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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Book Written by Trio from ODU Aims to Improve Higher-Ed Decision-Making

An Old Dominion University department chair and administrator have teamed with a former administrator to write a book to improve the decision-making processes of higher-education leaders.

The book, "Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn, and Lead in Higher Education" was written by Mona J.E. Danner, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, retired Assistant Vice President for Assessment J. Worth Pickering and Tisha M. Paredes, assistant vice president for institutional effectiveness and assessment.

The book, "Using Focus Groups to Listen, Learn, and Lead in Higher Education," presents an easy-to-use, six-step guide that they developed and refined over two decades at Old Dominion. The authors have conducted over 100 focus groups with campus, nonprofit, local and international community organizations on a variety of topics including assessing student learning, workforce transition and preparedness, and evaluating organizations work and planning future projects, among others.

"In this book, Mona Danner, Tisha Paredes, and Worth Pickering cogently demonstrate the value and importance of using focus groups to understand the campus lives and experiences of students, faculty and staff," said Kent L. Sandstrom, dean of the College of Arts & Letters. "More specifically, they illustrate how focus groups provide constituencies with a forum through which they can provide rich and illuminating descriptions of their perspectives, understandings and learning experiences. Danner, Paredes and Pickering offer educators a range of insights and research tools that can enable them to gain a deeper understanding of student experiences and to see important realities that are not captured by 'big data.' Their book makes a significant contribution to the literature on higher education."

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