AIR Forum Phoenix, AZ June 6-9, 2022

Pre-Conference Education

Pre-conference educational opportunities are offered as full-day and half-day sessions on Sunday, June 5, and Monday, June 6. Topics range from the development of specific skills to approaches to institution-wide needs.

Seats are limited, and additional fees are required (AIR member and nonmember prices are listed for each offering).

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Find community in joining your higher education colleagues for a unique opportunity to network, share best practices, and learn from practical workshops and sessions led by the field's leading experts.

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Workshops

Please note: All times are listed in Arizona Time. Workshop pricing is displayed as (member/nonmember). 

Sunday, June 5

Sunday Full-Day (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

  • Improving Equity, Inclusion, and Socially Just Assessment Practices ($300/$350)

    Presenters: Marjorie Dorime-Williams, MDRC; Michael Steven Williams, University of Missouri

    The words “equity,” “diversity,” “social justice,” and “inclusion” have become commonplace in higher education. However, understanding what these terms mean and how they should influence institutions continues to be a challenge for many institutional stakeholders. There is a noticeable gap between espoused and enacted values around equity and diversity in postsecondary education. While institutions tout the supposed importance of these issues, consistent dedication to enacting policies and practices that would promote more socially just outcomes is scarce. To meet the needs of increasingly diverse students, individuals must be intentional in their approaches. This workshop provides tools for (a) appropriately defining and discussing these concepts, (b) using assessment data to support diverse student constituencies intentionally, and (c) how to utilize data collection and analysis strategies with designs that show promise for promoting inclusion.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Describe issues that impact equity and diversity at institutions
    • Indicate how issues of equity and diversity impact their individual practice
    • Critique assessment and other data collection methods that may hinder equitable student outcomes
    • Recognize how institutional data can be more effectively used to support marginalized student groups
    • Recommend professional practices that can improve efforts to support institutional goals of equity and diversity


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

  • IPEDS Best Practices ($25/$25)

    This workshop will provide intermediate-level keyholder training and is designed for individuals who have led IPEDS data submissions at their institution for at least one full reporting cycle.

    Note: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.   

  • IPEDS New Keyholder ($25/$25)

    This workshop will provide essential beginner-level training and a thorough introduction to the IPEDS data collection cycle and reporting requirements.

    Note: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.   

  • Using Tableau to "Automate" IR Data Reporting (SOLD OUT)

    Presenter: Sarah Gallimore, York College of Pennsylvania

    Automating IR tasks using "SAS" and "R" is not new to many large IR offices. However, small IR offices typically lack resources for complex programming. The presenter has designed a flexible "automation" process with minimal programming using Tableau (Desktop Version) for common IR tasks such as IPEDS, CDS, U.S. News, FactBook, Ad-hoc requests, etc. This dramatically increases IR job efficiency. This workshop will demonstrate this very useful application for IPEDS reporting that could be modified for other contexts. Participants will receive hands-on step by step instruction in using Tableau to set up and "automate" IPEDs and CDS surveys. Also, participants will learn how to use Microsoft OneNote to organize IR tasks. Last but not least, participants will learn some tips and tricks of using Tableau. By the end of the workshop, participants will have the total confidence to begin using Tableau for their own data reporting.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Construct the data sets for IPEDs surveys
    • Set up Tableau and get results for IR annual reports (examples include: IPEDS GR, GR200, OM, Completion surveys and CDS Section J)
    • Automate IR tasks in Tableau
    • Use Microsoft OneNote to organize IR tasks


    Note: Participants are required to bring a laptop with Tableau installed.

Sunday Half-Day (12:30–4:00 p.m.)

