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Degree Compass (Desire2Learn) (LAEP Inventory)

Cloud created by:

Rebecca Ferguson
11 February 2016


Course selection can prove challenging for students. Desire2Learn cites research by Complete College America, which found that students take 20% (on average) more classes than are needed to graduate. Providing help with course selection can therefore cut tuition costs. At-risk students who are not as likely to make it to graduation are potentially the population that is in the most need of support in decision making, in order to help increase retention and graduation rates at college.


Using information about other students’ enrolments, this system provides recommendations as to which courses the students should take in order to complete their degree as well as which courses they are most likely to complete.


The Degree Compass application aims to increase student success by:

  • Providing students with academic advice from the time they start school;
  • Monitoring progress and offering on-going personalised course and degree path recommendations;
  • Reducing time-to-degree with better course selection.


Inventory type:

learning environment tool

smart system

learner support tool

Role of analytics:

statistical inference




Data sources:

uses own data


at-risk students, course selection

Tool in Context


postsecondary education

Supply model:

privately hosted software



Ethics and privacy:




Maturity and Evidence of Utility

Studies at Tennessee schools have shown that at-risk students who use this tool have earned higher grades. More than 90% of students who took a 4-star course as recommended by this system earned an A or B in the course.

Further Information

Press release giving details of Degree Compass:

Detailed Educause overview of Degree Compass:

Related research:

Denley, Tristan (2012), ‘Austin Peay State University: Degree Compass’ in Oblinger, Diana, (ed.) Game changers: Education and information technologies. Educause, 2012.

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