Indiana U builds community and empowers students with machine learning

In the past decade, higher education has experienced a major shift toward digital experiences. This change reflects the way in which the rising generation prefers to engage with each other and with their instructors—as well as how they desire to learn. It’s an evolution that is echoed at campuses across the nation.

This means that the way faculty and staff interact with students is fundamentally changing. Students expect to be able to connect with us anytime, from anywhere. This is particularly challenging for us at Indiana University (IU) because we are so geographically dispersed and touch an enormous diversity of individuals and groups, with a fall 2018 enrollment of more than 114,000 across eight campuses and multiple satellite locations. At IU, we have a compelling need to create new pathways to support our students and to give them digital options to engage with faculty, staff, and each other across disciplines and locations.

To address this challenge, we believe it’s important to leverage smart tools that not only tap into the expertise of our staff but also incorporate emerging capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.…Read More

Here’s how to boost enrollment with chatbots

As recently as last year, nearly one in five students who committed to attending Georgia State University (GSU) never showed up for classes in the fall. This problem isn’t unique to GSU, and it’s commonly referred to as the “summer melt.” But GSU has taken an innovative approach to solving this challenge, using an artificially intelligent (AI) chatbot that has led to a significant increase in student enrollment.

Summer melt most commonly affects low-income students, many of whom are the first in their family to be accepted into college. Navigating the complex student enrollment process can be intimidating for anyone, but especially these students—and many just give up before they complete the process.

To reverse this trend, GSU identified the common barriers that students face between graduating high school and beginning college, including filling out financial aid forms, completing immunization records, taking placement exams, and registering for classes.…Read More

5 retention strategies across campus

These 5 retention ideas across campus departments can help students keep motivated

retention-students-campus

One of the biggest reasons I stuck with my private liberal arts college (Kenyon) was because of small classes and a really pretty landscape. Digging a little deeper, it was also because I found the class structure—conversation rather than lecture—interesting.

However, that was eight years ago, when Facebook was still in its infancy. In other words, a lot has changed, but a lot hasn’t. Yes, there are certain technology strategies that can be employed to engage students, but retention, one of the largest issues for higher-ed institutions today, takes more than a few digital signs and WiFi access.…Read More

This technology can boost student retention

Teacher and tech expert says retention comes easiest with visual understanding

visual-technology-retentionAs teaching moves from ‘sage on the stage’ to ‘guide on the side,’ educators are still mulling over exactly how technology tools can best help guide student learning. The problem is, as faculty is quickly coming to understand, technology for its own sake is not enough.

Nowhere is this more evident than in MOOCs and the current crisis with retention. Plopping a student in front of a video lecture provides a new medium, but a boring lecture will still be a boring lecture on video.

The key to student engagement (and therefore, retention) says one teaching and technology expert, is to use technology to make the information relevant and understandable.…Read More

Innovation corner: Technology solutions for boosting retention

Student retention vexes campus decision makers who need solutions

technological-retentionStudent retention, once a back burner issue for many colleges and universities, has emerged as a pressing issue for campus decision makers, who have increasingly looked to technology for solutions.

Concerns about retention are particularly acute in online courses.

Forty-one percent of chief academic officers in a recent survey said they agreed that retaining students was a greater problem for online courses than for face-to-face classes.…Read More

Persistence vs. retention

Terminology has large impact on graduation rates

persistence-retention-PearsonStudent persistence. Student retention. These terms are used daily in higher education, often interchangeably. Are they really the same thing?

According to Hagedorn (2005), the National Center for Education Statistics defines “retention as an institutional measure and persistence as a student measure” (p. 6). This boils down to institutions do the retaining and students do the persisting. Clear as mud right? Throw in attrition, graduation, stop-out, and drop-out and one quickly realizes why so much effort and research exists in the world of persistence and retention.

[Read: “Why online courses have low retention rates-and how to boost them.”]…Read More