Global Rankings

The impact of student’s voice and stakeholder’s feedback on Global Ranking

Dr. Laura Dowling

Education & Training | Leadership | Professional Development | Organizational Development | Healthcare Administration

February 22nd 2022 - Greater Philadelphia

Transforming Higher Education Rankings: Prioritizing Student Experience

In this engaging video, Dr. Laura Dowling moderates a discussion at the World Higher Education Ranking Summit 2022. The panel, including students, faculty, and other stakeholders, delves into the critical issue of how current university ranking systems impact the student experience and well-being. They highlight the flaws in rankings that emphasize prestige over learning and emphasize the importance of a holistic approach to education.

The panel addresses several key points:

  1. The Impact of Ranking Systems: Dr. Dowling discusses how traditional ranking systems can harm low-income and minority students by diverting resources away from essential needs-based aid. They explore how rankings contribute to rising college costs and declining educational standards.

  2. Criteria for University Rankings: The panel identifies and discusses various criteria that should be considered when ranking universities, such as mental health support, extracurricular activities, and community engagement. They stress the importance of fostering critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and intercultural fluency in students.

  3. Student Voices on Stress: Students share their experiences of stress and anxiety in the current education system, emphasizing the need for more balance and a focus on individual well-being.

  4. Faculty and Student Relationships: The discussion underscores the significance of strong faculty-student relationships, interactive and engaging teaching methods, and student-centered learning.

  5. International Student Perspectives: The conversation acknowledges the unique challenges faced by international students and the importance of creating inclusive and supportive learning environments.

  6. Holistic Student Development: The panel emphasizes the need for universities to prioritize the holistic development of students, including mental health services, career guidance, and practical skills development.

Throughout the video, the panel members passionately advocate for a student-centered approach to higher education and a shift away from metrics-driven ranking systems. They emphasize the importance of creating an engaging, inclusive, and supportive learning environment that fosters critical thinking, personal growth, and career readiness. Watch this insightful discussion to gain a deeper understanding of the transformation needed in higher education ranking systems to better serve students.

Speakers Info


Dr. Laura Dowling Adjunct Professor, Adult & Organizational Development at Temple University College of Education and Human Development

With over 17 years of experience in teaching, coaching, healthcare operations, and revenue cycle management consulting, Dr. Laura Dowling is a passionate and versatile educator and leader in the fields of healthcare administration, professional development, organizational development, and leadership studies. Currently serving as an adjunct professor at Temple University, Goldey-Beacom College, and Gwynedd Mercy University, Dr. Dowling designs and delivers engaging and relevant courses on various topics related to healthcare administration, healthcare policy, healthcare compliance, organizational behavior, dynamics, and change.


Shannon Blake Undergraduate Academic Advisor at University of South Carolina

Shannon R. Blake-Lynch is an analytical higher education professional with a passion for critical thinking, writing, and fostering an appreciation for classical teaching methods. With an innate ability to prioritize important deadlines and maintain impeccable organization, Shannon is known for her friendly and personable approach to advising. Her profound expertise encompasses leadership, language, and rhetorical communications, coupled with a deep commitment to inspiring others.


Sheherbano Shabbir Administrative Specialist at the Delaware Department of Labor

Sheherbano Shabbir is a dedicated and results-driven professional who thrives on challenges and is fueled by her passion for healthcare management. She holds honesty and fairness as core values that consistently guide her actions.


Connor Watson Seminarian for Faith Formation at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Connor J. W. is a compassionate, people-oriented leader dedicated to bringing out the best in others while prioritizing empathy and understanding in leadership. Possessing remarkable skills in administration, faith, and leadership, Connor is steadfastly committed to his calling as a future Rostered Leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


Rashmi Sharma MBA student at Goldey-Beacom College

Rashmi Sharma is a recent MBA graduate with a concentration in Healthcare Management. She is passionate about leveraging her skills in business analysis to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry.

