Pre-Forum Workshops

Pre-Forum Workshops are half- and full-day sessions. Workshops are interactive and focused to engage participants in learning about practical tools and techniques of assessment, institutional research and statistics.

Workshops will be held on Saturday, May 21 or Sunday, May 22, 2011. Seating is limited and advance registration is required.
 

2011 Pre-Forum Workshop Schedule and Fees

May 21

Saturday, May 21
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

($190 each)

  • An Intensive Introduction to Data Mining in Institutional Research

    Presenters:
    Thulasi Kumar, Missouri University of Science and Technology
    Sutee Sujitparapitaya, San Jose State University

    Data mining techniques are widely used for data analysis. While data mining may be viewed as expensive, time-consuming, and too technical to understand and apply, it is an institutional research tool used for efficiently managing and extracting data from large databases and for expediting reporting through the use of statistical algorithms. This workshop will introduce the basic foundations of data mining and identify types of data typically found in large institutional databases, research questions to consider before mining data, and issues of data quality. The presenters will lead participants step-by-step through the data selection and mining process, share techniques to improve research quality and efficiency, and familiarize participants with mining tools that are prevalent in the field. Emphasis will be from a beginners’ (novice) perspective with an emphasis on institutional research data applications.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 7 (Professional and Enterprise) x32 and x64 editions, Microsoft Windows Vista (Business and Enterprise) with Service Pack 1 x32 and x64 editions, Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 x32 and x64 editions
    • Software: IBM SPSS Modeler (AIR will provide a trial version of this software)
    • Configuration: Intel® Pentium® or Pentium-class processor or higher (for 32-bitWindows), x64 (AMD 64 and EM64T) processor family (for 64-bit Windows), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher, a DVD-ROM drive is also required if you are installing from the installation disk, 2 gigabytes (GB) of available hard-disk space, 2 GB of RAM or more recommended
  • Excel Macros Boot Camp: Your Passport to Spreadsheet Automation

    Presenters:
    Mark Leany, Utah Valley University
    Tim Stanley, Utah Valley University

    Excel macros are used to efficiently perform common, repetitive tasks. Through this workshop, participants will learn how to set up Excel to access and run macros. The presenters will teach participants how to record, re-write and use conditional logic and loop control statements. The workshop will also help participants discover different access methods and commands that cannot be recorded. Participants receive a workbook with step-by-step instructions to produce macros practiced during the workshop. Prior macro experience is not required, but participants do need a working knowledge of Excel. Participants attending the workshop are required to bring a laptop computer.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit version), Vista/Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions), Apple Mac OS X
    • Software: Microsoft Excel 2003 or Microsoft Excel 2007 (AIR will not provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher, 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more (at least 1 gigabyte (GB) is recommended), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher
  • Key Responsibilities and Strategies for the Practice of Institutional Research: The Newcomer’s Workshop

    Presenter:
    Karen Webber, University of Georgia

    This workshop is for new (or relatively new) institutional research practitioners.  Participants will learn about critical issues in institutional research and identify commonly used sources of data on college and university campuses. The presenter will teach participants how to develop institutional fact books, perform effective enrollment management analyses and conduct survey research for assessment and evaluation.  Through this workshop, participants will learn institutional research concepts and practical strategies that can be applied at their respective institutions.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

May 21

Saturday, May 21
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

($95 each)

  • An Introduction to Logistic Regression

    Presenters:
    Nicholas Warcholak, Pennsylvania State University
    Marianne Guidos, Consultant

    Logistic regression is a popular tool for institutional research. Researchers use logistic regression to study topics ranging from student retention and graduation to the effects of tuition discounting. Through this workshop, participants will learn the difference between linear and logistic regression, concepts including assumptions used in logistic regression and underlying formulas, and how to interpret the output of a logistic regression analysis. Participants will also learn how to evaluate logistic regression models and how the models fit with data. Using SPSS, the presenters will demonstrate the utility of logistic regression models and teach participants how to code models for execution. Handouts will include examples of logistic regression and visual displays of data, and a guide to performing logistic regression using SPSS.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • Introduction to Dashboards in Excel 2007

