RadGrad Goals

The fundamental goal of RadGrad is to improve the undergraduate degree experience. The following subgoals provide details on how we hope to achieve that.

Improve degree planning

RadGrad should provide advisors with better (faster, higher quality) ways to help students plan their degree program.

In addition to helping advisors, students should also find RadGrad helpful for planning their degree program.

To assess progress toward this goal, we can survey students and advisors and ask whether they prefer RadGrad to other mechanisms for degree planning.

Provide useful guidance

RadGrad should help guide students based upon their specific interests and career goals toward an appropriate undergraduate degree experience.

In addition, RadGrad must understand prerequisite requirements and other factors, such as the potential for an overloaded schedule, and warn the student away from problematic situations.

To assess this goal, we can ask students if RadGrad helped guide them to an appropriate set of courses and opportunities. We can also log the presence of recommendations and warnings and see if the student responds to them. For example, when a warning is presented to the student, what percentage of the time does she take an action that removes the warning? When an opportunity is presented to a student, what percentage of the time does she add that opportunity to her degree plan?

Improve student engagement

RadGrad should increase student engagement with other students, faculty, and the local high tech community.

To accomplish this goal, RadGrad should also provide a source of up-to-date, high quality information about courses, faculty research projects, and community events.

To assess this goal, we can measure the percentage of student degree plans including verified opportunities. We can then survey those students to ask if they believe RadGrad was responsible for them engaging with these outside opportunities.

Improve student retention

RadGrad should improve retention. Less students should drop out of the degree program once they are enrolled in it.

That said, we also hope that RadGrad will help certain students who are not suited to the ICS degree program to drop out early, before having invested considerable time and energy into it.

To assess this goal, we will use Banner data to see if retention rates have improved after several years of RadGrad deployment.

Improve undergraduate participation in research

RadGrad's explorers make it easier for faculty to publicize their research projects and find undergraduate students who are interested and qualified to participate. In addition, the game mechanics incentivize students to participate in research projects by providing high amounts of Innovation points.

To assess this goal, we will survey faculty before and after RadGrad to determine the numbers of students involved in research. We will also survey students to determine their awareness and interest in research opportunities.

Improve student diversity

We hypothesize that by providing access to the diversity of applications of computer science, we can increase the diversity of students engaged with computer science.

We can measure progress toward this goal using percentage of women graduates, ethnic demographics, and/or an increase in the diversity of disciplines that our students combine with a computer science degree.

Improve the degree experience

We hypothesize that satisfying the above requirements will create changes resulting in a better overall computer science degree experience: better courses, better opportunities, and better instruction.

We can measure these goals by surveying students, faculty, and alumni about the degree experience.

Improve post-graduation professional success

RadGrad should lead to graduates who are better prepared and more successful in their professional life after their undergraduate degree program experience.

We can measure progress toward this goal by surveying students on their job opportunities, salary, and admission to graduate programs. We can also compare professional portfolios of our students prior to RadGrad and after introduction of RadGrad.

Improve other disciplines outside of computer science

Feedback from colleagues indicates that RadGrad can provide benefits to other disciplines outside of computer science.

To assess this goal, we can deploy instances into other academic units and assess the impact of RadGrad.

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