Session Script: The impact of student’s voice and stakeholder’s feedback on Global Ranking


Dr. Laura Dowling
Hi, everyone. We're here at the World Higher Education Ranking Summit 2022. Our topic in this session is the impact of student voices and stakeholders' feedback on the global ranking. The problem with college ranking systems is that they focus on prestige instead of learning and students' experience once they enter college ranking hurts low-income and minority students by shifting resources away from needs-based aid to improve scores. Ranking systems drive the cost of college up and standards down. For example, the calculation method of financial resources per student counts resources expended encouraging bloated administration, maintenance, and operational costs.

Nine broad areas for a popular university

Dr. Laura Dowling
The ranking places heavy emphasis on research at the cost of dedicated teaching and high-quality program education. One popular university ranking system measure nine broad areas graduation and retention rates, graduation rate performance, graduate indebtedness, social mobility, which means Pell graduation grant rates, faculty resources, such as class size faculty compensation, percent of faculty with a terminal degree percent of full-time faculty, expert opinion, financial resources, Student Excellence, which is a measure of high school standing of a student in the top 10 or 25 percentile of high school.

Key stakeholders in higher ed, students, faculty, also business, industry, and education

Dr. Laura Dowling
And finally, alumni giving. Certainly, these are important factors, but these don't paint a fair and accurate picture. ranking systems don't measure and account for the skills gap and rising dissatisfaction of industry who claim graduates lack skills in several areas, including critical thinking and problem solving, self-management, leadership, resilience and stress tolerance, interpersonal skills, intercultural fluency, and communicating effectively both verbally and in writing. These critical competencies are not presently ranked, and muddy the choice for high school students trying to select the best-fit University. Our panel today includes several key stakeholders in higher ed, students, faculty, also business, industry, and education. We will talk about the criteria that need to be ranked and provide recommendations on how to restructure college ranking systems. To better serve the student consumer, the question of what criteria should colleges and universities be ranked, so that ranking systems are equitable, transparent, and can provide real guidance for students to determine the best fit during the college selection process. Shannon, how about if we hear from you first, do you have one foot in both camps?

Students who feel stress

Yeah, of course, um, you said something in your introduction that stuck with me, it's that students are stressed out all the time. They don't have those moments. I've been talking to my students recently, this week about it. They said that they have no free time if they're just studying all the time. And I have to do all of this research. And I asked the question, research on what for who and X, Y and Z because you know, they're in my composition course. And it seems as if they have more writing and research to do in their other courses, even their math or biology, or chemistry courses. And there, they're freshmen, they're fresh. This is their first year in college, this is their first experience. And it doesn't seem like they're enjoying any of those college things. Because they're, they're just stressed out about the numbers, you know, I have a couple of students in the nursing program who are like, I can only afford to get one B, otherwise, I won't get into upper division nursing it that's, that's not enjoying college. That's, that's, that's just worrying about some standard that somebody else has set that you now have to make.

Stress, anxiety, and even depression on campuses

Dr. Laura Dowling
So that's a good point. So there's a lot of stress, anxiety, and even depression on campuses. And universities are ill-prepared to help students through these challenging times. The other thing you said was the real God.

Oh, no, I said that you know, that last thing you said, it breaks my heart because the stress and anxiety are rising, but we don't have the resources on campus, for students to speak to the people they need to speak to when they're having help. You know, I remember speaking to you on this on, you know, and another conversation of ours, how students will create appointments, you know, for therapy or psychiatric help on campus, in case they need it later on. So when the students later on in October need those sessions, well, now there's no room, there are no appointments left, that that's an issue. We have shuffled things around so much, that we're not putting what the students need first. And we’re just being reallocating that money in other departments for other research things.

Mental health services in university

Dr. Laura Dowling
Right. So certainly, a university's capability concerning mental health services would be criteria that we would want to be ranked, right, we're sending our kids off to university for four years, and it's kind of, we just drop them off and cross our fingers.

You want to know that your kids are going to be safe on that campus, you want to know that there are resources available if your child needs to talk to somebody at three o'clock in the morning because they don't think they can make it through the night. The university needs to have someone there who can take that phone call and talk to that student. We, don't have those things in place yet. And that's something that I talk to my students about all the time. I'm like, this is your campus, and this is your education. You know, if there are things that you need, then you should speak up and say that

Sheherbano Thoughts on student’s stress

Dr. Laura Dowling
Right. All right, good. How about Sheherbano?

