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2016 Pre-Conference Workshop Schedule and Descriptions
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1/2 Day Workshop Session Fee - $90; Full Day - $180; Newcomers - $120.  Early Bird Deadline October 28th.  

After Early Bird Deadline: Fees for 1/2 Day Workshop - $100; Full Day Workshop - $195; Newcomers - $135.

 

 Saturday Morning and Afternoon- 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM IPEDS Training

Best Practices for Reporting and Using IPEDS Data to Improve Office Efficiencies   

For more information about the AIR/NCES IPEDS workshop and registration information, click here.       

 

Saturday Morning - 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Saturday Afternoon 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Tableau Fundamentals for the IR Professional, Part I (Part II Saturday Afternoon)        

 Craig Abbey, University at Buffalo


In this workshop, participants will learn the basic features and functions of Tableau through a series of hands-on exercises using higher education data.  Attendees will acquire the skills to connect to data, filter data, create a variety of visualizations, build basic calculations and build interactive dashboards they can share with their campus.  Additionally, mapping data, organizing data and working with dates will be covered.  Perfect for those with a little or no experience, this workshop will jump start you on your path to Tableau expertise.

 

This workshop is intended for all IR professional who want to learn Tableau.  No experience with Tableau is necessary.

 

Attendees must bring laptop. Participants need to bring laptops to the workshop loaded with Tableau 10, as this will be the latest version available at the time of this workshop.  Those who do not own Tableau can download a trial version (version 10) prior to the workshop.

 

Saturday Morning - 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Career Management and Leadership in IR

 Mitchell Nesler, Empire State University; Betsy Carroll, The Culinary Institute of America

 

Participants will consider a series of issues associated with managing their careers in institutional research including career advancement and the knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences needed to advance in higher education.  This workshop will be highly interactive, alternating between theory and participative discussion. This workshop is intended for professionals with at least 5 years of IR/higher education experience.

 

Participants should have 5 or more years of IR experience as a prerequisite.

 

Data Management and Analysis using Stata

 Joshua Bittinger, University of Massachusetts

 

Wondering whether Stata is a good fit for your office's needs? Stata combines the ease of using drop-down menus with the power of writing your own code for easy replication. As a bonus, Stata is often the most affordable statistical package available to institutional researchers. This workshop provides an introduction to using Stata for institutional research. Time will be spent introducing attendees to the program, highlighting differences and similarities to other common statistical programs. Attendees will also be introduced to a variety of commands to manage their data, run statistical analyses, and create graphics.

 

This workshop is intended for anyone who manages data sets or is interested in gaining exposure to Stata. No background with Stata or coding is required.

 

Attendees must bring laptop. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to bring laptops to the workshop loaded with Stata 14 (IC version or above preferred).

 

Using Environmental Scanning to Improve Strategic Planning

 Joel Lapin, The Community College of Baltimore County, Professor Emeritus

 

This workshop will develop the knowledge and skills of participants to successfully organize and implement an environmental scanning and strategic planning activity. To achieve this goal the workshop will use research and practice to achieve the following objectives: (1) distinguish between strategic planning and other types of planning; (2) define trends and provide examples in eight environmental change (taxonomy) areas; (3) provide case studies of successful strategic plans and processes based on external environmental scanning trends; and (4) provide knowledge and skills to successfully organize and operate this activity at your institution.

 

This workshop is appropriate for newcomers, planners, IR officers, one-person offices, etc.--all planning professionals--seasoned and new that are responsible for and/or interested in effective environmental scanning and strategic planning.

 

Saturday Afternoon - 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM; Sunday Morning 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Introduction to Statistics using SPSS, Part I (Part II Sunday Morning)

 Jessica Sharkness, Tufts University

 

This workshop will develop participants' basic understanding of statistics and of SPSS. Participants will learn the conceptual underpinnings of many common descriptive and multivariate analyses and will also learn to conduct these analyses in SPSS and interpret the results.  Participants will learn how to produce and apply measures of central tendency, variance, and outliers; confidence intervals, frequency distributions and cross tabulations; tests of group differences (i.e., t-tests, ANOVA); correlation; and regression.  Emphasis will be placed on how to interpret output and communicate results, as well as on statistical versus substantive significance. Participants will perform statistical operations with SPSS using student survey data.