    Presenter:
    Craig Abbey, State University of New York at Buffalo

    Dashboards are an efficient tool to review and interpret performance data. Dashboards incorporate graphs and other visual displays of data to present complex relationships and performance metrics in a format that is approachable for internal and external stakeholders. Through this workshop, participants will learn about various types of dashboards, how to create dashboards with high-quality graphs in Excel 2007 and how to customize work to highlight the data's meaning. Topics covered include creating and formatting charts for time-series, ranking, part-to-whole, deviation, distribution, correlation and nominal comparison relationships.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit version), Vista/Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions), Apple Mac OS X
    • Software: Microsoft Excel 2003 or Microsoft Excel 2007 (AIR will not provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher, 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more (at least 1 gigabyte (GB) is recommended), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher
  • Organizing and Managing Program Assessment

    Presenters:
    Robert Armacost, University of Central Florida
    Julia Pet-Armacost, University of Central Florida

    The focus on accountability and continuous improvement in higher education has resulted in increasing emphasis on program assessment. However, regular, effective assessment of educational, administrative, support, research and community service programs that lead to continuous improvement presents a challenge for colleges and universities. While many programs have improved course assessment, the goal of pervasive program assessment remains elusive. This workshop describes how to organize program assessment in a systematic way and develop processes for managing assessment activities that will lead to broad implementation and improvement in student learning and institution operations.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • Rapid Predictive Modeling for Institutional Researchers

    Presenters:
    Jerry Oglesby, SAS Institute, Inc.
    Tom Bohannon, SAS Institute, Inc., Retired Baylor University

    As colleges and universities seek to forecast trends in enrollment and operations, predictive models offer an efficient way to determine the impact of multiple variables on future performance. In this workshop, participants will gain an understanding of predictive modeling principals and how predictive modeling can be used in institutional research. Participants will learn how to prepare data for use in predictive modeling, select key predictors, and interpret resultant models. The workshop will use institutional research examples to develop predictive models and lead participants through hands-on exercises using SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit version), Vista/Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions), Apple Mac OS X
    • Software: Internet Explorer Version 5.0 or later, Netscape Navigator or Communicator Version 4.78, 6.2, or later, Mozilla Firefox 1.0 or later (AIR will not provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher, 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM or more, a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher, wired (not wireless) Internet connection

    The workshop uses Citrix XenApp to provide remote access to a virtual lab. Participants must install the Citrix client prior to attending the workshop.

May 21

Saturday, May 21
12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

($95 each)

  • Advanced Dashboards in Excel 2007

    Presenter:
    Craig Abbey, State University of New York at Buffalo

    Dynamic updating and changing of dashboards optimizes the visual display of data and the functionality of graphs used to interpret and evaluate performance. In this workshop, participants will learn how to dynamically update graphs using the OFFSET function, and how to work with multiple reporting units using combo boxes. Participants will also learn how to create traffic light indicators and how to automatically change the number of graphed data points.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit version), Vista/Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions), Apple Mac OS X
    • Software: Microsoft Excel 2003 or Microsoft Excel 2007 (AIR will not provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher, 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more (at least 1 gigabyte (GB) is recommended), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher
  • Effectively Closing-the-Loop on Assessment in Six Steps

    Presenter:
    Uche Ohia, Florida A & M University

    Assessment is about identifying what needs to be done, reflecting on what has been done and how well it has been done. Observation of any gap offers an opportunity for reflective corrective actions to close- the-loop. This workshop will lead participants through an assessment process with six tested and proven steps that effectively demonstrate what it takes to “close-the-loop.” Examples of documentation by academic programs and non-academic units will be reviewed. Upon completion, participants will be able to use the six-step assessment process and apply the concept of “closing the loop” in preparing an assessment report.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • Fundamentals of Logic Models and Evaluation

    Presenters:
    Rigoberto Rincones, MDC, Inc.
    Liliana Rodriguez-Campos, University of South Florida

    Having the capacity to evaluate student success interventions is necessary for improving the quality of programs and services and for meeting the expectations of funders, accreditation agencies, students, policy makers and the public. Logic models are useful in helping institutions plan and implement interventions, understand the resources and time required, articulate the expected outcomes, and evaluate their effectiveness. Using interactive discussions, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises, this workshop will demonstrate how logic modeling can be used as a tool to describe intervention strategies and develop evaluation questions. The presenter will use institutional examples to provide participants with strategies to develop logic models and evaluation plans. Participants will receive an evaluation guide and checklists for use in developing logic models and evaluation tools.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

