DIY College Metrics

Leslie Madsen-Brooks, Jan 09, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This really is a terrific post, filled with some really solid analysis (though the football player brain images were over the top). Like this, for example: "for every 100 first-time, degree-seeking undergraduates that begin their college careers at Boise State, 93 won’t graduate from that university in four years–and 71 won’t graduate within six." Makes you think twice about paying tuition. So would the salaries the university pays to professors (much lower than average) as compared to Presidetn and VP level executives, and to football coaches.

But it's totally undermined by the author herself, when she writes, in the second paragraph: "My head began to hurt.  I’m a humanist.  I’m not terribly comfortable with numbers, and I don’t like it when things that should be evaluated qualitatively are transformed into numbers." Educators: don't do this! Stop saying your head hurts (I can't count how many times I've see (overwhelmingly female) teachers write this). Get in there, get messy, and work with the information, and be confident in your knowledge and your assertions.

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