Carol Twigg, 66, founded the National Center for Academic Transformation in 1998 to use technology to improve the quality and reduce the cost of higher education. Today, some 200 state universities and community colleges participate in NCAT’s Program for Course Redesign, which runs workshops for professors and provides social-media tools and software-based tutorials that enhance student learning outside the classroom–and allow teachers to take on more students. On average, the NCAT reports that it has trimmed academic-department expenses by 37%. Joe Benson, vice president for research at the University of Alabama, who has worked closely with Twigg, says the school’s precalculus program has seen a 75% improvement in student success rates. “There is no other education organization that has had the same kind of impact in creating high-quality, cost-effective learning initiatives,” he says.
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