Why Tommies reject the Netflix Effect

Michael Jordan, director of undergraduate academic affairs for the University of St. Thomas, tells TommieMedia what he thinks of computerized course recommendation programs — and why his school isn’t interested in them:

“I’d be skeptical that any outside system would be able to provide reliable information analogous to the degree evaluation. We have a person who works for our Registrar’s Office whose full-time job is to figure out the programming for degree evaluations.”

How those programs work, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The automated system 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.

The article calls it “The Netflix Effect.”

Some St. Thomas students aren’t buying it:

Senior Ian Wolf, who registered for classes in the fall, said he would probably not use an online course recommendation program.

“I think the only way to know how a class is going to be for me is to actually take it,” Wolf said. “I’m not one to worry about how different classes are going to affect me.”

But junior Christy Gries tells TommieMedia:

“I would like that, but I kind of feel that’s what Academic Counseling does I think that’d be a great tool for people who don’t have time to go Academic Counseling to maybe figure where they would stand in other classes. … What we have is sufficient, but something like that would definitely make it better. And who doesn’t want to make registering for classes better?”

Read the full story here.