Lifting the Fog

(Image: “Mystic Island” via Flickr)

I’m thinking a lot about all the various search tools that exist out there for students and families as I get ready for a presentation later this month.

Preparing to explain my thinking to others has led me to realize how little I understand my thinking!

So slowly, over the last few weeks, I’ve come up with a draft of a scoring rubric, which in my world would allow an ideal college search tool to score a 25. Here’s how I’m breaking it down:

DATA (8 pts.)

(2) Is the list of schools included comprehensive?

(2) Are the must-have variables there? (majors, size, distance from zip, selectivity)

(2) How’s the number of useful variables?

(2) Any advances in quality or uniqueness of variables?


(2) Sortability and/or adjust as you go factors?

(2) Intuitive navigation & decent help?

(2) Looks good?

(2) Save/export info option?


(2) user-driven (as opposed to “we know best”)

(2) data source? if info collected, how used?

BONUS (5 pts.)

“Best in Class” in any of the categories = 1 pt.

Site designers seem to understand that counselors and/or parents exist = 1-2pts.

Plus any other stuff that just seems worth mentioning/ rewarding

(Highest possible score = 25)

My bet is that I’ll have some changes to this after the conversation at NACAC. And then, if I can find the time, maybe I can actually run some of the tools from the College Lists wiki through to see what kind of scores they earn!


Posted on September 16, 2009, in big picture. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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