Yeah, um, I am experiencing some of the things which Shannon just mentioned, my son is a high school student senior right now. And the first he had to, you know, prepare for SATs. And then you know, he wasn't even scoring the same level of the score which is needed. For colleges, though he is a good student, I made him you know, go for another sad, but then he, he didn't do well. And I was surprised he's, he's a good student and he's not doing well on SATs. Then I learned that not everybody has that.

The thing that is not too you know, to do well on those. So then we just applied for colleges. And this is this was an, I couldn't understand all this. So we had to take some help. And then with the, you know, the schoolwork and then his he was doing the job, he was stressed out. And then I had to, I had to see that he consults a therapist, and now he's seeing a therapist, because he's stressed out, it's under a lot of anxiety. And the other thing, too, for graduation, and high school, he has to do research and submit a presentation, otherwise, he won't be graduating. So this is an added stress on him and other students at the same time. So he got admission to UD Delaware. On his writing skills, Beautiful. Nice and not on his sad scores. So the is one thing to be, you know, you should consider.

More visibility on the entrance criteria

Dr. Laura Dowling
So you're saying, and I agree with you 100%. More visibility on the entrance criteria? Do I need SATs? Or don't I do I need? What do I need to score? How much am I caught my high school grades count? Very, very important. But they also you describe this? You describe this. And we've all been through it that so many of us that have children, this crazy navigating the application process, what's going on, and what needs to be done. And then the final selection process and the idea is to fit yourself or your child with the best university for him or her. And the current ranking systems don't give us options. From that perspective. Yeah. And the stress.

Yes. And being a student myself, I didn't know most of the things. So I wasn't a great help to him. Even. So most of the things I was surprised to learn myself.

Dr. Laura Dowling
Right. So and it keeps changing. Yeah, keep changing. Yes, Connor. How about you, sir?

Thoughts of Connor on student’s stress

Yeah, I. So I'm a current undergraduate student. I'm a junior at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York. I agree with everything that's been said, up to this point. And back to Shannon's point about student stress. And this is what I was thinking about. Somehow, someway, in the modern climate, we have strayed away from students just enjoying themselves from being students. And now it's all about academics to just reach the next best thing. It's not about enjoying the moment, it's what can I, what do I have to do now to get to the next best thing, and then the next best thing after that, and then there's no enjoyment in any of that. And so what I was thinking about, and something that I was interested in, during my college search was student involvement with organizations and clubs and things like that. I mean, not only are these outlets for that stress and ways to help cure or mediate your depression and anxiety, but they're also great opportunities to learn real-world valuable team working skills, self-reliance skills, and a lot of times, even financial skills.

You know, when you're in organizations that at my university, in particular, we have officers for all the organizations, and there's a president and a secretary and a treasurer. And it's all about learning processes and understanding them. Because, frankly, those in my mind, in my experience, that is more what I'm carrying with me from my college experience, than necessarily might agree. And I know that that's probably a red flag for a lot of folks. But the fact of the matter is, in the 21st century, there are many things that we can learn from just a simple Google search that we're learning with our degrees. And so it's time and I know this is beyond the spectrum of this conversation, but higher education needs to shift away from this is the only way you're going to learn into how can we apply what you're learning and what you're going to learn to make you that Have a reliant individual to make you a contributing member to your corporation or family life or society as a whole.

And I think a great way to garner lots of those skills is finding ways to get involved outside of the classroom, find ways to enjoy your time as a student, with other students doing things that you love, whether that be a Red Cross Club, where you can help coordinate blood drives, or maybe you just really enjoy playing the game of chess, and we want to have a chess club. And it lets you kind of find an outlet for all the stressors and anxieties that don't involve just having to find a way to get an appointment with a counselor. And what Shannon said, I mean, that's true, even at my campus to, you know, understanding where these resources are, how available are they? And I hate to say it, but we were on a path and upward path before the COVID-19 pandemic. And then like every other industry, you know, higher education has had to make cuts. And it's sad to say that a lot of these higher education institutions have made cuts in areas that benefit students the most. Because, yeah, as you could imagine, those are the areas that have the biggest budgets.

