Research, Surveys & Forecasts


Bundles and Access Codes Destroy Efforts to Cut Textbook Pricing

The practice of faculty relying on bundled textbooks and, specifically, access-code materials to provide course problem sets, quizzes, tests and case studies, has wreaked havoc with student efforts to find cheaper textbook alternatives. According to a new report from the Student PIRGs, among a sample group of schools, 45 percent of these supplemental resources were unavailable from any source other than the campus bookstore. As the report's authors noted, the use of those bundles, which exist behind paywalls, eliminates the ability of students to "shop around," which means they're "forced to pay full price for these materials." They also can't resell their textbooks because the access codes typically have expiration dates.

PC Market Sees First Holiday Quarter Growth in 6 Years

Global shipments of PCs showed a slight year-on-year improvement in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 0.7 percent to 70.6 million sales, according to a new report.

Online Course Enrollment Sees Relentless Growth

According to the Babson Survey Research Group's latest annual report on distance education in the United States, online student enrollment has grown for the 14th year in a row. Nearly a million additional students took distance education courses in 2016 compared to 2012, and more than 30 percent of college students took at least one distance education course during the 2015-2016 academic year.

STEM Majors Most Confident About Job Prospects

College students in STEM majors are the most likely to be confident regarding their job prospects, according to new survey results from Gallup and Strada Education Networks. But among all students, confidence shrinks as graduation nears. While 36 percent of first-year students said they expected to graduate with the "knowledge and skills" they'd need to be successful in the job market, only 32 percent of seniors were as confident.

Data-Savvy College Presidents 'Remain the Exception'

An American Council on Education survey found that only 12 percent of college and university presidents ranked the use of institutional research and evidence in the top five areas of growing importance for the future.



Report: California Universities Need to Simplify Online Cross-Enrollment

According to a new report, the California State University system could do a better job of tracking enrollment and outcomes and helping students know what's available online.

Report: OER Continues Moderate Growth Track

Where OER particularly succeeds, researchers found, is in large-enrollment introductory-level courses, those taken by the largest numbers of students, taught in multiple segments and typically part of requirements.

Americans See Range of Problems Plaguing STEM Education

Gender discrimination was also a major issue among STEM professionals.

STEM Majors on Rise even as College Enrollment Shrinks

While all types of institutions have seen drops in enrollment, many STEM programs have seen increases.

Michigan CC Masters Student Transfer Processes

To counter a "complex and confusing" college transfer process, a community college in Michigan has dug in to figure out ways to simplify transfers for its students. The result, as explained in a new report from the Community College Research Center and a "playbook" issued by the project's lead investigator, is the development of 225 distinct plans with partner institutions intended to streamline the transfer process for students and improve their success rates.

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