May 22

Sunday, May 22
8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

($190 each)

  • A Basic Toolbox for Assessing Institutional Effectiveness

    Presenter:
    Michael Middaugh, University of Delaware

    This workshop will examine a broad range of strategies, methodologies, and tools for assessing the effectiveness of a college or university. The workshop will focus on measuring the effectiveness of institutional processes which affect prospective and current students, faculty and staff, issues related to academic productivity and cost containment, administrative effectiveness, and tools for clearly communicating information about institutional effectiveness.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • Balanced Scorecards in Higher Education: Developing and Using Them in Strategy Execution

    Presenters:
    Jan Lyddon, Franklin University
    Bruce McComb, Organizational Effectiveness Consultants

    Balanced scorecards, dashboards and performance indicators are increasingly popular in charting performance data in higher education. This workshop will demonstrate how these approaches and tools can be developed, communicated and used to improve strategy execution. Participants will develop draft Key Performance Indicators for an institutional strategic plan, identify leadership roles in building a scorecard, and determine how the institutional research office interacts with them effectively. Participants will also learn how to identify sources and methods for setting benchmarks, gain an understanding of the implementation plan for a balanced scorecard and dashboard system, and discover how to effectively use the scorecard system to improve strategy execution.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • Data Mining: Learning Clustering Techniques and Predictive Modeling

    Presenters:
    Thulasi Kumar, Missouri University of Science and Technology
    Sutee Sujitparapitaya, San Jose State University

    To improve the performance of their institutions, institutional researchers routinely sift through large amounts of data in seeking to identify correlations, patterns, and trends. Through this workshop, participants will learn and apply clustering and predictive modeling techniques using a mock database and the IBM SPSS Modeler (formerly known as SPSS Clementine) data mining program. Using the Tiered Knowledge Management Model (TKMM), the presenters will lead participants through hands-on activities that include extracting data from a transactional data warehouse, preparing data for analytical file formats, data audits, K-means clustering, and predictive modeling.

    This workshop is intended for institutional researchers interested in pursuing advanced data analysis and modeling techniques. A general understanding of statistical concepts, data marts and data warehousing are prerequisite. Participants receive a manual with step-by-step instructions to produce models practiced during the workshop.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 7 (Professional and Enterprise) x32 and x64 editions, Microsoft Windows Vista (Business and Enterprise) with Service Pack 1 x32 and x64 editions, Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 x32 and x64 editions
    • Software: IBM SPSS Modeler (AIR will provide a trial version of this software)
    • Configuration: Intel® Pentium® or Pentium-class processor or higher (for 32-bitWindows), x64 (AMD 64 and EM64T) processor family (for 64-bit Windows), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher, a DVD-ROM drive is also required if you are installing from the installation disk, 2 gigabytes (GB) of available hard-disk space, 2 GB of RAM or more recommended
  • Introduction to Statistics for Institutional Research Using SPSS

    Presenters:
    Jessica Sharkness, Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), University of California, Los Angeles
    Kevin Eagan, Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), University of California, Los Angeles
    John Pryor, Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), University of California, Los Angeles

    Through this workshop, participants will gain a better understanding of descriptive and inferential statistical concepts. This workshop will cover basic SPSS file management, including handling of missing data and unique characteristics of continuous and categorical data. Participants will learn how to produce and interpret measures of central tendency, variance, and outliers; confidence intervals, frequency distributions and cross-tabulations; tests of group differences (i.e., ANOVA); correlation, statistical and substantive significance; effect size; and linear regression. Additionally, participants will produce tabular and graphical representations of data summaries. The presenters will review statistical concepts and operations with longitudinal data obtained from several hundred four-year colleges and universities, all of which recently administered the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey and College Senior Survey. Participants will perform statistical operations with SPSS using a wide range of student data including parental income and education, ethnicity, and other demographic items; financial aid; secondary school achievement and activities; educational and career plans; and values, attitudes, beliefs, and self-concept.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Home, Service Pack 2 or later (32-bit) or Windows Vista Ultimate, Enterprise, Business, Home Premium, or Home Basic (32- and 64-bit), Apple® Mac 10.5x (Leopard™) and 10.6x (Snow Leopard™), 32- and 64-bit
    • Software: IBM SPSS Statistics 19 (AIR will provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel® or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher (Windows), Intel processor (32- and 64-bit) (Apple), 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM or more recommended, 800 megabytes (MB) of free drive space (minimum), DVD drive, Super VGA (800x600) or higher-resolution monitor, Internet Explorer 7 or 8 (Windows), Mozilla® Firefox® 2.x and 3.x (Apple)
  • Visual Basic Programming in Excel