  • How to Analyze and Visualize Institutional Data in R ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Jenn Schilling, University of Arizona

    This session will introduce individuals with a basic understanding of R to data manipulation, analysis, and visualization in R. Through guided exercises and presentations, participants will learn how to work with data in R to analyze it and create polished data visualizations in R. The session will also include tips on data visualization best practices, creating reproducible code, and outputting data visualizations in R. This session is ideal for higher education professionals who have limited experience in R and want to learn how to manipulate, analyze, and visualized data in R skills.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Manipulate and analyze data in R
    • Explain how the grammar of graphics works in R
    • Create at least three different charts in R
    • Add titles and labels to a chart in R, change the formatting of a chart in R, and create a polished presentation-ready chart.


    Note: Participants are required to bring a laptop with R, RStudio installed.

  • Learning to lead: Equity-Centered Collaboration for Success ($150/$175)

    Presenters: Ellen Peters, University of Puget Sound; Bethany Miller, Macalester College

    It can be a challenge for institutional researchers to have a voice on our campuses; to be more than mere providers of data. Yet we know that we are not valuable because we have data; we are valuable because we have useful data. Through hands-on scenarios, this workshop will share ways in which equity-centered collaboration is the key to making data actionable. Participants will practice collaboration in a safe space as we introduce principles of collaboration, breaking down challenges and misperceptions about collaboration and share tools and resources for institutional research to be a part of collaborations on your campuses.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Define equity, collaboration, student success, and equity-minded collaboration
    • Identify and address some concerns and challenges during collaborations
    • Articulate strategies for engaging in relationship building and successful equity-minded collaboration for student success


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

Monday, June 6

Monday Half-Day Morning (8:00–11:30 a.m.)

  • Assessment 101: A Step by Step Guide for Non-Academic Unit Assessment ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Nasrin Fatima, Binghamton University

    Although student learning is directly affected by instruction in the classroom, it is indirectly affected by the processes, services, and resources of the operational/administrative support units of an institution. Because these units have great impact on the environment and tools of the classrooms, the goals/objectives of these units must be assessed on a continuous basis. However, many institutions struggle to create a culture of non-academic unit assessment that is systematic, organized, and sustainable. Misconceptions about what assessment is and how administrative unit assessment is relevant to the overarching effectiveness institutional mission, goals, and objectives are the principal barriers to this. This workshop will provide step-by-step guidelines to create a framework for developing and successfully implementing an organized, systematic and sustainable non-academic unit assessment geared to improve institutional effectiveness.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Design a learning outcomes assessment process for non-academic units
    • Distinguish between learning outcomes and operational outcomes
    • Write measurable and meaningful learning/operational outcomes and implement them at non-academic unit level assessment


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

  • Data and Analytic Literacy: Your Role Leading the Institution to Success (SOLD OUT)

    Note: Seating is limited and this workshop has reached capacity. 

    Presenters: Jason Simon, University of North Texas; Loralyn Taylor, Ohio University

    The joint statement by AIR, Educause, & NACUBO lays forth a clear challenge to act now.  One major challenge in maturing analytic landscapes is the gap between IR methods and tools and the knowledge and data literacy of decision makers to harness and trust these approaches. This gap can lead to lost opportunities, distrust of analytic/data approaches. Using a theoretical framework of executive data literacy, this workshop provides attendees with an understanding of the core concepts of data literacy, analytic maturity, and analytic culture. Attendees will also learn how to address common pitfalls and how to navigate these for success. After assessing their own campus data maturity, attendees will use these concepts to build an action plan of short-term and long-term strategies to begin to impact student and institutional success. 

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Understand and apply the key concepts for a framework of Data and Analytic Maturity
    • Jumpstart plans to enhance their local campus communities’ use of data and analytics
    • Assess their own campus maturity and readiness for analytic and data literacy
    • Develop a specific action plan that is tailored to their unique campus situation, culture, and maturity level


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

  • Ethics in the IR Office ($150/$175)

    Presenter: Amy Pilcher, Wartburg College

    Any person working with research data should know the warning signs of fraud and how to recognize fraud. In this session, participants will learn about ethics in institutional research, the components of fraud, and how to recognize fraud. Participants will review the AIR Statement of Ethical Principles, Fraud Triangle and Diamond theories, and history of data analysis fraud. Participants will learn about fraud in higher education research and analyze various real-life scenarios to determine if fraud has been committed. Participants will also discuss how to create policies and procedures for reporting of ethics violations on campus. 

