Early Predictors of Success or Failure

Current retention software solutions send "early alerts" when students don't pass exams or fail classes, but often by that time in a semester or quarter, it's too late.

The data, however, exists to predict issues earlier and craft interventions that can change student outcomes.

Called, engagement, how college students interact with online tools says a lot about how they will do in a class. Data collected by Civitas Learning shows that students who engage early and often with a Learning Management System (LMS), do better in courses. 

That, of course, makes sense. The key insight is those students who don't engage are indicating early on by their non-engagement that they are encountering obstacles. That's where a communication system like, a text messaging platform, can reap the most rewards. 



The Woman in the Arena

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

~ Theodore Roosevelt


Floundering can be good for you. Anne Murphy Paul in her article for Time summarizes: "Call it the 'learning paradox': the more you struggle and even fail while you’re trying to master new information, the better you’re likely to recall and apply that information later."

The work of researcher Manu Kapur is behind this insight. But he warns teachers they want to challenge their students, not frustrate them when encouraging students to spend time trying to figure out a problem on their own first.

Why Can't I Change?

It's difficult to change. So why do people persist? Some researchers have dubbed the phenomenon of continual attempts at self-change in the face of failure as "false hope syndrome." They define it as "unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease, and consequences of self-change attempts."

That's the crux of the issue - if you believe change is easy, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Read more here.