School, March 22, 2013
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In This Issue
· Education administration, innovation, and compliance news & issues
Continuing Education for Administrators
·  Food allergies as a protected disability in school food service
·  College student suicides and threats: risks & responses
·  Students with disabilities transition from HS to college
·  Faculty and employees: independent contractors or full-timers
·  Higher education performance management
Education in the Courts
·  School's overseas trip liability not released
What Counts
Students Sneezing and Itching
·  The prevalence of food and skin allergies among children under age 18 increased between 1997–1999 and 2009–2011.
·  As children get older, skin allergies decrease and respiratory allergies increase.
·  Allergy prevalence varies by race and ethnicity, with Hispanic children having the lowest prevalence of food, skin, and respiratory allergies compared with non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black children.
·  Food and respiratory allergy prevalence increases as income level rises. There is no difference in skin allergy prevalence by economic status.
-- Trends in Allergic Conditions Among Children: U.S., 1997–2011, National Center for Health Statistics, data brief

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EducationAdminWebAdvisor: Performance Conversations: A Key to Successful Performance Management in Higher Education


EducationAdmin Web Advisor


Performance Conversations:
A Key to Successful Performance Management
in Higher Education


Step-by-step guidance through the most 
effective performance management practices.
Traditional performance appraisal systems can be ineffective in the collegial environment of higher education. Shared governance, egalitarianism, and individual responsibility are a part of the belief system that guides how work is done in colleges and universities. Instead of the traditional power relationship between a supervisor and subordinate, deans, directors, department chairs and vice presidents are peer leaders who work in a collaborative environment of mutual respect. Nonetheless there still exists a supervisor-subordinate relationship, but how best to manage that relationship can differ from what we may be familiar with. How then should colleges and universities harness the potential of every faculty and staff member, while still making sure that institutional policies and procedures are being adhered to? 
Finding the answer requires a collaborative approach to employee performance management which involves having "performance conversations" that foster a shared commitment to institutional goals and responsibilities. Conversations, instead of evaluations, represent the underpinnings of a performance management system which seeks meaningful feedback.
In this webinar you will:
  • Learn the key design elements that are necessary to create a collegial performance management system in higher education.
  • Understand how to get employees involved in tracking and regulating their own performance.
  • Learn to recognize common pitfalls with traditional appraisals and what to do instead.
  • Discuss how to redefine the supervisor and subordinate relationship to foster "partners in performance."
  • Discuss how to hold quality "performance conversations" which include:
       - Involving colleagues in meaningful dialogue about their performance.
       - Providing feedback and feed-forward without insulting a colleague.
       - Recognizing how the culture of an institution can be built into the current performance management system.
  • Learn how to foster positive relationships built upon cooperation, collaboration, and communication.
  • Find out how to hold positive conversations about the most difficult workplace challenges.
  • See how to apply appropriate techniques for faculty and staff performance conversations.
Just as a true learning organization enables every student to learn, grow, and contribute to his or her highest potential, a higher education performance management system should empower all faculty and staff members to do the same and still make sure that the goals of traditional performance management are being met. Achieving these objectives will encourage faculty and staff to grow, and at the same time help the institution to reduce its legal exposure from current and former disgruntled employees. 
Please join Christopher D. Lee, Ph.D., SPHR as he explains step-by-step how to begin having performance conversations and how these fit with the performance management system you may currently be using.
June 11, 2013, 1 PM Eastern.
Scheduled for 90 minutes including question and answer session.
· $299.00 webinar
· $299.00 CD (Includes full audio presentation, Q&A session and presentation slides)
· $399.00 webinar + CD
*Each option may be viewed by an unlimited number of attendees from the same connection. 
CE Credits:
This program has been approved for 1.5 general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.
Christopher D. Lee, Ph.D., SPHR.
Who Should Attend? 
Deans, directors, department chairs, vice presidents, administrators, HR, counsel.
Your conference leader for Performance Conversations: A Key to Successful Performance Management in Higher Education is Christopher D. Lee, Ph.D., SPHR. Dr. Lee is a human resources practitioner, lecturer, researcher, and author. His background includes having served as the chief human resources officer for three different colleges or universities and a state college system. He is a former question writer and member of the Exam Review Panel for the PHR and SPHR examinations administered by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). His areas of expertise are employment, training, and performance management -- or, in his words, "finding, developing, and managing talent in organizations." He is the author of numerous human resources related articles, chapters, and two books, including Performance Conversations: An Alternative to Appraisals. He has recently completed the manuscript for his next work called Performance Questions: 7 Answers, 30 Minutes, Unlimited Results. He has presented at conferences and consulted with clients in the U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa on HR related topics. He holds a master's degree in HR management, a doctor of philosophy degree in HR development, and he is also certified as a senior professional in human resources.
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