How Student Loans Can Help to Rate Colleges

As you know, many students intending to join an academic course refer to the rating given to the colleges by various rating agencies/organizations.

Recently we heard about this new “technique” colleges and universities use to influence their ratings.

In an attempt to improve rating and thereby attract more applicants (and probably enable raising of tuition fees), some colleges have begun to use tactics like increasing the rate of rejections – a short term tactic that apparently makes it difficult to get into this institution.

This perceived “demand-supply” gap may influence those doing the rating.

I would suggest an alternative, less subjective, yardstick to rate academic institutions.

How much additional debt does the student have to take in order to study at this institution?

What are the terms on which such student loans are available? Is a lender willing to grant loans on softer terms to students joining this institution than to someone joining a similar course of study at another institution?

More importantly, how does a degree from this institution improve the students’ capacity to repay debt? In other words, does studying at this institution significantly improve the students’ earnings, compared to a similar course from another institution?

I do not know if such data is readily available. But I think college ratings should take into consideration the conclusions from such data if the ratings are to be more relevant and meaningful. The employment market may be a more reliable indicator of the relative value of knowledge and skills gained from different academic institutions.

SCORM – Online Education Institutions

Online learning or online education depends on a series of software applications for aiding the interaction between the tutor and the student via the internet. it is interesting to note that these software technologies provide the basic infrastructure by means of which it is possible for the online educational institutions to introduce assessments and gradation systems with the help of which it is possible for the e-learning tutors to evaluate their students. Moreover, it also allows the students to interact amongst themselves or with the teacher through online forums, blogs and emails as well. These software applications are supported by certain prescribed formats which they have to adhere to in order to aid the successful functioning of online education.

SCORM refers to such a specification which e-learning tools have to conform to in order to aid the cause of online learning. SCORM is an abbreviation and it stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model. Here it is necessary to introduce one to the concept of ‘run-time environments’ which are a variant of the learning management systems. The run-time environment refers to the cooperation and coordination between the host systems and the content on the client’s side and it is this interaction which is ably supported by the Sharable Content Object Reference Model. SCORM was introduced as a specialized program in the year 2003 and it was initiated by the office of the United States Secretary of Defense. SCORM is a part of the Advanced Distributed Learning initiative and the various programs that are involved in the imparting of education through online learning need to conform to this system.

The first version of SCORM known as SCORM 1.0 pioneered the concept of Sharable Content Object for the first time in the arena of the World Wide Web. SCORM 1.1 was the premier production version which made use of an AICC specified XML course content management file though it yet did not support the usage of metadata. However, the following version of SCORM was able to eradicate this shortcoming that plagued the precious version and it made use of IMS Content Management specifications for its functioning. At present SCORM 2004 is the prevalent model with three of its editions being introduced, the last being in October 2006. SCORM 2004 conforms to the IEEE standards necessary for API and it has introduced the concept of sequencing which is vital for aiding the various learners in their online learning process.