The fundamental goal of RadGrad is to improve the undergraduate degree experience. We believe this goal can be reached through progress on a number of subgoals:
Improve degree planning
RadGrad should provide advisors with better (faster, higher quality) ways to help students plan their STEM degree program. This means not only helping students determine which courses to take, but also helping them to better assess how this STEM undergraduate degree program fits with their future professional and personal goals.
In addition to helping advisors, students should also find RadGrad helpful for planning their degree program, as it provides a "one-stop shop" for resources on curricular and extracurricular activities.
To assess progress toward this goal, we will survey students and advisors and ask whether they found RadGrad to be useful 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.
To assess this goal, we will ask students if RadGrad helped guide them to an appropriate set of courses and opportunities. We will also use system instrumentation to correlate student responses to their use of the system. We will attempt to determine if a student's dissatisfaction with RadGrad was based on a failing in system functionality or a failure of the student to use system features appropriately.
Improve student engagement
RadGrad should increase student engagement with other students, faculty, and the local high tech community.
To accomplish this goal, RadGrad will provide a faculty-curated 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. RadGrad should help students recognize early if this STEM discipline fits their needs, and once in the program, help them to engage with the broader community (which is shown to positively correlate with matriculation.)
To assess this goal, we will use institutional 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, RadGrad's 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 computer science applications, 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 the degree experience for other disciplines
RadGrad is designed to be a generic framework that can be "instantiated" as a system tailored to a particular institution and degree program. Currently, we are actively supporting two instances at the University of Hawaii: one for the Computer and Information Sciences department in the College of Natural Sciences, and one for the Computer Engineering department in the College of Engineering.
To assess this goal, we will deploy additional instances and measure progress toward each of the above goals in order to assess whether RadGrad helps certain STEM disciplines or institutions more than others.