Monday, April 02, 2012

Building a Degree from the Data

What should we study?

It is not unusual for people to change colleges or even start-stop-start their education.   In certain segments it is common for applicants to come to the table with a substantial number of credits.   So, an interesting analytic problem would be to take those credits and come up with two to three alternative courses of study.  Maybe one that is of expressed interest and the others are simply the shortest distance between two points - now and the degree.   So, what would be required:
  1. Courses taken: what credits have been earned to date.
  2. Course map: articulation agreements align courses from one institution to another
  3. Degree requirements: the core and elective courses for potential degrees
It becomes a database alignment and probability exercise to create several alternatives given a set of inputs.  To add some spice to the solution a simple way of flagging interests or using collaborative filtering or recommendations to make the solution more social.

With the proliferation of degree options it is no longer a simple choice of A vs. B.  It is more like A with some C and maybe a D thrown in because I don't like B.  And all these options actually make it hard for people to choose one university over another; a simple tool that provided some alternatives might just help conversion and win the race to rapport. 

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