21st Century Learning

Digital Assessment Tool Predicts Students' Potential to Thrive in College

Families of high schoolers have a new digital assessment tool created to help their students get a sense of what type of college would allow them to excel. Software provider vibeffect has launched vibePrimer, an online questionnaire that analyzes data in four categories — academic, social, life and family and money — to make recommendations for "ideal campus features."

The company has compiled data about institutions and the students who attend them in an annual College Optimizer Index, which it has been publishing since 2013. The index is intended to serve as an indicator for how well students are "thriving" at their four-year colleges. This year's study questioned people in 3,600 households representing almost 1,000 schools to understand more about their satisfaction with their college experience. Questions addressed college attributes, student types, learning resources, course of study and other areas.

The data from the College Optimizer Index been poured into the predictive engine of vibePrimer to match up the characteristics and preferences of students ages 13 to 18 with the same aspects in college students. From there, the software makes predictions about which college would give each high school student the greatest probability of thriving.

Prospective college students take a set of questionnaires on the vibePrimer website, and each provides results in three groupings. The first identifies the students’ traits or strengths that will be valuable in college; the second identifies additional traits or strengths that would help them thrive in college if they were matched to the first set; and the third is a list of campus features that correspond to the "campus ecosystem" where they'll most likely do well.

The service doesn't recommend colleges; it provides the "ideal eco-system" for a given person. The idea, according to the company, is to provide families with a framework to help their students "succeed academically, socially and personally and ultimately graduate."

CEO Elena Cox said, "Our goal is to arm the student and their family with proven data and information that frames their college decision based on more than just a gut feeling or a competition around college brands." That insight, she added, will help them "make the best decision for their higher education investment and to know their child will be in an environment where they will thrive."

The cost of the service is $97.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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