Extracurricular opportunity

Dr. Laura Dowling
Yeah, that's very, very good. Very excellent. Points, Connor, that that extracurricular opportunity. Okay, many of the students if they are available, and budgets haven't caught on, there's no time because I can only get one to be the semester, were raised racing for that 100. And I'd like my students telling me all the time, they don't know what to study when they have a question. They google it. And I'm like, what? So it's just this whole tops curvy piece. So integrating these criteria into university ranking systems, again, will give them more visibility, where the student can select, you know, I need a university that has good mental health care that has extracurricular activities, and they in this space, also kind of another thing that you said that was very important, but students claimed they don't have the time was volunteering on these committees, or are these extracurricular activities gives you real-world practical experience? Beauty is beautiful. So these are the kinds of things we need to be ranking, beautiful work, Connor Rashmi?

Stressful education system

Yes, so I just wanted to mention something that you're about to mention, regarding the stressful education system, because I've also been part of it, being a high school student in the US, taking so many AP classes, advanced placement classes, and then applying to colleges and studying for the LSAT. So I understand how stressful that was, for me, and then going into college and taking all these advanced classes and not finding the proper outlets to relieve my stress. So just wanted to share that perspective, as something I can relate to.

Dr. Laura Dowling
So important, right, because we usually gravitate to something unhealthy, which results in exacerbated mental health issues. So universities need to do a better job. There's, you know, there's technology, there are apps available out there that can support mental health in the classroom, I've seen a lot of them. And they're low costs that would enable a professor to get a post of every student in the classroom, and how they're feeling today. So I'm Shannon and I talked about this previously, I don't know if a student is stressed out or has bad anxiety or depression, just by seeing them. Usually, it's something that triggers me to have a conversation with them. Are you okay?

For example, not submitting assignments are not coming to class, you know, and then, as educators as faculty, you know, we do not have expertise in psychology and psychiatry and mental health, most of us I mean, I do and Shannon does a little bit because that's on our radar. But your math teachers, they're teaching statistics, math, and accounting and don't know how to have that conversation. So these are some things that need to be ranked through a ranking system so that we can do a better job servicing students in higher ed Shannon.

Student engagement with his university environment.

Yes, Connor said something that really, I just had one of those moments. So he was talking about student involvement. And student engagement at his university. And he wanted a place that had that type of environment. And it made me think about, you know, the university that I am at. And what I've noticed was, you know, when everyone sets up at the beginning of the year for their club or organization or whatever, they kind of wait for the students to come to them, instead of kind of being out and like talking to students as they're walking by everywhere. I think for some students who this is their first time in college, they don't know anybody kind of being approached by someone like, hey, maybe you're interested in this kind of takes the edge off. And I have talked to some of my students, and some of them do feel like they haven't found the people they haven't found in place. And I think it's because they don't know where to go. And I think one of the things we can do in this, our new ranking system, where are those universities and colleges that encourage organizations to go out and find people instead of just setting up a table in front of the Student Union Building and waiting for people to come to them? Which of those organizations want to go out? And what resources are the universities and colleges giving those organizations so they can go out and reach more students on campus?

Lack of funding for these support services

Dr. Laura Dowling
Right, and you're talking about the lack of funding for these support services. Reencounter mentioned that you know, budget cuts, they're the first things that go on. Now, another area that I'm very passionate about is Career Services, you know, students go to university, so that they can get a job so that they can begin a career, and Career Services at universities aren't right. And if I had to do it over again, for my son, I'd want to know how many students graduate and get jobs. Is that he’s the purpose of a university education? So that's very, very critical. And does that university continue that relationship with that graduate through the first job and career because we have to continually learn, there's new stuff coming out, there are changes fast, it's complex, so we have to continually learn. So does the university continue that relationship with the graduate post-first job? So Career Services, the other area that I am passionate about, and I no, no shot in your jump in here is our curriculums and programs. You know, I'm teaching students at the master's level, who is writing at a ninth-grade level.

