InSpire - Better Information for Education Choices.

About this idea

Summary

In-Spire will be a platform created with the aim to reduce university drop out rates, and increase attendance by helping students make better informed higher education choices.

For students with a clearer idea of what they would like to pursue, this platform will introduce them to possible routes for achieving their goals.

For students who are still unsure, this tool will illustrate the different career paths stemming from different degree choices, demonstrating particular degree choices don’t necessarily restrict students to a single future career option.

InSpire will also highlight the importance of transferrable skills, and the major role they play in mapping career paths.

InSpire is a neutral platform which isn’t owned by any organisation, school or university with a vested interest in recruiting students or sending them to particular institutions. Prospective university students’ choices are often swayed by competing pressures which are not necessarily in students’ best future interests e.g. ambitious schools, parents’ expectations, peers and university marketing initiatives. Inspire aims to help prospective students see past these pressures and make informed but personal choices.

 

Description

The phenomenon of students skipping lectures, forgoing seminar preparation or doing their projects last minute, without any interest in the subject, has become a major problem in higher education (Mann & Robinson 2009). Universities and lecturers repeatedly attempt to find different, more engaging, approaches to teaching and delivering material to keep their students interested. In some cases, new methods are the secret to attracting students; however, what we are forgetting to factor in, is the ‘amotivation’ identified in some students.  Amotivated students, as  Deci and Ryan (1985) describe them, are students who do not really know what they are doing at university, or feel that they are not in control of their choices and, as such, may feel incompetent in their endeavors. These students’ motivation is in many cases nonexistent.

InSpire aims to build expectations to encourage students, to avoid the major surprises causing them to quite, transfer or stop attending class. InSpire will give school students an idea about real life work in different fields, as well as various degrees’ structures and content. Inspire will show its users how one degree can lead to many career paths, rather than restricting its graduates to one specific field

 

The principal content of InSpire will be videos and online conferences. This will give students opportunities to speak live to professionals in specific fields, or students of certain degrees, and ask them direct, focused questions. This interactive method will remove the stagnant process of a regular Q&A, since InSpire allows the individual to ask subjective and detailed questions to get a better, clearer and complete answer from a knowledgeable source. Not only will InSpire be a platform for moulding realistic expectations, it will also offer a chance for prospective students to network with those in their respective field. InSpire will help motivate students by clearly linking their studies with their career expectations.

This project requires a primary fixed cost to execute the platform and create the initial material. InSpire might also require a variable cost (depending on the nature of the relationship the workers/students decide to have with this project) in the form of incentives to keep material providers interested in investing their time and effort in the viability of the project.