Thursday, December 01, 2011

Chef's Salad

Here's another serving of link salad. The articles referenced connect to recent topics of discussion.

HERI just released a report on college graduation rates. They give details on regressions to predict completion, and provide the rates of correct classification rates for same. Here's an example:

Note that SAT scores don't add any information once high school GPA is accounted for. The correct classification rate can be compared to the rate of graduates. For example, if a test correctly predicts a coin flip 50% of the time, on the face of it this isn't very impressive. But it's actually more complicated than that. I have a kind of complexity theory approach to this sketched out on scrap paper, and will write about that later. In this case, the rate of four-year graduation from page 7 of the paper is 38.9%, so a correct classification rate of 68.3 could be compared to the strategy of predicting that no student will graduate, which is correct 61% of the time. Even by this crude comparison, the predictor looks useful.

HERI provides an associated calculator that lets you try out different scenarios related to graduation. Very cool.

The Virginia Assessment Group just published their new edition of Research & Practice in Assessment. I hope to be able to read it on the plane tomorrow, on the way to the annual SACS-COC meeting in Orlando. Last time I was there I got to see a shuttle launch, which was amazing. Not likely this time.

Coursekit is new learning management system that wants to be more like social media. This relates to the topic of connecting professional portfolios to a social network. I learned about Coursekit in this Wired Campus article in The Chronicle. Even more intriguing to me is Commons in a Box, a separate open source project to create professional networks. Quoting from the article in The Chronicle:
Educational groups, scholarly associations, and other nonprofit organizations will be able to leverage the Commons in a Box to give their members a space in which to present themselves as scholars to the public, to share their work, to locate and communicate with peers, and to engage in collaborative scholarship.
The original source is the CUNY Academic Commons.

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