Students Show Mixed Feelings Toward Advising Technology

RISE OF THE ROBO-ADVISORS? Higher education institutions are excited about Integrated Planning and Advising Services (IPAS) systems, which use predictive analytics in advising, degree planning, alerts and interventions. These tools can ease the burden of poorly staffed advising departments and help students stay on track to graduate. The tech-savvy, digital-native students of today must love this technology, right?

New research from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University Teachers College shows that learners have mixed feelings. They like using technology for simple tasks, but prefer face-to-face meetings with advisors to work through complex decisions, such as planning educational and career paths. “Technology, in their view, could play a helpful supportive function, but not replace the person in the office who knows how the system works and can answer the unasked questions,” writes Hoori Santikian Kalamkarian, a research associate at CCRC. She adds that institutions may want to target IPAS tools toward less complex advising tasks.

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