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The Landscape

"Looking Back at Revenue and Expenditure Trends: Are We Privatizing Public Higher Education?"
December 1999
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In the renewed demands for financial accountability that are refocusing attention on how public institutions acquire and spend their funds, a fundamental question has been raised: Is a mix of market forces and shifts in public priorities privatizing public higher education? This issue of The Landscape, which reports on new research by Patricia Gumport and John D. Jennings of Stanford University examining financial trends over the last 20 years, provides an unexpected answer to the question of privatization.


"Revolution or Evolution? Gauging the Impact of Instructional Student-Assessment Strategies"
September 1999
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Given the lack of quantitative information on the use and impact of student assessment strategies, many in higher education assume that the heralded revolution in gauging student performance has become, as a matter of course, widespread and innovative institutional policies within colleges and universities. This issue of The Landscape fill the empirical gap, using work by NCPI researcher Marvin Peterson on a new national survey—the first of its kind to examine the nature, extent, and impact of student assessment strategies. Although these efforts do hold great promise, what the survey suggests is that student assessment does not yet constitute a revolution, but an evolution in how institutions go about improving educational processes and outcomes.


"Grading Skills by Discipline: A Comparison of Faculty Instructional Goals"
June 1999
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This Landscape continues the analysis of the March/April 1999 issue, reporting on a second set of instructional issues reflected in the faculty survey. While the last article asked, in essence, "Does selectivity matter?" the question now being asked is, "When does discipline matter?" Specifically, how do the learning goals that faculty set for the courses they teach vary by discipline?


"Telling Time: Comparing Faculty Instructional Practices at Three Types of Institutions"
April 1999
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Using the research of William Massy of Stanford University and Robert Zemsky of the University of Pennsylvania, this issue of the Landscape compares the amount of time faculty at highly selective institutions spend on course-related activities and on interaction with students outside of the classroom, as compared with faculty on less selective campuses. The analysis is based on a new survey of faculty that provides a rich source of information on how they organize their teaching, how they spend their teaching time, what they expect of their students, and what kinds of learning goals they set for themselves, as well as their students.


"From Remediation to Acceleration: Raising the Bar in Developmental Education."
February 1999
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This issue of The Landscape reports on a recent effort by Henry Levin and Bill Koski of Stanford University to establish two baselines for remedial education: first, an account of its contours, content, and consequences; and, second, an identification of program characteristics that provide alternatives to traditional conceptions of remedial programs.