Completion Pledging

From today’s Inside Higher Ed:

If an incoming community college student were asked right off the bat to pledge to complete a degree or credential, in a moment of truth, would that student think of his promise before transferring or dropping out? What if thousands of others signed the same pledge? What if faculty and the president had signed one promising to do all they could to help the student complete?…

Craig Hale, president of the chapter at Ivy Tech’s Richmond campus, helped gather more than 600 signatures on his campus Monday, and will continue the work throughout the week. To keep students engaged in the pledge, the group is planning potential giveaways and events: popcorn in about a month when commitment starts to wane, and something else around midterms. Hale also wants to have similar pledge-gathering events at the beginning of every semester, indefinitely.

“When a student signs the pledge, they are committing to themselves, to their completion,” Hale said. “Keeping the student’s pledge in the forefront of their mind throughout the semester and years will renew the individual commitment.”

You can read the rest of the article HERE.

Did anybody else (other than me and the second commenter) think, immediately of “Chastity Pledges”? Somehow, I don’t think the Pledge Movement is going to move the needle…

Research on Twitter and Learning

Apparently, it can help.

Rey Junco, associate professor in the department of academic development and counselling, assessed the impact of using Twitter as a teaching tool on students taking a pre-health course at the institution, which is a member of the Pennsylvania state system.

Separating the students into two groups, he asked one to use the social-networking site Ning to communicate with lecturers while the other used Twitter.

According to a paper published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, titled “The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades”, the latter group scored on average a grade higher than their counterparts.

Yet, I remain skeptical.