 

The intended audience consists of institutional research professionals who are new to SPSS and/or statistics, as well as those who need a refresher course in either SPSS or basic statistics.  No prior SPSS or statistical knowledge is assumed, although general facility with laptop computers and file management is required.

 

Attendees must bring laptop. Participants will need to bring to the workshop laptops pre-loaded with SPSS (either their own copy or a trial version downloaded from the SPSS website prior to the workshop).

 

Newcomers to Institutional Research, Part I (Part II Sunday Morning)

 Melanie Sullivan, Providence College; Annemarie Bartlett, Ursinus College; Alexander Yin, Consultant

 

This workshop is designed for new practitioners in IR and addresses key components of IR including: the role of institutional research; knowledge, skills, values and ethics; IR constituencies; basic principles of data management; internal and external reporting; planning, benchmarking, assessment, surveys; current issues in higher education and their impact on institutional research offices. These and more IR topics will be covered during this broad overview of Institutional Research. The workshop will be taught by persons with extensive experience in both public and private higher education institutions.  

 

The intended audience for this workshop is Newcomers to IR (typically, those with less than a year of IR experience).

 

Saturday Afternoon - 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Data Visualizations in R for IR

Kathryn Aloisio, Smith College

 

This workshop will provided institutional researchers hands-on training on how to graph both institutional records and survey data using R -- a free software environment for statistical computing and data visualizations. Participants will learn data wrangling techniques, basic and advanced graphics, how to export figures, how to generate reproducible reports, and some tips-and-tricks along the way. This workshop is meant to provide institutional researchers with documented code that can be modified to their own institutional needs.

 

Previous R experience would be beneficial but not required.

 

Attendees must bring laptop.  Instructions for how to download the software will be provided to attendees prior to workshop.

 

 

Strategies for a Successful IR Office [UPDATED WORKSHOP]

 Alan Sturtz, Connecticut State University, Emeritus

 

This workshop is designed to assist IR professionals who have very recently been promoted to the position of IR director--or aspire to be Directors of IR--feel more comfortable in their new role.  The session will explore how the place of IR in your institution impacts your role as director, as well as your responsibility for data integrity, assessment of your office, and your possible future in the evolving role of IR.   

 

Attendees should have sufficient IR experience to move into the director position. 

 

Survey Research: Best Practices for Institutional Research

 Lauren Conoscenti, Tufts University

 

This workshop is designed to help newcomers to IR or those who have had minimal exposure to survey research get acquainted with the best practices in survey research methods. Participants will learn how to plan, design, launch, and manage effective print and electronic surveys in a college or university environment. Critical decision points along the lifespan of the survey will be discussed, including how to choose a sample, how to maximize response rates, and what to do with incomplete surveys. Upon completion, participants will be able to approach survey projects equipped with strategies to gather appropriate, meaningful data for their institution.

The intended audience is newcomers to IR and to survey research. No prerequisite knowledge or skills.

 

Sunday Morning - 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM; Sunday Afternoon 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

An Introduction to R for Reproducible Research, Part I (Part II Sunday Afternoon)

 Jason Bryer, Excelsior College

 

This workshop will provide an overview as well as hands-on exercises for using R to perform data analysis and report generation. Participants will learn to perform basic statistical analyses in R and to generate reports in spreadsheet, presentation, and document formats.   This is a hands-on workshop and participants are expected to provide a laptop.

 

The intended audience of this workshop is IR staff that regularly generate reports, especially recurring reports.

 

Attendees must bring laptop loaded with R and RStudio.