    Presenter:
    Christopher Maxwell, Purdue University

    Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Excel can be used to maintain, manipulate, and automate report production with institutional research data.  Workshop participants will receive instruction on using VBA, explore the VBA editor, record and edit VBA code, manipulate Excel objects, program control statements, and create custom user interfaces. Participants will receive hands-on assistance while working though institutional research examples. Commented code samples for each topic will be provided. The intended audience includes researchers who use Excel for reporting, and who have some experience programming in any language.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit version), Vista/Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions), Apple Mac OS X
    • Software: Microsoft Excel 2003 or Microsoft Excel 2007 (AIR will not provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher, 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more (at least 1 gigabyte (GB) is recommended), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher
May 22

Sunday, May 22
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

($95 each)

  • Assessment of General Education: A New Role for Institutional Researchers

    Presenter:
    J.E. Gonzalez, University of South Florida

    Assessment of general education seems deceptively straightforward - identify competencies and measure them. However, developing and implementing an effective assessment strategy is quite complex. Much of the literature and many conference presentations still focus on "getting faculty on board." What's important is for the entire institution to get on board with good quality assessment.

    This hands-on workshop is designed for institutional researchers who support assessment of general education. This workshop will build on participants' knowledge of assessment to recognize best practices and help develop strategies for the development and implementation of sustainable assessment strategies.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.

  • Designing Effective Tables and Charts: Theory and Practice

    Presenters:
    Rebecca Carr, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Mary Harrington, University of Mississippi

    A fundamental responsibility of institutional researchers is the effective preparation and presentation of analytical results. Though software applications provide innumerable ways to present data, they cannot ensure meaningful communication with intended audiences. This workshop will describe and demonstrate best practices in the design of analytical tables and charts. A combination of presentation, small group activities and discussion, and hands-on exercises will be used. Participants must bring a laptop computer with Excel and are encouraged to bring content for evaluation and feedback.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit version), Vista/Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions), Apple Mac OS X
    • Software: Microsoft Excel 2003 or Microsoft Excel 2007 (AIR will not provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher, 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more (at least 1 gigabyte (GB) is recommended), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher
  • Intermediate/Advanced PivotTables with Excel 2007

    Presenter:
    Joanne Heslop, Simon Fraser University

    PivotTables offer institutional researchers an efficient and interactive tool that extracts, organizes and summarizes data. Reports from PivotTables can be used to analyze data, make comparisons, and identify patterns, relationships, and trends. Through this workshop, participants will review PivotTable customization options including formatting, sorting, and filtering. Participants will learn advanced PivotTable features and techniques including GetPivotData, using calculated fields, creating PivotTables from external data, reducing file size and filtering of incoming data, linking external data sources and creating PivotTables from existing PivotTables. This workshop is intended for participants who are proficient in Excel 2007 and have previous experience working with PivotTables.

    Participants attending this workshop are required to bring a laptop computer. Laptop computers must meet the following requirements:

    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit version), Vista/Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions), Apple Mac OS X
    • Software: Microsoft Excel 2003 or Microsoft Excel 2007 (AIR will not provide this software)
    • Configuration: Intel or AMD x86 processor running at 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher, 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM or more (at least 1 gigabyte (GB) is recommended), a monitor with 1024x768 resolution or higher
  • SQL Processing in the SAS Coding Environment: The PROC SQL Procedure

    Presenters:
    Gary Levy, Towson University
    Alexandra Riley, Marquette University

    Structured Query Language (SQL) programming is foundational knowledge for modern institutional researchers. One of the greatest and most distinctive strengths of the SAS programming language is that it allows the use of SQL within the SAS programming environment using the PROC SQL procedure. This workshop is intended for beginner to medium level SAS software code users who want to process data using SQL in the SAS programming environment. The workshop will focus on using PROC SQL in SAS as a tool to query, retrieve, manipulate, and report data.

    Participants are not required to bring a laptop to this workshop.