By Marc Parry
|Illustration by Randy Lyhus for The Chronicle|
Now imagine hard data substituting for happenstance.
As Katye Allisone, a freshman at Arizona State University, hunkers down in a computer lab for an 8:35 a.m. math class, the Web-based course watches her back. Answers, scores, pace, click paths—it hoovers up information, like Google. But rather than personalizing search results, data shape Ms. Allisone's class according to her understanding of the material.
With 72,000 students, Arizona State is both the country's largest public university and a hotbed of data-driven experiments. One core effort is a degree-monitoring system that keeps tabs on how students are doing in their majors. Stray off-course and you may have to switch fields. [Read MORE...]