And this is one of the problems they enter the professional world. And I've had some folks on the corporate side come to me, I got my master's, I want a promotion and a raise. And I'm like, but you can't string two sentences together. And I have to redo your work. So the skills gap must be filled at the curriculum and program level. Students should be graduating and have solid writing and communication skills, and resilient problem-solving. Critical thinking is another one that just drives me crazy, like, connecting the dots. You know, I think a lot of students are like, I have this problem and folks in the workforce, so I can't, I can't do this, or here's the problem. And I'm like n, what have you tried so far? Well, nothing? Well, that's the critical thinking and problem solving that we have to infuse curriculums with. So when students graduate, they understand their discipline, and they understand some content, which, as Connor says, is Google a little later. But these you know, digital literacy, financial literacy, writing, and communication, aren't Google of Google. And they need to be infused into curriculums. And right. Can I speak? God? I knew you were going to

Students cram information

So um, yes to everything that you just said. And on top of that, I think what's happening is, you know, in the past, you know, like Conor was talking about, like, we got away from college kind of being that place where you can kind of figure out who you are. I think what's happening now is they don't have the time to figure out who they are. And they're just being crammed with all this info. Information, they don't have the confidence to think critically, because they didn't have those experiences. I mean, by the time I left college, I was not the same person I was freshman year, you figure out who you are as a person, you figure out like, what are my beliefs. What are my political affiliations, all those things you learn in college, but now it's study, study, you know, had a student who spent three days in the Thomas Cooper library studying and hadn't seen a roommate and left the library and came straight to class? They, when they leave, they might have information, but they won't have the confidence to do anything with that information. Because we didn't build up those critical thinking skills. We just threw information at them and were like, Thanks for your money. Goodbye.

Dr. Laura Dowling
Right? Yes. And community, you're saying, you're, you're talking about community, I still meet with my undergraduate people at my undergraduate University once a year, we're developing real long-term relationships, you know, and we stay connected. And we are in a social network, the economy and those relationships and the college experience is so important, right? To you, as a human being, experiencing life and figuring out your purpose. I want to hear from some student perspectives Connor Rashmi, Sheharbano. I Rashmi.

Perspective on international students

I just wanted to share my perspective on international students as well, because oftentimes, they may feel like they don't have a voice on campus, just because they're foreign nationals, and they don't necessarily feel that sense of belonging that they should. And I feel like that should also be considered when racking universities like how they're receiving as much exposure as like the resident students, because oftentimes, due to their status, they may be deprived of like the right internship opportunities or job opportunities, or they may not be exposed to mentorship. So I feel like that should also be considered, like their perspective and their experiences as well.

Yeah. Yeah, I have personally experienced that. Rashmi. So what I was thinking, I've been a student for a while now. And one thing I've noticed students get intimidated by students from different cultures or backgrounds. And the other thing I noticed, is a sense of why now if instructors give group work, this would enhance their you know, collaborative work, critical thinking, problem-solving. Because you see, we were trying to come up as the future leaders, all those students should be future leaders. And everywhere they go, they will see diversity. So why not start from school so that they are comfortable with the spoons of different cultures? So instead of giving too many assignments, why not give them group work, so that they work together, learn together, and be prepared for rules like leadership?

Intercultural fluency

Dr. Laura Dowling
That's so important. Sheharbano and thank you, Robbie, for bringing that up. I did mention intercultural fluency, which I am very passionate about. Group work enables diverse students to solve problems together. And it also enables leadership opportunities. On the faculty side, Shannon, you can chime in here. It is sometimes more labor intensive to manage group work. In the classroom, it appears in a majority of my courses because it's that important. Most of the work happens in teams. Right and the world is flat. We're working. I've been working offshore since the late 1990s. So working in diverse teams all Time leads me to the other light bulb
This leads me to the other light bulb required course at all programs, one public speaking, but to working across cultures, right, we need to understand I've got culture shock when I report it to a team in the southern United States because I want to New York minute meeting starts at nine, you should all be logged in at five off. Let's go. And their culture was different. It's like 10 after and I'm like, Are we having this meeting or not? So I had to educate myself and figure out okay, so I can, I can do this. But it was a little bit stressful for me. So another required course, according to Dr. Laura Chen, Sharon, I,