 

Leadership in IR and IE:  Enhancing Personal & Professional Effectiveness, Part I (Part II Sunday Afternoon)

 William Knight, Ball State University

 

The workshop is designed to provide professional development in a number of leadership topics identified in the results of a national survey and provided in the presenter's recent book of the same name. These topics include emotional intelligence in the IR/IE workplace, immunity to change, performance appraisal, mentoring, dealing with difficult personnel situations, managing conflict, leading difficult people, negotiating the campus and external political environments, leading from the middle, leading up, promoting use of information provided by IR,  leadership frames and practices, taking care of yourself, and managing your career path. Numerous opportunities for reflection and discussion and case studies are provided.

The intended audience for this workshop has at least a year of professional experience in institutional research/effectiveness.

 

Sunday Morning - 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Implementing an Early Warning Model

 Sujoy Das, Drexel University; Russell D’Aiello, Drexel University

 

This workshop will review the implementation of a home grown early warning system at a large research university and provide participants with tools to implement a similar system at their home institution. The section on data gathering will focus on non-traditional metrics within a term, such as those captured within the learning management system. Next, we will concentrate on the model building process from specifying a model through validation and then choosing term versus weekly models. Finally, we will cover the major challenge of integrating the predictions of the model into university business practices.

 

Attendees should have a strong interest in predicting retention outcomes. They should also have a basic understanding of both statistical modeling and data management skills with an intermediate level of expertise in one of the areas. 

 

Attendees must bring laptop loaded with SPSS including the regression module, and Excel.

 

Predicting Graduation Outcomes: Identifying At-Risk Students

 Margaret Munley, Lehigh University

 

IR offices are in a unique position to use available data to improve graduation rates by identifying students who may be at risk of dropping out.  The purpose of this workshop is to teach institutional researchers how to use logistic regression to build a model that predicts graduation outcomes.  We will consider which factors may be significant predictors of graduation and discuss potential limitations of the model.  We will also highlight the ambiguity of how “at-risk” is defined and the role that this ambiguity plays in the interpretation of the results.  A sample data set will be provided so that attendees can participate in hands-on exercises. 

 

The intended audience includes educational researchers who are interested in modeling graduation outcomes.  Participants should be familiar with SPSS and have at least a basic understanding of logistic regression.

 

Attendees must bring laptop loaded with SPSS.

 

Using NSC Data to Understand Student Flow and Outcomes

 John Nugent, Connecticut College

 

The National Student Clearinghouse maintains a large, historical set of enrollment and degree data that is without parallel in its scope. Workshop participants will get an overview of the database, key institutional research questions it can help you answer, and step-by-step instructions on how to query the NSC database and work with the data files that are returned to you. The main examples of NSC data use will focus on the where your school's nonenrolling admits enroll, where withdrawing students transfer to, and the graduate school enrollments of your institution's alumni. Strengths and weaknesses of the NSC data will be discussed, as well as how it fits into a larger research program regarding alumni outcomes.

Attendees should have basic Excel knowledge; basic understanding of admission and retention research and alumni outcomes research.

Sunday Afternoon - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Basic and Intermediate Applications of Regression in IR

Mary Ann Coughlin, Springfield College

 

Institutional Researchers often are asked to predict future outcomes.  This workshop will review the principles of basic linear regression.  The workshop will feature a case study approach that will provide specific examples of the application of regression analysis in Institutional Research.  Further the workshop will explore more advanced applications of regression, including using categorical variables in regression and logistic regression.  The goal of this session is to provide a solid review of statistical principles of multiple linear regression, while providing examples of applications of these in the field of Institutional Research.

 

Participants should have a basic knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics. The workshop is intended for Institutional Researchers seeking a review or refresher on applications of regression techniques. Particular attention will be paid toward the application of the statistics to Institutional Research.

 

Attendees must bring laptop with access to SPSS software version 21 or higher.

