In a year-long effort to re-design Higher Ed recruitment, I came to appreciate the depth and complexity of an industry that necessarily traffics in the data of children— they begin tracking students as young as 13 years old with the PSAT.

Tassel is an end-to-end design thinking project aimed at the problem of choosing the right college or university. The project was completed during my last year teaching on-campus at a Midwest liberal arts college. The result of the project was a data-sharing framework that administrators and recruiters loved, but students unequivocally hated.

"This project started by thinking about the data that students use to make college selections and became about the cut-throat industry of recruitment and enrollment funnels at non-selective or moderately-selective colleges and universities."

More on Data Cooperatives

The core issue that Tassel ultimately tried to address was allowing students to take back their own data via a model like, like a data cooperative. Projects like now defunct TheGoodData project, while failed projects, have experimented with the idea of disrupting markets by allowing people to gain ownership over their browsing data and giving them the decision about whether or not they want to sell that data on their own terms.

2. Data Cooperatives · Works in Progress

The #BlackDataMatters from Ciitizen is a great example of the kind of landing page you'd need for a disruptive student data take-back solution. Not exactly a co-op, Ciitizen also provides a good inspiration and framework for the idea of asking people to take control of data for good.

Black Data Matters - Ciitizen

Moving the Project Forward

Are you interested designing solutions to help students better control their transcripts, test scores, or other data? If so, read this article about Blockchain-Based Transcripts for Mobile Higher-Education, then email me your thoughts.

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