Relationship with teamwork

Um, I have a love-hate relationship with teamwork. I love it. Because I love seeing my students working together. I hate it because I don't know what to do with myself. And so I'm kind of and what I've learned to do now. And it's always amazing to see like my students working together because at first, there's that shy moment where nobody knows what to do and say, and then afterward, you can start seeing people from different backgrounds, like kind of working things out. What I love about that is that it teaches tolerance. They don't know that it's teaching them tolerance, but it does. And to people from different backgrounds. Our brains think differently because we've been around different cultures and different religions and different histories. We process information differently.

And so if my student from, you know, South Korea is conversing with my student from Oklahoma, yeah, the pairing might seem strange, but at the same time, and I have a 50-minute class, when we're doing group work, it's like a simple question type of thing. When I see them coming together, most of the time, I'm sitting at the front of the classroom, pretending not to be eavesdropping on conversations. I hear, Oh, I never thought about it like that. Or oh, that's a good point. Those are things you get through group work, you're not going to find those things by yourself, which is why I love discussion-based classrooms. In I tell them all the time, that if you are not comfortable speaking on this topic, this is probably not the class for you. Because I will ask you, what is your opinion on this? That's how I kind of get around critical thinking and then not having any skills. I ask them, what do you think about this? Not? What are your parents?

Not what your friends not with your auntie down the road? What do you think about this and why? So they have to then provide that evidence, some type of evidence. Going back to the writing part that you mentioned, it is a struggle, because when they get to me, I'm assuming that they already know the basics. And so what I've had to do when students come to me, and they come every semester, I'm terrified about my writing, I'm terrified about my writing, I'm terrified about my writing. And I tell them, well don't in my class, I can help you with those little things is what I how I refer to them. You need help with grammar, I can help you eat help with sentence structure, I can help you. But I can't help you with this thinking for yourself. I grade on their ability to think through information, not on their ability to put two sentences together because my job is to help them put those sentences together and make sense of it. If I can get them to think for themselves. The rest of that, for me, is just an easy street.

How the how i’s the writing lab support the writing and communication skills?

Dr. Laura Dowling
Yeah, I think two additional criteria, especially for ESL students in English as a second language is, you know, what's the writing lab doing? How the how i’s the writing lab support the writing and communication skills? And what about tutoring skills? I mean, I had students at the master’s level, I can see the English but I know it's Spanish. Honestly, I could because it's she's thinking and Spanish and writing in English, or he. So what support is there for those kinds of things that should be part of the ranking criteria? Sheharbano Did you have something you wanted to share? That I think okay, Rashmi.

Um, no.

Intercultural literacy

Dr. Laura Dowling
I love that you brought up the intercultural and just we have to remember that the experience at the University translates exactly into corporations. Okay, and if we're not talking about intercultural literacy, if we're not working together as groups, if we're not learning leadership competency at the university level, we don't have it at the corporate level. And I do a lot of weird things in class and do the same thing in corporate America usually have a potluck, you know, bring something from your culture to eat that was pre-COVID.

Today, I usually will create an assignment that has to do with individual culture, just to bring it up and bring make it more transparent in the classroom. So, it's so important, we have to remember that we go to university, to be prepared to enter the job, right to prepare to enter careers. So, when corporations complain that there's a skills gap, you know, I understand it, because I experienced it as I was on the corporate side, so it made me very aware that I infused my courses with practical This is why you're learning this. This is how it connects to the real world and your practical experience on the job. It's that important. Does anybody else have any other comments about what criteria should colleges and universities be ranked on, so that ranking systems are equitable, transparent, and can provide real guidance for students we have a lot of first-generation college students whose parents cannot help them? As Sheharbano said earlier, complete the application, check the essay, and do all these tasks and activities will go around, go around the Zoom one more time. Chad,

