Finding exciting success stories about collaborative initiatives turned out to be straightforward — they're everywhere, it seems. Each article in this issue tells a different story around the theme of collaboration, with no overlap. As a result, the authors provide a wide range of ideas and advice to succeed through collaborating at different levels, between different groups, to meet different goals. The consistent message from all of them is that collaboration enables groups from small to large to accomplish things they could not otherwise do as successfully — or at all, in some cases.
To begin your exploration of the success stories in this issue, start with the peer-reviewed articles:
- Paul Wallace explains how his students at Appalachian State University collaborated with community groups and expert faculty to construct scientifically accurate and entertaining mobile learning games for a local wetlands park.
- Shalin Hai-Jew sketches the initial development of the Digital Entomology Lab at Kansas State University, and then invites you to explore the online lab yourself and contribute your ideas to the next stages of design.
- Joe Essid and Fran Wilde take you through the design, development, implementation, and subsequent evolution of a collaborative online literary experience at the University of Richmond called the House of Usher, in which students can attempt to change the outcome of Edgar Allan Poe's novel.
- Lisa Stephens and her SUNY colleagues tell the story behind the reimagining and rebirth of an existing system-wide advisory group as FACT2 and its subsequent influence in decision making.
The shorter articles highlight a wealth of practical collaborations as well. Justin Hodgson introduces TheJUMP, an online "publication" that combines digital publishing and student-faculty collaboration in class projects. Dave Underwood marvels at the drastic shift of his graphics lab to a vital multimedia lab supporting the campus community — despite his initial misgivings. Crowdsourcing offers a solution to setting higher education IT priorities, a solution Pankaj Sharma suggests as a way to also obtain community support for IT projects. The focus turns to developing key performance indicators to support business intelligence decisions in the article by Thomas Danford and Pamela Clippard, who found collaboration an excellent way to leverage limited resources system-wide. For a story about a very large, very successful collaboration between the "edge" and central IT staff, see the article by Sue Workman, Jan Holloway, and Duane Schau. Instructor Helena Riha explains how she brought subject experts into online forums for her linguistics class to give her students the opportunity to collaborate with each other and the outside experts in learning sometimes difficult new material. And finally, Michael Ruffini provides enthusiastic advice and a tutorial on using the social bookmarking service Diigo to encourage and support classroom collaboration.
Once again EQ columnists Bryan Alexander, Donna Tatro, and Hal Abelson challenge higher ed IT to look beyond tradition for new and more effective approaches. The Career Counselor provides understanding and support for an employee struggling with the ideas of a new president who has begun to institute a culture of collaboration across campus, suggesting multiple resources for further learning about successful collaborations. And finally, the infographic for this issue highlights some key IT services that are shared between central and distributed IT, thanks to results from the Core Data survey earlier this year.
Those of you who attended EDUCAUSE President and CEO Diana Oblinger's member update online September 13, 2011, heard about planned enhancements to EDUCAUSE Review, which include folding together EDUCAUSE Review, EQ, and the EDUCAUSE podcast series in a new flagship publication launching in 2012. The practical advice and case studies you find in EQ won't go away; they'll simply become part of a wider EDUCAUSE publication that highlights the best of the association and the higher ed IT community. I'm excited about this shift, which allows faster publication of practical material and the continued exploration of how to best present information online. The final issue of EQ as a separate publication is in mid-December, on the theme of college readiness and completion. Articles of general interest are welcome at any time, now and in the future. (See the author guidelines for more information.) As always, I invite you to share your ideas and proposals by e-mailing email@example.com.