The realm of higher education has, so far, responded to the Internet revolution with decidedly mixed results. Though enthusiasm about online learning, for example, is shared by many institutional leaders, the results of actually implementing online-only classes have been equivocal at best. An area in which universities have fared much better is in providing course materials to its students online, and allowing them to submit homework and papers electronically. But, though a convenient and welcomed feature, it by no means represents the large scale paradigm shift that many educators were hoping would come as a result of colleges going online.
The one area that presents the widest spectrum of success for higher ed in America is arguably web presence. In the age in which any company without a website might as well not exist, colleges have adapted to this sea change in public image creation with hugely varying degrees of enthusiasm - and success. The social media revolution of just the last few years has, in particular, seen an enormous range of responses. Some colleges have ignored Facebook and Twitter completely, leaving it up to the student newspaper or admissions office to maintain their images online. Others, such as Harvard and UC Berkeley, have dived in head first, racking up tens of thousands of Twitter followers and millions of YouTube views. Between those two ends of the spectrum lies the rest of academia, which either neglects the web as an outreach tool entirely, or tries to utilize it with limited success.
Best Education Sites is a new online resource that assesses the quality of colleges and universities across America with a critical eye. A panel of experts rates the home pages of various schools based on design, usability, and content - even allowing users to submit their own ratings - and also assesses the degree to which each school has taken advantage of social media. This infographic, compiled from Best Education Sites' wealth of statistical data on the academic webspace, tracks the schools that have so far stood out in the race for web supremacy. Profiling the top collegiate tweeters, Facebookers and YouTubers - as well as looking at trends in design and coding - it lays out all you need to know about the current online landscape of higher education.
Created by: Best Education Sites