Educational plan

I have two things. One, going back to you know, share her Bano talking and yourself talking about like what it's like having kids going through this. My son is 16, he's a junior will be a senior next year he'll be it'll be 17 next month. And we already know his plan. The school Evan doesn't want to go to is a four-year college if he does not want to do that. I'm not going to force him to do that. He's decided he wants to go to trade school to be a welder. We know his plan, his guidance counselors are still trying to convince him to do the LSAT prep and the A CT prep. My child has test anxiety, he's not going to test well, no matter how much studying he does, because it's going to freak him out. The second he sits down to do it. And I told my son college isn't going anywhere. If you want to do trade school and do welding for 15 years, you can always stop and go back to college. I want him to feel comfortable with his decision. After he leaves High School. I don't want him to feel like college is the only avenue because it's not. My second thing is, I think part of our ranking system.

And it goes back to that last thing you said Laura, should be. Are there professors, instructors, and advisors, who are, I guess, caught up on the new ways that we can educate students moving forward? You know, I had professors have professors who still use that traditional model. And it doesn't work for students whose attention span is like a tick-tock three-second video, you have to learn new ways. I want to know is your university you know, allowing you your staff, and your professors these opportunities to learn new ways to teach? Are they going out on their own to learn new ways to teach? Are they incorporating those into the classroom? I can't send my Tik Tok Snapchat-addicted child into a classroom for an hour and 15 minutes of a straight lecture that they're here. It's not going to work for him. And I am not going to send my child somewhere where I know that the environment is not there for him to succeed. That doesn't make sense. Even when talking to students, I'm like listen to me. As a parent, I'm telling you, you're paying returns will not be okay knowing that, you know, two weeks into the class, you know, your roommate dropped out because they couldn't handle it or the person down the hallway dropped out because they couldn't handle it. We're two weeks into class.

I had a student this semester, come to my class on that first Friday. And my first day, it was the syllabus. It's syllabus day. There's no heavy lifting for my freshmen on Syllabus day, but in the department where I work, a recall has an assignment to do that first day. I'm getting to know you, you're getting to know me like this is the first time we're meeting and I'm going to throw an assignment at you know, we're going to come in here, we're going to go over the syllabus, I'm going to tell you some weird stuff about myself. Hopefully, you'll tell me some weird stuff about yourself. Because how can I get them to trust me if I'm not myself? If I'm not Miss Shannon, Renee Blake Lynch all day, right? And my students do talk to me, they hang out with me after class in my office, they'll come to bring me a cake pop from Starbucks and tell me what's going on in their life. Is that extra stress for me?

Yes, that's extra stress for me. They're my students. They're my kids. They're my babies. I love every single one of them. But I don't know how to not do that. Because I know they don't have the resources. I know they don't have any. I know. They don't have any other professor that's going to sit down there and be like, oh, yeah, bring your whole lunch to my office, we'll do a whole powwow. I do that for them. They need to know that somebody in this university, who is not related to them cares. Every day after class. I say, questions, comments, concerns about anything? No, I love you be safe, take care of each other. Those are the last things I say every class period.

And there needs to be more of that. As much your students from New Jersey who's never been outside of Jersey, and now they're here with no one. I can be your someone I don't care about. Like, yeah, I've got a lot going on. I have a life too. But I know what it's like to be a freshman on campus and my family's not there. And to feel what that feels like. And I don't want a 16 17 18 19-year-old student to feel that way. I have a student who's 16 from Connecticut, and she's away from home. She hangs out in bars with her. She can't go out with her friends. She's 16 She talks to me in my office, and she drinks her hot chocolate with marshmallows on it and I drink my Frappuccino. There's somewhere for her to go. That's all I want for all of my students there somewhere for you to go where you feel like you can't move you can't breathe. Do I need a university that's going to do that? For all kids.