 

Benchmarking: From Peer Selection to Advanced Modeling

 John Barnshaw, American Association of University Professors

 

Benchmarking is an integral activity for quality review processes to facilitate unit and institutional improvement, yet many institutions fail to undertake a comprehensive review of their own benchmarking practices.  Utilizing a variety of available sources such as IPEDS, the Common Data Set, and the AAUP Faculty Compensation Survey, this workshop focuses on best practices for selecting benchmarked peers based upon data, model benchmark data and work with institutional stakeholders to gather support for benchmarking activities.  Upon completion of this workshop, participants will (1) understand differences between benchmarks and benchmarking, (2) be able to adequately select peers, and (3) understand modeling techniques and best practices.

 

There are no prerequisites for this workshop.

 

Attendees must bring laptop loaded with PowerPoint and Excel.  Optional software would include statistical software packages (R, SAS, JMP, Stata, or SPSS). 

 

Creating Engaging Presentations and Data Visualizations

 Emily Foley, University of Maryland; Thomas Dobrosielski, University of Maryland


You've collected and analyzed data, now present it in informative, clear, and interesting ways! Expanding on an NEAIR 2015 pre-conference workshop, we'll present tips for creating presentations and other visualizations with PowerPoint and free online resources that are both engaging and easy-to-read. This interactive session will include discussion of basic design, tips for using visualization tools, and application of concepts learned through a hands-on activity. The workshop will be especially helpful for those looking to re-envision PowerPoint presentations; practice design elements that make data, tables, and graphs more appealing to an audience; and learn about other visualization resources.

 

Presenters will not focus on collecting or analyzing data; they will focus on visualizing and presenting them. Examples will include simple frequencies, but the concepts could be applied to more complex statistical methods. IR professionals of any level are welcome. A basic knowledge of Microsoft Office recommended, but not required. All data tell a story let visualizations help you share it!

 

Attendees must bring laptop. Presenters will use Microsoft Office Suite 2016. For ease of following along during interactive activities that version is recommended. However, if participants have another version of the software they are welcome to attend but should know that the presenters' screen and step-by-step processes may not align with the participant's.

 

How IR Can Support Program Review

 David Hemenway, Emeritus

 

This session will discuss how IR can support academic, administrative and student life program review efforts. We will discuss the data/information needs of the review process, the different approaches to formalizing the program review process and integrating it into an institution's governance, planning and budgeting processes. We will also discuss how to support college personnel who are being challenged by working on their program review process.

 

The intended audience for this workshop is IR professionals who work with program review.

 

Attendees must bring laptop with a USB port and basic Microsoft Office software.

 

New Project Management Framework for Institutional Effectiveness

 Hirosuke Honda, University of Maine at Augusta; Heather Kelly, University of Delaware

 

How can we improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of IR/IE offices? This workshop will provide the participants with a tool to help answer this very question. Our four-quadrant framework analyzes routine and ad-hoc office projects for external accountability as well as internal improvement. The facilitators will coordinate a highly interactive session in which participants review their office project log and present their four-quadrant analysis with a few questions to elicit peer feedback. Participants will be able to use their four-quadrant analysis as a communication tool with their office staff and campus stakeholders for determining project priorities and changes in office operations and potentially organizational structure.

 

It is suggested that participants have some experience with promoting data utilization in working with senior or mid-level administrators (e.g., provost, deans, department chairs, student service directors, etc.). Also, participants are expected to be open to receive peer feedback which may include constructive criticism and be self-reflective.

 

It is recommended that attendees bring a laptop as it will facilitate participation in this workshop, but it is not required.

 

Preparing for Accreditation:  IR Roles and Responsibilities

 Karen Froslid Jones, American University

 

The presenter, an evaluator from Middle States, will conduct a workshop on preparing for accreditation. This session will provide an overview of the accreditation process and will focus on the 5th year report and the self-study with a special emphasis on expectations around assessment issues. This workshop will not cover standards for technical or career colleges. Appropriate for Newcomers.

The intended audience for this workshop are those who will be submitting their 5 year reports or preparing for their accreditation visits.

 

 

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