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

5 technologies for student recruitment

Getting personal means making connections through technology

recruitment-students-collegeWith Millennials increasingly becoming more reliant on technology as a means of communication, colleges and universities eager to recruit the best and brightest are using innovative tools, both online and on campus, to attract potential students.

According to the 2014 Social Admissions Report—a survey of college-bound high school students designed to identify trends in digital, social and mobile tools represented in a student’s college search and enrollment process—as new tools are created to help people organize, share and collaborate online more students are using them as a way to aid their college search, leading colleges to use these tools in their recruitment process…or they should.

From creating communities of current students at college on social media platforms like Facebook, to creating customized acceptance videos, higher education is using the digital technology at-hand to attract increasingly creative and tech-savvy generations.…Read More

Understanding the symbolism of digital badges

Can alternative credentials like digital badges provide a more nuanced view of a student achievement?

badges-credential-studentWashington, DC — Kyle Bowen, director of education technology at Pennsylvania State University, said he thinks credentials, be they traditional grades or digital badges, are little more than symbols.

And symbols mean different things to different people, Bowen said Thursday at U.S. News and World Report’s STEM Solutions conference. To illustrate his point he brought up several well-known symbols, including the icon found on most hand dryers — the one that shows three red, wavy lines floating above a hand.

“To some, this means you press a button to dry your hands,” Bowen deadpanned. “To others, it means you push a button and you get bacon.”…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

Is this the Netflix for student college searches?

New partnership will research how Netflix-like Discovery Engine can improve college search, recommendation and fit

netflix-college-search
Copyright: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

Two organizations have joined forces to answer important questions related to how search, discovery and recommendation online are affecting student college choices. Specifically, both organizations will research the effects of Netflix-like recommendations made possible by new online search technology.

PossibilityU, a college guidance platform, and GroupLens, a research lab dedicated to recommender systems and online communities in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities announced a research partnership to explore how college recommendations online can effect a broad range of student outcomes.

For the past 3 years, PossibilityU’s unique college guidance program has been matching high school students across the country with colleges that match their talents, aspirations and family budgets. The program features guided inquiry, data visualizations and personalized, Netflix-like recommendations—all designed to give students confidence in their choices.…Read More

Misleading: Student loan debt NOT from undergrad degrees

New report says there’s a myth about student loan debt, and the real cause may shock you

loan-debt-studentAccording to a new report, the current national concern and outrage over student loan debt is misguided, since many believe the debt occurs while obtaining an undergraduate degree. Not true, say data experts, who revealed that most student loan debt comes from pursuing graduate degrees.

The report, “The Graduate Student Debt Review: The State of Graduate Student Borrowing,” released by the New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute, basis its findings from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS)—a research dataset published every four years to compile information on student-level records, financial aid, student demographic, and enrollment data.

After reviewing the data, the report states that much (40 percent) of the $1 trillion in outstanding student loans derives from graduate and professional degrees, rather than bachelor’s or associate’s degrees.…Read More

Brain-wave sensors: The answer to student engagement?

New technology could help educators monitor student engagement in real time, allowing them to adjust their teaching accordingly

brain-student-engagementA Florida-based start-up firm called Nervanix is working on an idea that, if successful, could help educators find the “sweet spot” to effective teaching: maintaining active student engagement.

What if you could tell whether students really were engaged in a lesson or activity, rather than just pretending to be interested or going through the motions?

Furthermore, what if you had a tool that could measure a student’s brain-wave activity in order to develop a profile for the type of content that most engages that student? And what if this tool then could suggest specific content to match the student’s engagement profile?…Read More