McBee IHE faculty members and doctoral candidate, Matt Gregory, shared on-going research experience with University System of Georgia (USG) and GA Awards data. The 60-minute session covered stages in a project's lifecycle from idea generation through distillation of findings.
Dr. Greg Wolniak discussed MIHE's recent data sharing agreement with the USG. A current MOU normalizes and streamlines requests for data by the Institute's faculty. He also provided background on ways that MIHE faculty members have sought collaborations with the university system on several areas of mutual interest.
Dr. Toutkoushian shared an ongoing collaboration he leads with USG around the mantra of "Know More, Borrow Less." Forming a solid relationship has yielded a unique opportunity for him to gather simultaneous data contrasting the outcomes of two different approaches to cost transparency.
Dr. Spencer provided an overview of his work with GA Awards in two different inquiries: impact on college students of losing merit-based aid and an investigation of state-wide articulation plans treatment of dual-enrollment credits. GA Awards data cannot be used for dissertations, but students interested in using the data should reach out to faculty for project collaborations. He noted that security standards for access to GA Awards are stringent but not obtrusive.
The speakers emphasized the importance of exploring the data dictionaries in advance to have a clear idea of the scope of data, variables tracked, and the limits of the set. Matt Gregory cautioned that researchers also should be prepared to meet security guidelines for the data and know additional tools to help with storing and massaging the raw data into a manageable format.
The program was coordinated by the Research Roundtable co-chairs, Collin Case and Courtney Cullen.
Recording is available on YouTube.