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Thread: The Next Digital Revolution in Education? Grading

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  1. #1
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    Default The Next Digital Revolution in Education? Grading

    This article in the Harvard Business Review describes CoursePeer, a platform for professors to

    • interact with students while they take a course
    • rate the interactions in a manner akin to liking or not liking a student's contributions


    The article points out that CoursePeer has made these ratings exportable so they can be communicated directly to employers, providing a more accurate, multi-dimensional assessment of each student than is provided by class grades and grade point averages. From experience, I know that companies would pay handsomely for access to these ratings, and ultimately for access to top students. What's not clear is how to divert a significant share of this revenue stream to K-12 for its role in preparing top students.

  2. #2
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    Dave, are you imagining this for college grades, or K-12? My experience has been that companies would be interested in college but not K-12 grades.

    I don't have a sense of what companies might pay, but $100 per applicant who makes it past an initial screening doesn't sound too far off. If we assume that this would be paid for 1 applicant out of 10 (the top 10% of applicants/students), and that this would be paid 10 times for each applicant (representing 10 different job applications that this applicant makes), that comes to $100 per college student.

    If half of all HS students go on to college, then this equates to $50 per K-12 student. Assuming that half of this went to the college and half to K-12, that's $25 per K-12 student. Even if I'm off by a factor of ten ($250) or a hundred ($2,500), it's a tiny fraction of the approximately $130,000 that it costs to educate a student K-12. And that assumes that there's a mechanism by which K-12 could benefit from the grading efforts of college instructors.

    I'm not saying that there isn't a business model here, just not one that would appreciably offset the cost of a K-12 education. Am I missing something?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave, are you imagining this for college grades, or K-12?
    The cited article describes CoursePeer's platform for college professors and students.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I don't have a sense of what companies might pay, but $100 per applicant who makes it past an initial screening doesn't sound too far off. If we assume that this would be paid for 1 applicant out of 10 (the top 10% of applicants/students), and that this would be paid 10 times for each applicant (representing 10 different job applications that this applicant makes), that comes to $100 per college student.

    If half of all HS students go on to college, then this equates to $50 per K-12 student. Assuming that half of this went to the college and half to K-12, that's $25 per K-12 student. Even if I'm off by a factor of ten ($250) or a hundred ($2,500), it's a tiny fraction of the approximately $130,000 that it costs to educate a student K-12. And that assumes that there's a mechanism by which K-12 could benefit from the grading efforts of college instructors.

    I'm not saying that there isn't a business model here, just not one that would appreciably offset the cost of a K-12 education. Am I missing something?
    Companies typically pay professional recruiters 20% of an employee's first-year total compensation, so payments in the range of $10-20K per well-qualified student would be consistent with current business models.

    What's the provenance and breakdown of the $130K required to educate a student K-12?

  4. #4
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    It would be interesting to know what fraction of employees are hired via recruiters versus directly. My guess is that recruiters are used much more at the higher end salary- and experience-wise. This sort of system might have less value there.

    I'm assuming an average of $10k per student per year x 13 years. I'm guessing at the $10k--no idea if that's close to a national average. The MA average is $13k.

    Here's one breakdown of cost per student. It shows that we spend about 90% of our budget on program (the rest being things like transportation and utilities, and perhaps administration) and about 90% of that is academic (vs. co-curricular). Sliced another way, the rule of thumb that I've always used is that we spend about 85% of our budget on people).

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