Thursday, January 24, 2008

Are online college rankings accurate? Necessary? Not for me.

The online education database has posted its online college rankings for 2008.
What do you think?
Here are the metrics listed:
"Key to metric acronyms — AR: Acceptance Rate, FA: Financial Aid, GR: Graduation Rate, PW: Peer Web Citations, RR: Retention Rate, SC: Scholarly Citations, SF: Student-Faculty Ratio, YA: Years Accredited"

Personally, I hate numbers. The eye-chart of numbers means NOTHING to me. Tell me a story, either using words or with pictures, but just don't lay out a bunch of data in a list.
Maybe the gathering of VizThinkers in SanFran next week can use this data as an example and create something a little more compelling and user-friendly. Anyone up for it?

Personally, I'd find more value in a social networking site that carried discussions about courses, the content, the instructors, etc. Who really cares about Graduation Rate, Acceptance Rate, Years accredited. If I have a need and I have a friend or colleague tell me good things then I'm more questions.

Yes. Transparency is a good thing, but this is the WRONG kind of transparency. This is the kind of transparency that administrators, and accountants use to brag at dinner parties, the real users don't care.

This is Web1.0 data a Web2.0 world. When Time declares YOU as the person of the year, they mean YOU the single end-user (the little guy), not the collective big corporate YOU.

Sorry OEDb, I'm not your target audience.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree. Even if we humans appear to "obey" probability predictions in large numbers, not one of us experiences his/her life as anything but immediate, personal and even sacred.

Anonymous said...


I work for an elearning firm in Bangalore, India. We are looking at building a database of off the shelf content providers for different industry verticals. Would you know any content providers who have domain related content on retail / manufacturing / healthcare? Would be a great hekp if you could let me know. As mentioned we are not looking at custom course development, only off the shelf providers.