The Netflix Effect: When Software Suggests Students' Courses

Jeffrey R. Young, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Apr 11, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The concept of recommenders has been around for ages - I first saw such a system in 1996; it was called 'Firefly' and was bought by Microsoft and quietly killed; I talked about them as early as 2004. So it's not surprising to see a project that reportedly 'recommends' courses to students a la Netflix. So we see this item about Austin Peay State Uni­versity automated system which "considers each student's planned major, past academic performance, and data on how similar students fared in that class. It crunches this information to arrive at a recommendation. An early test of the system found that it could lead to higher grades and fewer dropouts, officials say."
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