About two-thirds of high school students use social media to research colleges, and more than one-third of those students use social media to help decide where to enroll, according to a survey conducted by Zinch, an online scholarship- and school-matching service run by Chegg, and Inigral, a tech company that focuses on student engagement online.
Of the more than 7,000 students surveyed, nearly three-quarters said they check Facebook at least once per day, while more than half never use Twitter, the next-most-visited network. Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram were even less popular. A study published in The Journal of College Admission that looked at the top 100 colleges and universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, found that universities use an average of 3.7 social networks, with one university using as many as seven different sites.
Gil Rogers, director of College Outreach for Zinch, said universities should look at the results from the student survey and perhaps reconsider their social media strategy. “While it might be free to create accounts on these new, popular social media sites, universities should focus recruitment efforts on where they’re going to get the highest return on investment,” he said.
Full Text: Survey examines how prospective students use social media to research colleges | Inside Higher Ed.
A leading Welsh politician has called for e-learning to have a bigger influence in the higher education sector of the country.
In a speech to the Institute of Welsh Politics, education minister Leighton Andrews said he was impressed when touring the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (Ibers) at Aberystwyth University, because the facility is making use of modern innovations to support education.
Ibers involves around 300 members of staff in teaching, support and research, who are examining many scientific issues, including bio-energy, the impact of climate change and the functions of genes.
Some of the clever uses of technology remarked on by the politician include the recording of lectures and the utilisation of flexible academic spaces.
However, Mr Andres said he was disappointed that only the Open University and the University of Glamorgan “appeared to be taking online learning seriously”.
Full text:Technology: Welsh education minister calls for online learning to play greater role in university.
Published May 22, 2012
William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, Kelly A. Lack & Thomas I. Nygren
Online learning is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning outcomes. In “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials,” we measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online (ILO) statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses to take the course in a hybrid format (with machine-guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face-to-face instruction each week) or a traditional format (as it is usually offered by their campus, typically with 3-4 hours of face-to-face instruction each week).
We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same—that students in the hybrid format “pay no price” for this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy. These zero-difference coefficients are precisely estimated. We also conduct speculative cost simulations and find that adopting hybrid models of instruction in large introductory courses have the potential to significantly reduce instructor compensation costs in the long run.
Full Text: Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials | Ithaka S+R.
Over the last 8 years, Facebook has played a pivotal role in higher ed. While it’s beginning was just with current college students, Facebook now plays an influential role in a student’s transition from their high-school network and into their new college community.
In a recent sample of 163 colleges we found 50% of them are using a Class of 2016 community to allow students to meet one another, ask questions, and discuss life before they step foot on campus.
While this is a best practice for universities looking to build community and improve yield, rarely do we hear exactly what students are talking about, which conversations are most engaging, and how the medium affects the message.
In order to shed light on these qualitative aspects, we analyzed a dozen Facebook Pages and Groups for the incoming Class of 2016 at private universities in the U.S.
Full Text: New Class of 2016 Facebook Page and Group Analysis | .eduGuru.