Spotlight on the Field of IR

​Tasha Dannenbring is Director of Institutional Research, South Dakota Board of Regents, and Editor for the Mid-Western Educational Researcher special issue on IR. She spoke with eAIR about goals for the issue, article contributions, and ideal author characteristics.

Tasha.pngeAIR: Can you provide more background on the goals of the special issue?

The main goal is really to spotlight the field of institutional research (IR). I hope to be able to highlight the versatility and key importance of the institutional researcher to education. I hope that those who are not familiar with IR will come away with a better understanding of the field, and those who are familiar will gain insight on a unique methodology or new perspective for their research.  

eAIR: What specific types of contributions are you seeking for this issue?

I am looking for contributions from IR professionals about significant aspects of their work, such as various quantitative or qualitative research they have done that has made an impact at their institution or constituency. I would also be delighted to have a submission themed around the history of IR. Submissions highlighting the use of mixed methodology in their research office would be well suited for this issue, as would submissions surrounding the use of IR in policy analysis. I would be interested in submissions surrounding key metrics and KPIs and how these are measured and efficiently reported to reach their key audience. The use of dashboards has increased exponentially, and I would be excited to have submissions spotlighting the use of dashboards by IR professionals. I would also be very interested to spotlight a graduate student submission.  

eAIR: What are some key characteristics of the ideal author for this issue?

I would like to include authors who are immersed in the IR field, or those who heavily rely on their IR expert. I welcome submissions from IR experts at various types of institutions and state systems. 

eAIR: What led you to create a special issue all about institutional data and research?

I saw a call for special editions and thought it would be interesting to hear about what others in the field are doing, and to provide an outlet for other IR experts to have a venue to spotlight their work. Institutional research plays an increasingly key role in education regardless of the type of institution or office. I hope that this special issue can spotlight and show the vast diversity of the field.

eAIR: Once the special issue is published, what do you hope readers/subscribers learn or take away? 

I hope that readers will take away a different perspective on how IR plays a part in their institution operations, and that they will be driven to explore unique methods of data collection to answer questions and gain new perspectives on how to visualize data.  For those graduate students reading this issue, I hope they will be intrigued and want to explore the field further.

Call for authors is currently open! Visit the MWER website for more details. 




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