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Describe ethical principles related to data analysis
    • Describe fraud theory and warning signs of fraud
    • Analyze scenarios using the theories and principles presented, as well as their own professional experience


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

  • Researchers and Student Data Privacy Considerations ($150/$175)

    Presenters: Bill Hurwitch, Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems State Support Team; Ross Lemke, Privacy Technical Assistance Center; Levette Williams, Privacy Technical Assistance Center

    Education agencies, postsecondary institutions and schools increasingly partner with and rely on the experience and expertise of researchers to conduct studies and evaluations of topics that impact student performance and success. In addition, outside agencies, institutions, and other organizations often want to utilize educational data to provide additional information about research supporting decisions to improve higher education.

    This joint workshop with the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) will provide an opportunity to discuss the federal legal requirements for student data privacy protections that may apply to researchers and research activities, highlight existing resources that may be helpful, as well as provide an opportunity for researchers to share challenges faced and strategies used for compliance and promoting best practices.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Understand the legal requirements and issues related to collecting, sharing, and reporting education data
    • Identify resources and best practices that will enhance partnering with state agencies and other data resource providers


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

  • IPEDS Student Financial Aid Training ($25/$25)

    This workshop provides foundational training for completing the IPEDS Student Financial Aid Survey using an integrated approach to managing, storing, and extracting financial aid data required for survey completion. Topics include an overview of financial aid concepts and how they intersect IPEDS, how to effectively create frozen data files from enrollment and financial aid systems, how to use these files to answer the respective sections of the survey, and how the files can be leveraged to address additional internal reporting needs. The workshop concludes with exercises focused on how IPEDS financial aid data are used for external purposes as well as for internal benchmarking.

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.

  • IPEDS Data as the Public Face ($25/$25)

    This workshop stresses the importance of accuracy and consistency in data reported to IPEDS. Examples of real IPEDS data used in the public domain are incorporated, enabling participants to understand the role of governmental and non-governmental entities in IPEDS reporting. The workshop includes presentations, discussions, exercises, and demonstrations using IPEDS data tools and resources.

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.

  • I Have a New Job in Institutional Research…Now What? ($150/$175)

    Presenters: Eric Atchison, Arkansas State University System; Bethany Miller, Macalester College

    This informative and interactive workshop is designed for individuals who are new to the field of institutional research. We review the typical roles and responsibilities associated with IR, highlight useful resources, and learn how to develop connections with others in the field.

    As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Understand common projects and responsibilities in institutional research
    • Identify useful resources to aid their work and professional development
    • Develop relationships with other professionals in the IR field


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

Monday Half-Day Afternoon (12:30–4:00 p.m.)

  • IPEDS Data and Benchmarking: Supporting Decision Making and Institutional Effectiveness (SOLD OUT)

    Note: Seating is limited and this workshop has reached capacity. 

    This workshop introduces the fundamentals of benchmarking as a way to demonstrate institutional effectiveness. It is designed for individuals with little to no experience in benchmarking studies. Participants use data from the IPEDS Surveys, Data Feedback Reports, and the “Use the Data” center at the NCES website to learn about the types of comparison groups that can be constructed. Exercises demonstrate establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) and identification of variables to refine comparison groups. 

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.

  • IPEDS Human Resources Workshop ($25/$25)

    This workshop prepares individuals to accurately complete the IPEDS Human Resources (HR) survey. It is designed for IR and human resources professionals, as well as other researchers or administrators who want to increase their understanding of these data. Topics include preparing data to increase consistency within the survey, understanding data definitions, classification of employees and alignment of employee function with Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) codes, coordination of effort between stakeholders in and outside of an institution, and planning for efficacy of data beyond the IPEDS HR survey itself. Exercises cover classifying employees properly, preparing for and completing the IPEDS HR survey, and benchmarking with commonly used employee metrics.

    Requirement: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.