Approach and pedagogy

Dr. Laura Dowling
So important. I have the same with my students, they trust me, and they can tell me anything. And it makes for a wonderful relationship. And it reduces their stress. You mentioned a couple of things. That teaching approach and pedagogy. You know we are SCADA start using artificial intelligence and simulation. We have measured the attention span today, five seconds, and for a goldfish six seconds. So the old way of doing this lecturing hour after hour after hour doesn't work. It's a waste of time. We have to start applying micro-learning strategies and innovating the way we deliver them. Excellent recommendations

Love that you said the way we deliver it I come in whether I like what we're reading or not. I come in there and I was like, Okay, what do we think about it? Like I'm excited to use Fit, they feed off of your energy. You know, when I had professors kind of dragging in I'd be like, Oh my God is going to be the longest hour and 15 minutes of my life. Man, I'm like so this is what I thought about it. This is what I thought about it like but no like tell me what you guys think like I'm up all the time. I want them to think that I love this topic. Because then they're like, oh my god like we if anything, they won't want to make me feel bad by being a downer. But they'll participate.

Dr. Laura Dowling
Alright, good. Pretty high energy. To Sheherbano.

Yeah, education. Some should be something that you retain. Right? Should be not fun, but you know, that you remember. Take it along with you. And now not something that you feel like a burden, you know, you, you're looking extensively and then you're after a few days, you've forgotten about what even you learned, you know. So, education is something you should retain, you should remember, oh, this is what I learned from Dr. Laura's class, right? So, I would remember that. And I still remember it's been a while since I took my marketing class. I still remember that class what I learned in that class because it was extremely interactive.

Not to be burdened or bored.

Dr. Laura Dowling
Yes, interactive. Yeah. That's an excellent point, retention and not to be burdened or bored. And this is my Shannon and I are like, we're trying to do some entertaining up there. You guys couldn't see it in our class because it was zoom. But in the classroom, we have some space, and we can do some different things in the class. That's very important. Thank you, retention, and not overly burdensome, not real easy peasy, either, right? But not a burden, not just let me get 100 on this test, push it out and get to the next test, push it out and get to the next test. Excellent. So criteria around that space will be very helpful. Rashmi you're next.

So, I agree with what Sheherbano just said that learning should be interactive, it should be engaging, and it should give you the ability to retain the information better. And I've honestly found that an issue myself as a student being in classrooms where it was hard for me to retain that information, just because it was so great based. There was not enough engaging, interactive experience. And I like to be in classrooms where we can apply the knowledge to the real world. So yeah.

Take it an easy way

Dr. Laura Dowling
Yes, all very, very important and very easy, right? Very easy for us to rank today. Because students should have a vote in the ranking. Right, you should be able to rank your university around all of these criteria. Right, not just some stuff he has at the top pushing numbers in that are of no value, Connor, my friend.

Yeah, just hearing everything that's been said. Ultimately, this all just needs to become more student-centered, more student-focused, less number-centered, and number focus numbers. I'm sure some people love numbers. I do not love numbers. I love people. And I love talking to people. And if we want students to come to these universities and find their fit, you can't treat them like numbers, you need to talk to the students and hear what the students are looking for whether they're international students or just a student who are coming from 5000 miles away on the other side of the country. They need to know what they're getting themselves into. And they need to know that school, that university is here to support them and their whole selves, and not just their academic lives. It needs to be a transition from just producing the greatest academics to producing the greatest well-rounded individuals to contribute to their societies their workforces to their communities.

Final viewpoints

Dr. Laura Dowling
Beautiful students center so that we can prepare students for community and workforce, excellent, Connor, excellent, and treat the whole person, right. It's got to move away from statistics and numbers, not that those are not valuable, because they give us information. But let's get back to the people-oriented student success, a student should feel comfortable going to university, that they're going to be comfortable in that environment, and that they are going to have the opportunity to be successful. Right. Beautiful stuff.

And look at it. In Higher Education, you're entering a four-year committed relationship. And in any relationship, friendship, romantic relationship, work relationship. And both sides of both parties in that relationship are not pulling their weight. It's going to cause stress. And it's going to cause disappointment, and it's going to cause unhappiness. And ultimately when we're talking about higher ed, it's the students that have to carry the burden of the stress, the disjointedness, and the unhappiness and something needs to change. So that's not the case.

Dr. Laura Dowling
That's a very beautiful metaphor, relationship-based and it's two-sided. And we should focus on the student, customer, and consumer. Beautiful work. Thank you everyone so much. There's so much valuable information in here. I appreciate you joining me this afternoon. Thank you for coming.
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